Introduction: Ski Vise (clamps)

When it comes time to wax your skis, one of the issues is holding onto the ski. Up until now, I've just rested them on a pair of saw-horses, tied the brakes back, and let gravity do it's thing. That doesn't always work - the skis can shift around on you, especially if you are trying to work on the edges.

Professional ski vises (like the Swix World Cup Ski Vise) are very expensive - $200+.

The low-cost workaround involves buying a pair of Dewalt 12" medium-trigger clamps (chances are you have some already in your garage or Home Depot sells them for $20/pkg of 2), a short piece of 2x4" lumber, and a few screws. This instructable details how to build a mount that holds the clamps to your workbench so that you can clamp your skis instead of just resting them on a surface. The beauty of these Dewalt clamps is that you simply squeeze the handle to tighten the clamps. You can very easily position the ski within the rubber jaws and tighten the clamps.

Step 1: Create the Clamp Holder

The wood clamp holder is simply a 2x4 piece with a groove cut in the middle so that the clamp bar can rest in the groove. The trick is to undersize the groove so that the bar protrudes above the board, ever so slightly. That way when we screw down another piece of wood to the top, it will hold the clamp bar in place.

You'll need an 8-inch piece of 2x4 lumber. And a 4-inch piece of thinner wood. I had this piece laying around so I'm not sure what you call it. The piece I used was 0.5" x 1.5". Repeat these steps two times since you have to build two clamp holders.

1. Cut a 4-inch section of 2x4 lumber.

2. Measure 7/16" down along the 2-inch face of the 2x4 and make a mark.

3. Using a saw (preferably a chop-saw or circular saw), cut a groove in the center of the 2x4 down to the 7/16" mark.

4. Check to see if the bar fits into the groove. If the groove is too narrow, then shift the wood over slightly and repeat step 3 until the groove is wide enough.

5. Cut the thinner wood into a 2" long piece.

6. Lay the clamp into the groove (handles pointing down), and screw the thin piece of wood over the clamp bar into the 2x4. See the picture. I used drywall screws. Be sure to measure your screws so that they don't protrude through the 2x4.

You can now secure these clamp bar holders to either your workbench (I screwed it to the bench), or use C-clamps to hold them onto a table.

When you are finished with working on yours skis, simply loosen the screws holding the thinner piece of wood to the 2x4, thereby freeing the clamp bar.

(In the pictures, you'll see I wrote on the bar holders "left" and "right" so that I know which holder goes where on the workbench since the screw hole patterns are unique.)