Saturday, February 22, 2014

Using a Vise Cam Clamp


I saw an image of an old farrier tool which locked a horseshoe in place.  It was made to be held by a post vise and a forged cam was the locking lever.

Basically there was a broad curved post the same radius as the inside of the shoe against which a cam could lock the shoe by pushing on the outside radius of the shoe at a tangent point.  This device allowed secure hold and quick release similar to a vise grip clamp.

I do a lot of small repetitive work on the vise usually with torch heat and this looked like a useful tool to make.  I wanted my tool to be adjustable and not be limited to one size stock so I attached the post to a slide bar of 1/4” x 1” flat bar which could move in a barrel made from 1/8” x  1/2” x 1.25” channel.  The working space gap would be locked with a hex bolt through a welded nut.

Just for the learning experience I forged the cam from a piece of 1/2” square bar by drawing a flat taper about 6” long and starting a scroll with a 1/2” circular open center to fit over a 1/2” round bar axel.  The remainder of the taper was tightly closed like a jelly roll until the diameter was about 2.5”.  I cut off the solid bar extending beyond the cam and welded a piece of 1/2” square tube in it’s place to make the tool lighter.


The device seems to work well and it could be adapted in any number of ways.  Time will tell how useful it is.

Open position

Closed position

Clamping position




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