What is small, orange, made in the USA but sounds like it should be wrapped in pita bread? The GyroJaw. When this little aid sample (sent to Home Fixated for review) first arrived I couldn’t think of what I could use it for. Now that I’ve had it in the shop for a bit I keep finding reasons to pull it out. It seems well suited to help hold all those odd shaped work pieces that keep finding themselves on my bench top.
The GyroJaw was made with the woodworker in mind. When you’ve got a piece that needs a fair amount of pressure but you can’t figure out how to hold it in a traditional vice or clamp, it might be time to break out the GyroJaw.
I needed to round over the edges of a circular platform. I would normally do this with the piece clamped on edge and then blend in the top. With the GyroJaw I was able to get enough pressure to accomplish the task in my face vise, and save myself a step. This process was one that I was convinced would not work at first. I filed the whole piece and never once felt like the clamping pressure was inadequate. Point one to the GyroJaw.
The key of this product is the half round steel ball. It will rotate the aid into position as you apply force. At first this gyration seems like a malfunction, but it’s not. That’s the beauty of this aid. It will position itself as you torque up the pressure. Because the hard rubber face has a grip texture and a round divot it seems pretty suited at holding a wide variety of shapes.
The next thing I did was to put it to use in a glue up. Gluing up a non-square piece can be a bit tricky. Before the GyroJaw arrived I would have gone to the band saw and cut a caul that would have roughly fit in the open spot. It’s a fine method, but the caul is rarely perfectly sized and as such I have to add more clamps to the workpiece to apply the required pressure to the joint. Plus there is no grip on a traditional caul so slippage can occur before you get everything clamped down.
Again the GyroJaw performed well. It automatically rotated while I clamped and kept a firm grip on the slanted corner. As such I came out with a clean joint and a well glued piece.
In summary I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the versatility of this little aid. Especially considering I couldn’t think of what to use it for at first. It’s also nice to see a well made product produced here in the USA.
So what are the negatives? Well, the simple truth is, you aren’t going to need it for every project. That means that most of the time this $15 tool will be taking up space in your drawer waiting for an odd piece of wood to surface. The more specialized equipment we keep, the less room to store them all. The question is whether or not it’s usefulness is worth the price in both greenbacks and drawer space. For now, the GyroJaw seems to fulfill a need in my shop.
Where To Buy
You can find the Gyrojaw on Amazon for $14.99