You don’t need budget-busting woodworking vises from Scandinavia to build ﬁne projects. Just screw “jam cleats” on a sawhorse or on the top of a plywood table to hold project boards like a pro. Jam cleats are fast and easy to make. Cut a 9-in. long piece of 2×4 in half, lengthwise, at a 10-degree angle to create two angled pieces. Cut another 9-in. 2×4 piece in half lengthwise, without the angle, and screw one of these halves to the work surface.
Hold the workpiece you’re clamping on edge along the screwed-down piece. Then place the two angled pieces along the other side to deter mine where to screw the outside adjustable piece to create the wedge physics needed to clamp the board. Screw down the outside, angled piece, then tap the inner, angled piece ﬁrmly with a hammer to wedge it tightly against the workpiece. Now saw, sand, rout or plane away. To loosen, tap the wedge on its narrow end.