Introduction: Leg Vise

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Easy steps to make your own Leg Vise.

Step 1: Materials You'll Need

Picture of Materials You'll Need

I did not have a thick enough board so I cut a board in half and glued the two pieces together after making the surface of both pieces flat and clean.

I think a 5-6 cm thick is enough.

The length depends on your Work Bench and the width should be about 15 cm.

You need also a good strong Lead Screw.

I took a lead screw off from a broken work bench but these can also be found in web shops such as Amazon.

Step 2: Make the Slot for the Supporting Leg

Picture of Make the Slot for the Supporting Leg

Cut a slot at one end of the board to fit the supporting leg in to it.

The size is not so critical, it can be 12x2 cm depends what left over pieces of wood you have.

Cut a similar slot at the bottom of the table leg so that the supporting leg can slide in and out easily.

To make the slot in the table leg, I made few hols in a row and used a flat file to get to the desired shape.

Cut off some of the vise leg to make it more narrow towards the bottom end.

Step 3: Drill the Hols in the Supporting Leg

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Drill about 10-12 holes in the supporting leg.

About 16 mm diameter. Depending on the size of the available wooden pin you got. I actually curved my own from a square piece.

Keep 2 cm distance between the centres of each holes.

Spread them over 3 parallel lines.

Step 4: Attach the Supporting Leg

Picture of Attach the Supporting Leg

Glue the supporting leg to the vise in the slot you made.

Step 5: Place the Leading Screw

Picture of Place the Leading Screw

Drill a hole that will go through the vise and the table leg, big enough to let the leading screw pass through.

When you do so, keep the vise in place and the supporting leg in the slot of the table leg. Make sure the Vise is perfectly vertical when you drill the hole.

Attach the leading screw and the screw base in place.

Make sure that the supporting leg is kept horizontal at all times, and that it can slide easily.

The secret here is to have the supporting leg and the leading screw perfectly parallel.

Use a wooden pin in the appropriate hole to stop the supporting leg from going in deeper when clutching an item in a way that the vise leg is kept vertical.

The leg vise is super strong.


1259700020 (author)2017-01-26

A similar concept made out of metal is popular among blacksmiths due to the high durability.

dglscraft (author)2016-08-05

Have wanted to make one of these for some time. Where did you get the metal (non-wood) parts? I'd like to hear more about them.

Yonatan24 (author)dglscraft2016-08-05

Look for them in hardware stores, car jacks, and I think also on Amazon.

jim.buchanan.165 (author)2016-08-05

Nice! I built something almost like this back in the '90s and I still use it years later, I even moved it to another bench when I upgraded the bench. I don't have a photo on this computer, I'll try and find a picture, or take a new one later when I'm at home to post with a description.

I think you'll get years of use out of this project.

jim.buchanan.165 made it! (author)jim.buchanan.1652016-08-05

I found a picture of it, a recent one, it's holding a prop musket my daughter and I are making for a cosplay outfit. She wasn't born when I made the vise!

It is very similar, but quite different as well. As you can see, I used hardwood inserts on the jaw, and soft wood for the rest of this I took some real heat for this when I published it online, they said it would never last. I think almost 20 years proves that the wood choices were just fine!

I hope that yours works for as long as mine has.

Thanks for sharing the picture, I'll keep that idea for the handle in mind. It might be useful sometime in the future... :)

I used a crank, as my lead screw has a fairly fine pitch, and you have to really spin it to move the jaws at a reasonable speed. The fine pitch allows great clamping force without much effort as well. It's another choice that drew criticism years ago, but relly worked out well in the long run.

I just built a wooden 6" vise with a 3/8" rod that has a pretty fine thread pitch (not sure how much). It is way stronger than what I thought!

It's a bit too slow for me, but I can always replace the rod with a better one.

BTW, I made both of the mallets in the picture in the same time frame, they are both doing well. The joiners mallet is made from black locust with an ash handle, the octagonal section mallet is soft pine, it is used to hammer in holdfasts, so it's kind of chopped up -as intended.

OrenK9 (author)jim.buchanan.1652016-08-05

Very Coll!. Looks perfect.

Love the mallets.

Yes, I'm super happy about that that leg vise I did. I am amazed each time how strong it is!

jim.buchanan.165 (author)OrenK92016-08-05

Whoever had the idea originally, hundreds or more years ago had a really good idea. I read about leg vises in a historical woodworking book more than 20 years ago before I decided tomake one, Those people had some great design concepts back then! They are very strong.

D-Undercover (author)2016-08-05

Good stuff! I never thought of this. I am definitely going to build myself one because I have that need right now for a project I am working on. Keep it up, mate!

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-08-03

Nice design. I need to make one of these for my wood working bench.

Thanks (again).
I strongly advice you to do it.
This is really a good vise.
I believe it should be a secondary vise to your table.
If you would have the traditional one and this one, man, you'll love it.

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