Introduction: VICE BAR: AN AID TO CLAMPING
While working on projects it is required to hold different kinds of raw materials for various operations. For instance, holding
- a sheet or board for sawing;
- a metal rod for threading;
- a bunch of papers for binding;
- a channels for sawing, filing, drilling etc.;
- block of wood for planing;
- copper clad boards for cutting, and many more.
Hence, there is a need for a device versatile enough to hold different kinds of materials for different operations. In addition to meeting above requirements, the device should be simple so that it does not cost time and money.
Step 1: TOOLS AND MATERIALS
1. 2" by 2" wood stock of approximately 2' length (any other wood stock from scrap of similar dimensions may be used)
2. 6 mm drill bit (6.5 mm recommended for easy movement of bolts otherwise the holes may be filed a little)
3. drill press (electric or manual hand drill machine may also be used)
4. center punch and hammer
5. two M6 4" bolts with nuts and washers
6. 3" C-clamp (6" C-clamps will give more versitality; for use later with vice bar)
7. block plane
8. #180 and #320 sandpapers (one each for finishing)
9. steel rule (for taking measurements and marking)
10. tri-square (for marking right angles)
11. empty ball point pen (or pencil for scribing; ball point pen usually has tungsten carbide tip which is harder than most materials and does not wear off easily, therefore it can be used in place of regular scriber)
12. 30 minutes
Step 2: HOW TO?
1. The wood stock is worked for right angled edges and smooth and plain surfaces. #180 sandpaper is used first for coarse sanding. Then #320 sandpaper is used for fine finishing. It is recommended to make the surfaces as smooth as possible with the block plane for best results with sanding. Perfectly plain surfaces will avoid deformation of objects clamped to vice bar.
2. Two 6 mm holes are drilled such that each hole is 1" from the end and 1/2" from one side of the wood stock. The position of holes is made clear in drawing (reason for offsetting of holes is explained later).
3. Two more 6 mm holes are drilled in work table such that the vice bar is flush with the edge of the table from the side to which the holes are closer (see drawing).
4. Vice bar is finally secured to the work table with M6 nuts, bolts and washers.
5. Vice bar is now ready for use.
Step 3: USAGE AND NOTES
The vice bar is complete in itself but two 3" (or larger) C-clamps will make it more effective.
The images show different uses of vice bar. These are categorized in two configurations - flush and offset. Flushed configuration is used for holding sheets for sawing; bunch of papers for binding; etc. Offset configuration is used for sheet metal bending; cutting metal channels, tubes; etc.
Vice bar may be used for,
- holding sheets (wood, metal, ply, hardboard, plastic, etc.) of thickness from 1 mm to 2";
- holding wood stocks;
- holding M.S. and alumunium stocks of various cross-sections;
- holding 6 mm metal rods for making threads with dies;
- for bending sheet metal;
- for holding wood for planing, filing, drilling etc.;
- as guide for straight cuts;
- as bench stop for chiselling and many others.
1. Two holes for M6 4" bolts are intentionally kept closer to one edge rather than in middle, intentionally. This offsetting allows to mount the vice bar in two ways - firstly, flush with the worktable edge (flush edge); secondly, half inch outside from worktable edge (offset edge).
2. The holes in the worktable are to drilled such that the edge of the vice bar to which the holes are closer is flush with the worktable. Specifically, 1" from the table edge.
3. The top surface of the bar should preferably be kept plain. This helps when holding a long object lengthwise with the help of C-clamps.
4. Length of the bar is kept short in addition to a big square cross-section. This is done in order to avoid bending in the bar when holding an object is held in the middle of the bar.
1. Hard wood, solid aluminium, square metal tube may be used for making vice bar (use of solid mild steel bar is not recommended as it is heavy and might cause accidents upon falling).
2. Vice bar may be polished or painted.
3. A metal angle may be placed on the offset edge (flushed) for bending sheet metal using a mallet.
4. A V-notch may be cut for holding cylindrical objects such as pipes, rods, etc.