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Keel klamper alternative


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Most definitely!  Most any articulated bench vise will do the trick. Stanley makes one many have praised. You can add a shop made pair of longer jaws to spread the pressure on the keel over however long a distance you wish or add "fingers" to grasp from inside the hull to work on the hull upside down. This vise is pictured below laying on its side. The bottom clamp is for attaching to the lip of the bench. The vise is mounted on a captive ball joint which allows the jaws to be positioned in any angle desired. Shop around online for this one. Prices run around $50 to $65, depending upon free shipping or not and all the rest of the online marketing gimmicks. 

 

Stanley 83-069M Maxsteel Multi-Angle Base Vise

 

https://www.amazon.com/STANLEY-83-069M-MaxSteelTM-Multi-Angle-Base/dp/B079NBYRDK/ref=psdc_3021459011_t1_B000UOJF66

 

If you ever get a chance to score a Zyliss Vise (AKA the "Swiss Army Vise," It was actually designed for field use by the Swiss army.) it probably offers more versatility for modeling and many other uses than anything else. They come up on eBay regularly, but I don't believe they are manufactured anymore. (As always, beware of cheap imitations. If you buy on eBay, make sure you get the optional attachments, particularly the "turntable" that permits using it in any angle as a carver's vise. The original is a much better quality tool than the Asian knock-offs marketed as the "Z-vise," etc. but the later Asian made ones' parts are interchangeable with the originals.) A decent one probably won't set you back any more than a Keel Klamper and will afford a myriad of applications in a much sturdier vise.) See: http://www.homeshow.co.nz/accessories.html , and  https://advanced-machinery.myshopify.com/collections/portable-clamping-system-parts. I've ordered parts for mine from Advanced Machinery and was happy with them.

 

30ec4cd45c8926b6726cd8dccfe1fdb7--workbench-vice-vise.jpg

 

(Sorry about this fellow's Kiwi accent! :D )

 

 

How one deals with holding a model's hull while it's being worked on is a matter of personal preference. For next to no cost at all, I often make a holding base for a hull I'm working on out of a suitably-sized block of styrofoam packing material carved to fit or from foam tubes soled as swimming pool toys or split pipe insulation. These can be cut to length, formed into a suitably-shaped bundle, and bound at either end with duct tape. This creates a tight slot that the keel can be pushed into and the hull can then be worked on on the bench without the danger of it being damaged.

 

There are many clever gadgets on the market for ship modeling. Some of the more expensive of these are often either of questionable practical value or far more easily and inexpensively made in the shop. As for the Keel Klamper, you've got to ask yourself, "Is this bit of plastic and lightweight aluminum worth a hundred bucks plus shipping? 

 

Edited by Bob Cleek
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I use a Panavise Model 350 with a home made keel clamp. Panavise is not cheap but will last a lifetime and there are many variations available. Keel clamps are just two pieces of wood with nut, bolt and washers to tighten it. I put some scraps in the bottom of the clamp that match the keel thickness to avoid crushing keel.DSC_0311.thumb.JPG.a745a815f23fead05830cdcbe088b46a.JPG

350PNGlg.png.418e88b9bed18231b394ca19404a4a63.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/16/2022 at 2:09 AM, Bob Cleek said:

Stanley makes one many have praised

I must be missing something because I have never used a keel clamp. I just tend to knock up a support cradle from scrap wood and have never felt the need for anything better. As far as the Stanley vice is concerned I have one and wouldn’t recommend it for anything but the very smallest boats - nothing more than a few inches long.

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3 hours ago, KeithAug said:

I must be missing something because I have never used a keel clamp. I just tend to knock up a support cradle from scrap wood and have never felt the need for anything better. As far as the Stanley vice is concerned I have one and wouldn’t recommend it for anything but the very smallest boats - nothing more than a few inches long.

My practice is the same as yours. I often use styrofoam packing boxes and blocks with the hull shape cut out of them for work stands. When I have occasion to want to hold a hull at an odd angle to work on it my own weapon of choice is my Zyliss vise with its patternmaker's vise clamping features. The Zyliss has four inch jaws, as I recall. The Stanley multi-angle hobby vise has three inch jaws. I'd expect that would be sufficient to hold a hull with a 12 or even an 18 inch keel adequately. 

 

The OP asked for comment on whether there was "a more affordable alternative to the Keel Klamper." Hence my recommendation of the Stanley unit, based upon ability to do the job, value for the money, and price point. 

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Before I began to buy dedicated ship modeling tools, I outfitted my shop with full sized hand and power tools.  This is true for two of my vises.  I have a very large machinist’s vise and a carpenter’s vise mounted under a workshop top. Like a Jaager and Bob, I have never felt the need for a dedicated keel vise.  In fact, it se me to me that clamping a model by its keel is courting disaster. An unintentional knock or even forces applied to build the model and the keel is broken.

 

Save your money to buy real tools.

 

Roger

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14 hours ago, Roger Pellett said:

Before I began to buy dedicated ship modeling tools, I outfitted my shop with full sized hand and power tools.  This is true for two of my vises.  I have a very large machinist’s vise and a carpenter’s vise mounted under a workshop top. Like a Jaager and Bob, I have never felt the need for a dedicated keel vise.  In fact, it se me to me that clamping a model by its keel is courting disaster. An unintentional knock or even forces applied to build the model and the keel is broken.

 

Save your money to buy real tools.

 

Roger

I'm with you on this Roger - I do have a panavice but my ship never goes into it.  I prefer to have it on my lap or in a fixed cradle which is made up of scrap timber.

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