This is a 2 piece wooden device that can tightly grip small objects that are up to 3/8 inches thick.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
You will need a small piece of 2X3 or 2X4 that is about 6 inches long.
In addition you will need a pine slat 1.5 X .25 two pieces cut about 10 inches long and another about 4 inches long.
You will need some wood glue, a drill and 7/8 inch wood bit and counter bore ( a 1 inch wood bit will also work).
Some sort of cutting and sanding implements. I used a stationary belt/drum sander from Rigid
Step 2: Prepare the Holder
The holder is made from 3 pieces of laminated pine slat.
Begin by cutting and shaping the longer pieces on the sander. This is fairly quick with an 80 grit belt. The should resemble a fork without the tines when complete. The narrow end should be no narrower than 7/8 inches.
Cut the short piece so that it is roughly the same width as the narrow end of the shaped pieces.
Glue and clamp the short piece of slat at the base of the narrow end.
Step 3: Make the Base
If you have a Counter bore than skip the 1 inch drill section.
Secure the 2X3 in a vise so that one end is facing
Use a 1 inch drill bit and drill about 1 to 1.5 inches deep.
Use a 7/8 inch bit as drill all the way through the 2X3. Keep the hole as centered as possible.
Use the counter bore to enlarge one end so that is flares to about 1 inch. (Skip this is you used a 1 inch bit.
Cut and shape the 2X3 inch a rough hand piece. You can leave the larger end flared to the 2X3 dimensions if you need a flat hilt near the work area or you can take it down to a cone shape as I did.
Leave the drilled hole a little rough as this will aid in gripping later.
Step 4: Shape the Holder
When the glue had dried, remove the clamp and begin shaping the holder on a belt sander.
Shape the base first so that is is a round dowel shape all the way to the flared portion. This should fit a little snug but not too much so into the 7/8 inch hole in the base. Sand the dowel end smooth and place slight bevel on the lower rim.
Put a slight bevel on the outer edges of the flared portion if the holder so that it creates a wedging action on the rim of the 1 inch drilled section.
Wedge the holder into the base as far as it will go and lightly sand the top part of the holder as it is gripped together. this will create a uniform clamping section on the jaws. Lightly finish the edges of the jaws with a 45 degree bevel.
Step 5: Enjoy
The jaws are operated by pushing down on the top and released by gently tapping the dowel that extends from the bottom of the base.
The friction from the rough drilled hole is enough to clamp the work piece firmly yet the wooden jaws will usually leave no marks on the piece.
A laser etched part would be a great way to start carving...