Picture of Woodworkers Bench Vise From An Old Clamp

'C' clamps don't last forever. The most common wear happens when the swivel head becomes loose and falls off of the moveable jaw. This doesn't render them useless, but it can be annoying when you have to hold the swivel in place as you set your clamp. There is, however, an option for these old clamps other than throwing them out.

I was looking into wood vises for my island work bench and was surprised at their cost. Even the kits can set you back hundreds of dollars, and still require time and wood to construct. By cannibalizing parts from an old clamp, I was able to create a fully functional woodworkers vise, and by the inclusion of recycled wood, I was able to do it at zero cost.

More importantly, it can be created with only hand tools using a minimal amount of resources, meaning this vise can be put together by anybody, regardless of the size of their workshop.

Step 1: Tools And Supplies


  • Hack saw or angle grinder
  • circular saw or hand saw
  • Drill with spade bits
  • chisel and hammer


  • Broken 'C' clamp
  • 2x6" - approx 6 feet
  • 2x3" - approx 8"
  • 3" deck screws
  • carpenters glue
  • 6" bold with washers and extra nut
  • 1" dowel
Grafx4Life1 month ago

Looks great, I might have to build this.

kthomas451 year ago


rc jedi1 year ago

Good idea for really big clamp!

jlepack1 year ago
this is terrific!
I'll keep my eye open for old large C clamps that are in poor shape and make my own. thank you.
seamster1 year ago

Nice work! I've needed something like this for years. Thanks!

BentSticks1 year ago
Great idea. Even if you buy a clamp for this you'll save tons of money.
rohnerw1 year ago

Nice! Sweet, inexpensive, simple, to the point, no special parts, easily implemented and gets the job done!