Introduction: Cheap N´ Sturdy Bench Vise

Every carpenter needs a way to firmly secure his work. A wooden bench vise is a perfect tool for this. Check out how I build mine with plywood and some metal.

This project is actually a part of a bigger build. I am turning a contractor table saw into something more multifunctional. So if you are interested be sure to subscribe to my Instructables channel !

I probably used all the tools I got in my workshop for this build (starting from brad nailer and finishing with welding machine), so I am not gonna list them. You might not have all the same tools but that does not mean you can´t build it. Just be creative an yo´ll find a way ;)

This whole project cost me around 20 euros

Step 1: 1

First I cut my plywood to size. One that was 2 cm thick and one that was 3 cm.

After that I ripped two 1 cm thick oak strips. These were to be glued and nailed on the top edge of the jaws to give them sturdiness and a nicer look. Flush trimmed and sanded after that.

The 2 cm plywood I attached to the table with couple furniture bolts.

Step 2: 2

On with the mechanism.

From my local metal distributor I got a 2 cm thick metal rod ( 2 meters for only 5 euro) and M 27 threaded rod with few washers and nuts. Also from there I got 4 mm thick (6 cm wide) flat bar. This was all the metal I needed.

From my scrap bin I found some oak that I decided to use for the guides. For the threaded rod guide I welded two nuts to a flat bar and attached it all under the table with screws (see pictures).

On the outer jaw I decided to add the flat bar I mentioned earlier. This added tremendous amount of stability to the whole structure.

Important thing is to try to line it all up correctly otherwise it will not work.

I also welded a washer to the threaded rod. This was so that the outer jaw would also move when the rod is tuned. Without it the jaw would stay in it´s position and would have to be moved manually.

Step 3: 3

For the turning head I glued together cherry and oak. On the lathe I turned it to desired shape. With this being my first turning project I´m pretty happy with it. Using chisels I made a recess for the nut. On the drill press I drilled a 2 cm hole through for the handle. This part I messed up a bit because I got the hole under a slight angle. Not a big deal but still....

The handle is just a spruce dowel with cherry plugs on the ends to prevent it from slipping out. Finished it all with linseed oil.

Also on the outer jaw I drilled 3 cm deep holes for the bench dogs. This is why I used 3 cm thick plywood for the outer jaw (instead of 2 cm which would have been sufficient). But of course single row of bench dogs won´t do you any good so I still need to add the other holes on the actual table. I will do this when I get to finishing. I just have to mind the mechanism part underneath.

Step 4: The Finale

I also have to paint the flat bar and apply linseed oil on the jaws to complete the build. I will do this when I am done with the rest of the workbench improvements. I will share it when I´m done.

I hope I have inspired you! I did my best trying to explain how I build this vise. If you still have some questions (or suggestions) let me know in the comments.

Take care

Comments

author
bcemail made it! (author)2016-12-22

Love the build, definitely going to try and make one of these! Can't weld, so I'm going to have to bust out some epoxy or something!

Where did you weld the washer? Flush up against the outside face in
between the two sides? In other words, when you close the vise with
nothing in it, the washer is sandwiched in there?

author
CraftAndu made it! (author)CraftAndu2016-12-26

Hi!

Thank you very much! I am glad you liked it!

Yes indeed the washer is welded against the outside face in between the two sides, but I sunk it a little bit inside the jaw so that it would not damage the piece I am working on. I did this using a router. Though I should have made the recess just a bit deeper because right now the washer leaves a dent on my workpiece when I press the jaws together hard.

Good luck!

DSC_0057.JPG
author
isa_k made it! (author)2016-06-18

I love the concept so much that I wanted to build this... alas, I'm one of those that needs a video tutorial to complete such tasks! I have had this page left open on my browser since I received it in my email (since around two months ago), yet to be attempted... maybe one day... just maybe.

author
CraftAndu made it! (author)CraftAndu2016-06-25

Heh, that is cool! Unfortunately I did not take any video of this build but some day I will make a video of the whole table saw/router table/ work bench thingy. Let me know if you need any help, I would gladly help you ;)

author
Meglymoo87 made it! (author)2016-05-19

Looks great! Nice 'ible, too :)

author
stevecinstrfme made it! (author)2016-05-09

Very nice. I've been wanting to do this. Just a suggestion, most instructables I've seen include a handy, concise "parts list" placed somewhere all together for easy reference. I realize that all the parts needed are mentioned througout your 'able, but I personally find it helpful to be able to just refer to the parts list rather than having to look back through the whole thing if there is a question as to sizes, quantities, etc.. Thanks.

author
CarlM47 made it! (author)2016-05-03

Really nice work!!
I love it

author
CraftAndu made it! (author)CraftAndu2016-05-05

Thank you!

author
drew.adc made it! (author)2016-04-29

How stable is the vise when trying to tighten something in it? I have one of a similar design that tries to twist all over the place and tightens crooked. I'm wondering if the second guide block you put is the key to keeping everything straight.

author
aebe made it! (author)aebe2016-05-03

Hello . Stick a block the same width as your workpiece in the other side of the vise , so that it will keep both jaws parallel . Has been the solution for single screw vises since the first one was made . :)

author
CraftAndu made it! (author)CraftAndu2016-04-30

My vise is super stable, it has almost no play in it. The second guide block is definitely the key! I think this would solve your problem.

Cheers

author
TimB2 made it! (author)2016-05-03

I built something like this on my table saw's outfeed table. Although I used a purchased screw mechanism, the placement of it on my saw's table was a real space saver and asset to my shop. I see things you've done that I should consider doing to my setup.

author
guy90 made it! (author)2016-04-29

Beaaautiful finish, looks profesh! I've often wondered how a bench vise actually works. Thank you for the upload

author
CraftAndu made it! (author)CraftAndu2016-04-30

Thanks mate, I am glad it helped!

author
live4ktm made it! (author)2016-04-29

Great job. I have to make one. Thank you so much for the idea !

author
CraftAndu made it! (author)CraftAndu2016-04-30

Thanks!

author
Yonatan24 made it! (author)2016-04-29

Hi, I've added your project to the "Make Your Own Bench-Vise!" Collection

This is the link If you are interested:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Your-Own-Benc...

author
CraftAndu made it! (author)CraftAndu2016-04-30

hey thanks Yonatan, I appreciate it ;)

author
Yonatan24 made it! (author)2016-04-29

Great idea! I need one of those for my table too!

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Bio: DIY maniac from South-Estonia! I love to inspire and to be inspired.
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