A wing-a-ling thing

The Roman Workbench episode of the Woodwright’s shop went live this week. You can watch it on the PBS app or here online, which is something I suggest you do before reading the rest of this post.

Watched it? Good.

Ever since this post on the Lost Art Press blog I’ve been thinking about Chris Schwarz’s nuts.

His vise nuts. Seriously people. Roman.

A detailed account of the vise and it’s construction it can be found here. I was curiously skeptical at first, but after having had the opportunity to use the vise at Woodworking in America, I have to say that it’s the real deal. I was impressed by the capacity of the vise, but I was really blown away by its holding power. The current set of nuts provide more than enough torque to really clamp down on a board and still manage to feel good in the hand.

In North Carolina we’re a little skittish about things that look like weather map hurricanes, but I had to admit they were fairly ergonomic in use.

They’re modeled after these nuts as drawn by Martin Loffelholz in the 1505 Nuremberg Codex.


So far, so good. Now, Marty Spoonwood doesn’t appear to be too constrained by the laws of perspective in some of these skeches (see: the fancy rolling office chair) but I had to pause when I saw that the nuts on the other drawing of this vise (as seen in the video linked above) looked a little different.


I started thinking about these nuts in three dimensions and began to wonder if they weren’t shaped something like a travisher.

(photo credit: Peter Galbert)

Would this be reasonable? Something like a giant Roman wingnut?

Would it provide any mechanical or ergonomic advantage?


Maybe if I ever get around to building a twin screw vise I’ll give it a shot.


One Comment Add yours

  1. momist says:

    I think you should play with your wing-a-ling thing

    Liked by 1 person

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