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Excerpt from
Issue # 165 October 2004


The design idea for this project was found in a home accessories catalog that featured the row of candle stick holders. Sometimes this kind of fabricated retail item has its roots in traditional work (this one is called a “Stafford Wall Candleholder”). We thought it would be interesting to work the idea—a row of adjustable holders—backwards using only traditional techniques. The result is quite a bit different than the fabricated original, but it shows a technique blacksmiths can use to develop a design based on an item that only suggests blacksmith techniques.

The most essential blacksmith’s equipment found in the average shop is the forge, anvil and post vise. Given its essentialness, a post vise should be large, firmly mounted and in good working order. Bigger is better; a 6” vise (measured across the width of the jaws) should be the minimum size to considered. Make sure both the screw and thrust washer are well lubricated and work freely. Some notes on mounting your vise are followed by some suggestions for accessories that will expand the usefulness of your vise in issue 165. A vise mounted anvil, shown here, are among the accessories covered.