Monthly Book Giveaway - January 2023

Knife makers vise

For a recent swap on another site, we traded knives. This isn’t something I’ve done before and I wasn’t quite ready to forge my own blades, so I bought naked blades and added scales to them. 

I do a bit of metal working, but it’s more on the furniture or fabrication end, with welders and mills and lathes and those fun things, and less forging and hardening. So there was a learning curve not only to how to put these pieces together, but also the tools and work holding associated with it. As an aside, that’s actually my favorite part of swaps: learning new skills and new tools!

I cheated and bought myself a 2x72” grinder (which I’d been eyeing from a distance anyway) which makes quick work of roughing in shapes, but I needed something to hold the blades while I hand worked the handles down to their final finished state. I saw a couple different DIY blade vise options out there on the interns, so I figured I’d knock one up. 

This is just 2” gal pipe that I milled slots in, drilled and tapped for tensioning screws, and built internal jaws patterned after the pipe ID. 

To give me easy 3-axis adjustment, the pipe slips into a wooden block with a thin relief slot on top. When placed in the vise and tightened, it locks both the tilt and axial rotation of the vise in place. By spinning the vise I can change the pan potions. When I tear up the block with the bench vise it’s a super simple replacement. 

I media blasted and powder coated it a pretty blue…mostly ‘cause that’s what was in the hopper already. At some point I’ll post my media blaster/powder coating set up. It’s a small shop version that’s actually pretty compact and on wheels. Works great!!

Anyway, it worked out just perfect for the knives I worked on for the swap. Always love getting new tools, and making them is even better!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

looks good. When I want soft jaws I slide in a piece of aluminum angle over each jaw. Wood works too, softer but not as durable. But yours has great maneuverability, I like that!


Thanks! I stole it from an image I saw somewhere, and tried to dumb it down since I won’t actually use it all that much. Worked out really well for what I needed!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

The design looks great! simple is almost always best! I could see making a version of that for holding sculptures. I often end up contorting myself at some point trying to access weird areas/ angles. This could work brilliantly i think!


Thanks, I was actually pretty amazed at how easy it is to find the right alignment with it. For a while I would find myself contorting, trying to get at an angle on a piece..then I remembered it’s a 3D vise and I just need to use it! A quick adjustment and I can stand up straight again to work on anything it’ll hold. I’m pretty happy with it, for a hack together deal! One minor downside to the block-in-vise design is it does take two hands to make most adjustments, unlike with some better designs. But I’m ok with that, I’m not in a rush. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".