After disassembling the vise to see how I might be able to extend the opening, I discovered it was very doable. This Instructable documents how I was able to extend it to a 7¼" opening for only $7 in parts! The end result is a product that looks as good and works better than the original.
- This will make the vise more unstable since the wider it opens the more its off balance. But it works great for me, and a homemade base would solve most issues (EDIT: or one of their own bases here http://goo.gl/cKsWk).
- The wider you make this, the more screwing you will need to due to open and close it that far.
- You will need a tool to cut 1/4" steel rods (hacksaw/miter saw/etc)
- You will need a grinder or dremel to make a delicate cut in one of the steel rods.
Step 1: Planning
The parts that will need to be replaced are the two outer glide shafts, and the inner threaded rod. The new length for the replacements will obviously determine your new vise opening.
You can decide on your own vise opening size, as long as you follow these rules (ensure your own vise does match up with this):
- The vise opening = Shaft Size - 1¾in. This accounts for the 7/8in arms on either side.
- The threaded rod should be 3/16in longer than the glide shafts. This accommodates the threading into the knob.
I chose to use a 9in shaft, which means my vise opening will be 7¼in wide. It also means that my threaded rod needs to be 9 3/16in long.
Note: While a very wide opening is nice, because of the design of this vise it will start to tip over the wider you go with a load in it. A bigger base addition would fix this though.