Vise-Assistance From Sanding Sponges

When I started making wooden spoons using gouges, spokeshaves, and a drawknife, the biggest problem was clamping the curved spoon blanks in my vise for shaping. As I was smoothing a completed spoon one day, I realized that the sanding sponge I was using might do double-duty to help hold the workpiece in the vise. Sure enough, I found that sandwiching the spoon blank between two sponges (grit against the wood) considerably increased the grip of the vise on the work. Sponges with grit on both faces work even better. Obviously, this technique can help when clamping any number of odd shapes in a vise.

—Alejandro Balbis, Longueuil, Quebec

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