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Wood Engraving Block Clamp

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Tue 5th May 2020
Blog Categories: Block Making | Printmaking Press & Other Tools | Wood Engraving Printmaking | All / Filter

I have many years experience working in wood using just hand tools, and use this clamp when I need to hold a wood engraving block securely.

Block Clamp

Adjusting the blocks
Adjustable home made block clamp

Sometimes I want to clamp my blocks my firmly so I can work on them - for example when I'm making smaller blocks, I need to hold them firmly so I can plane the tops flat. But I also need to hold them when lowering the unused areas of the block, particularly round the outside, as I tend to use chisels and a light mallet to do this when I have larger areas to cover.

Lowering outside of a block
Lowering outside of a block

I am fortunate that I have a large and very sturdy wood working bench that I built some years ago, that measures 2.4 long, and weighs about 1/2 tonne, with a good thick top. I can mount this clamp on to this, and work on the blocks, and the bench doesn't move when I work as it absorbs the force when working.

Block Clamp

Adjusting the blocks
Adjustable home made block clamp

Sometimes I want to clamp my blocks my firmly so I can work on them - for example when I'm making smaller blocks, I need to hold them firmly so I can plane the tops flat. But I also need to hold them when lowering the unused areas of the block, particularly round the outside, as I tend to use chisels and a light mallet to do this when I have larger areas to cover.

Lowering outside of a block
Lowering outside of a block

I am fortunate that I have a large and very sturdy wood working bench that I built some years ago, that measures 2.4 long, and weighs about 1/2 tonne, with a good thick top. I can mount this clamp on to this, and work on the blocks, and the bench doesn't move when I work as it absorbs the force when working.

How is it made?

The assembly consists of a Canadian made clamp called a 'Veritas Wonder Dogs' (yes, it really is called that!) which I fit into a 3/4" hole in large approx. 9cm square piece of wood, with a stop firmly screwed to one end.

Adjusting the blocks
Wonder dog on 9cm square timber

Adjusting the blocks
Brass colour handle at end is used to adjust the pressure

Adjusting the blocks
Brass colour handle at end is used to adjust the pressure

The bottom of the Veritas Wonder Dogs fits into a 3/4" hole drilled in my bench, and I clamp the whole unit to my bench too using an F Clamp.

Adjusting the blocks
Adjustable home made block clamp

The Veritas Wonder Dogs is adjustable in it's width so it fits many block sizes - and I have 2 holes drilled in my 9cm square piece of timber to cope with more block sizes.

Adjusting the blocks
Clamping larger piece

A piece of square wood goes between the Veritas Wonder Dogs and the block I'm working on, so if a tool slips, it slips on to a spare piece of wood, not the brass end of the Veritas Wonder Dogs.

Adjusting the blocks
Block of wood between engraving and brass end

I bought my Veritas Wonder Dogs from Axminster Tools in the UK, and at the time of writing they cost about £32 + postage. The stem (the 3/4" base) is a rather long 165mm on current models according to the Axminster site. That is very long if you don't have a bench to fit it into like I do - but they also have a 'Veritas Wonder Pups' (yes, it really is called that too!) which has a shorter stem at 70mm according to the Axminster site. This would be more suitable if you don't have a massive bench, as you could clamp the assembly on to a table or bench - but if that was not strongly built or weighed down you would still have movement if you worked on your piece.

How is it made?

The assembly consists of a Canadian made clamp called a 'Veritas Wonder Dogs' (yes, it really is called that!) which I fit into a 3/4" hole in large approx. 9cm square piece of wood, with a stop firmly screwed to one end.

Adjusting the blocks
Wonder dog on 9cm square timber

Adjusting the blocks
Brass colour handle at end is used to adjust the pressure

Adjusting the blocks
Brass colour handle at end is used to adjust the pressure

The bottom of the Veritas Wonder Dogs fits into a 3/4" hole drilled in my bench, and I clamp the whole unit to my bench too using an F Clamp.

Adjusting the blocks
Adjustable home made block clamp

The Veritas Wonder Dogs is adjustable in it's width so it fits many block sizes - and I have 2 holes drilled in my 9cm square piece of timber to cope with more block sizes.

Adjusting the blocks
Clamping larger piece

A piece of square wood goes between the Veritas Wonder Dogs and the block I'm working on, so if a tool slips, it slips on to a spare piece of wood, not the brass end of the Veritas Wonder Dogs.

Adjusting the blocks
Block of wood between engraving and brass end

I bought my Veritas Wonder Dogs from Axminster Tools in the UK, and at the time of writing they cost about £32 + postage. The stem (the 3/4" base) is a rather long 165mm on current models according to the Axminster site. That is very long if you don't have a bench to fit it into like I do - but they also have a 'Veritas Wonder Pups' (yes, it really is called that too!) which has a shorter stem at 70mm according to the Axminster site. This would be more suitable if you don't have a massive bench, as you could clamp the assembly on to a table or bench - but if that was not strongly built or weighed down you would still have movement if you worked on your piece.

Can you make them for other people?

I can make these for other people, if required. Do contact me for more information.

Can you make them for other people?

I can make these for other people, if required. Do contact me for more information.

Tags: wood engraving,woodengraving,wood engravers,woodengravers,engraving,engraver,printmaking,print making,printmaker,print maker,relief,block,print,printing


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Blog Categories: Block Making | Printmaking Press & Other Tools | Wood Engraving Printmaking | All / Filter

All text, images and illustrations © Copyright David Rodgers 2020 unless stated otherwise. No copying in part or whole without written permission.

Disclaimer

All articles made are based on my own personal experience, and may not be suitable for everyone. They are not to be taken as formal advice; always seek personal professional advice before doing anything, especially if it is health related, or might affect your health.

Where links are provided to external sites, I am not responsible for the content of these sites.

All content is believed to be correct at time of writing, but policies and prices change over time, and this article is not updated to reflect this. Double check all facts before making any decisions.





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