Issue 9 T.O.C. – “A Useful Third Hand: Shop-made Viking Clamps” – Zachary Dillinger

This is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Nine. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come. 

Please note that the subscription window which includes Issue Nine is open now through August 28th.

A Useful Third Hand: Shop-made Viking Clamps
Zachary Dillinger

“You can never have too many clamps,” the old adage goes. And it seems that this universal truth dates back well over a thousand years.

Norse Vikings were a dominant force on both land and sea, and the majestic lines of their hand-hewn ships still inspire awe today. The construction of these vessels required great skill and mastery of tools (especially the axe) and raw materials, but it also necessitated the invention of a “third hand” to secure planks to the hull for riveting. The simple, elegant design of the Viking clamp was the result. 

Author Zachary Dillinger walks us through the construction of these clamps, which can be made from shop scraps (or from billets hewn by your broadaxe) and custom-designed for nearly any clamping need. Whether you need some extra holding power for small glue-ups, or are reproducing a 10th-century Norse longship out of riven oak, this ancient workholding technology will be exceptionally useful in your shop. 


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