Introduction: DIY Woodworking Bench Vise - Quick and Easy Shop Project

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This DIY Woodworking Bench Vise is an easy and quick shop project that will serve you well. I used my Microjig clamps and accessories and some scrap wood on this project and it only took me about 45 minutes to make. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section and Ill be sure to get to the them.

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Step 1: Cut the Vise Face to Length and Width

Over at the table saw I cut a piece of 1 inch thick ash to 5 inches wide for the face of the vice. The width you choose for your vice can be whatever you would like but I would not go any narrower than 5” when using these particular clamps.

This ash was left over from recent build and this or any hardwood should work great for the vice.

At the miter saw I cut the piece to 18” long as this vice will be used on mostly smaller projects so this length will work just fine for me. Feel free to adjust the length to whatever works for you and your bench.

Step 2: Cut Relief Slots for the Dovetails

Back at the table saw I lowered my blade to just under the recommended hight for the dovetail groves. This little gauge that Im using comes from Microjig and shows you the depth that the sliding dovetails will need to be cut. I adjusted my blade to just under the recommended hight and cut relief cuts where my dovetail grooves will go. This will make the dovetail cuts cleaner and will reduce the wear and tear on my dovetail bit.

I went with two equally spaced horizontal cuts and three equally spaced vertical cuts.

Notice while setting up for the vertical cuts I used a scrap piece of wood as a spacer between the board and the fence that I remove before cutting. This method helps to reduce the chance of a kick back while making the cut.

Step 3: Cut Dovetail Slots

At the router table I set up my Microjig dovetail bit and began to make the dovetail cuts using the relief cuts as a guide. If you don’t have a router table you can use your router and straight edge to make these cuts.

Step 4: Cut and Attach a Cleat to the Bench

I needed to cut a cleat to attach to the bottom of my workbench to increase the width and give me something extra to screw the face of the vice to. I cut a piece of 2 inch thick ash to roughly to same length as the vice face and about 3 inches wide.

I predrilled holes in the cleat and then attached it to the bottom of my workbench using 3 inch screws.

Step 5: Attach Vise Face and Roundover Edges

Next I used a counter sink bit to pre-dill for the screws on the vice face and then secured it to the bench and cleat. The cleat added the extra thickness that I needed for the second set of screws which gave this vice the strength and stability it needed.

I used a roundover bit on all the edges and used a sanding sponge on the inside ones.

Step 6: Test the Dovetail Clamps

Ensure that that the dovetail clamps slide easily through all of the dovetail slots after completion.

Step 7: Clamp Is Complete!

With that the vice is ready to be used and as you can see the Microjig clamps slide freely through all the slots. This vice is exactly what I was wanting and needing and will be extremely handy in my shop.

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