I just signed up to this forum so here is a bit about myself.
I am a retired Aussie builder, so if I happen to use the wrong or different terminology to you guys let me know.
Being a bit of an old fart I like harking back to the old days, but I am not completely against new stuff either.
By way of intro here is a post I made to an Aussie news group a while ago.
A wedge is a simple machine. It is a relative of that most simple of mechanical devices, the inclined plane.
Wedges are commonly used in building and DIY work, to hold on axe heads, the axe head itself, to wedge open doors, the ends of chisels and other cutting tools are wedges, the ends of nails etc. etc.
When two timber wedges of the same slope are used as a pair, they become a whole lot more useful. We used to call them "fox wedges" or "folding wedges".
In the old days a young guy starting of in the building trade, very soon came across the use of wedges.
* A few pairs of wedges were always about on a joiner's bench for applying pressure here and there when clamps weren't available or convenient.
* They were used to tighten up the last few boards in a flooring job. Against the wall where flooring clamps wouldn't fit
* Often used in jobs like holding doors jambs in place temporarily while the main fixing is done.
* In the sketch, they were used for adjusting the height of props in concrete formwork.
* Similarly used horizontally they can be used for tightening shoring in excavations etc,
* They can be used for lifting heavy weights. When I was a young journeyman I was in charge of a small gang that plumbed up and refixed cast iron columns in a Victorian era wallpaper mill. We had two 6" x 6" hardwood props either side of the columns and we lifted the beam enough to do the job with 6" wide fox wedges. The huge wallpaper presses were rattling away on the floor above us. I couldn't begin to guess the weight we were lifting
For fox wedges to work, they have to be,
* Equal in slope.
* The slope has to be shallow. Wedges that are too steep will pop out under load.
The attachments show fox wedges being used to adjust the height of a timber prop, and the other has my idea of a simple jig for cutting consistent wedges on a bench saw.
Easily made up out of a bit of scrap timber.
* If you are making say 50mm thick wedges for formwork use a bit of 150 x 50 for your jig.Cut a length of say 150 x 50 hardwood into 250 long lengths.
* After the first wedge is cut flip the material length wise to cut the next wedge and so on.
* Always use a push stick , never be tempted to get that last one out of a piece. Keep your fingers AWAY from the blade.
* The saw bench insert should be in good condition, as there is a tendency for the thin end of the wedge to drop and jam at the front edge of the blade.