Introduction: DIY Bench Top Vise

So this started off as a quick glue-up clamp jig for small pieces. The more I used it, I saw the potential for other uses. I added an extension to make the bars taller and just like that, it became a vise. I find it to be useful for many applications such as the following.

Useful applications:

  • Clamping objects
  • Glue-ups (great for cutting boards)
  • A second hand at the drill press
  • You can use all the T-track accessories
  • Holding plywood


Materials Used

  • (2) Plywood base- 14in(355.6mm) X 14in( 355.6mm) X 3/4in(19.05mm)
  • (2) Front & Back bar [hardwood]- 14in(355.6mm) X 1 7/8in(47.62mm) X 3/4in(19.05mm)
  • Universal T- Track -
  • Hardware Kit:
  • (4) T-Bolts
  • (4) Round knob (5/16'')
  • (2) 5 - Star - Insert Knobs (5/16'')
  • (4) 24'' Threaded Rods (5/16'') Mount screws for T-track
  • Threaded inserts (5/16'')

Tools Used

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Step 1: Making the Base

This can be made at any size. I'm going to touch base on this as the way it is built.

I started by ripping two sheets of plywood to 14i x 14 inches. Next, glue the two panels together, then clamp or simply add weight on top. Allow enough time for the glue to dry.

Step 2: Making the Clamp Bars

I would suggest you use a piece of hard lumber. Cut the piece of lumber the same width of the base. Then, rip two pieces of lumber for the front and back.

With both parts cut to size, Identify one of the lumber as front and one as the back. The one for the back will have a hole drilled half the way for the rod to be inserted (hole to be on both ends). This should be a tight fit for the rod; it will be screwed in.

The lumber for the front bar will have a hole drilled in the same location as the back bar (this hole will be slightly larger than the rod.) This needs to be lined up accurately so the lumber can move freely on the rod. I used a jig at the drill press to ensure the holes are in the same location.

See plans for more details >> HERE

Step 3: Adding the T-Tracks

Route the slot in for the T-Tracks. Ideally, you want the T-Track flushed with the base surface. Cut the T-Tracks down to the same width as the track and while you're at it cut the rods as well. I cut them so they are a bit longer than the base.

Next, make the next set of holes in both front and back bar. These should be centered over the T-Track.

Step 4: Sand and Protect

Sand down all the parts. Then add protection to the wood. I used Shellac .

Step 5: Assembling

Inset the T-tracks, pre-drill and screw the tracks in place. Now, add all the parts in the vise as shown in the photo.

Step 6: Adding the Rod

To screw the knob in could be tough on your hands.

There are many methods you can apply here. You can use a T-bolt. I ended up using a knob I had on hand. If you want to lock the rod in the back lumber then you can add a bit of wood glue it the hole. The rod should pass through the front bar (freely) into the back, which the rod will create its own thread.

Step 7: Add On

If the bars are too low, then you can add an extension. Simply repeat the same step to make the bars.

Step 8: Ways to Use

Here are a few photos showing uses of the vise.

Thanks for checking out this instructables.

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