Introduction: V-Block From 4x4 Wood

About: Retired Tool Maker ( 1980 ) Retired Mechanical Engineer ( 2009 ) Full time Tinkerer

Twenty years ago I needed to drill some holes in PVC pipe. So I ripped a V-Block out of a scrap block of 4x4 timber.

You need a table saw for this project.

Please use Safety Glasses and


Use pusher sticks and you will be OK.

Step 1: After 20 Years - a Split!

So I was clamping something in the V-Block and the wood split! The nerve! Time to make a new V-Block.

Step 2: Right Up the Center!

I thought about gluing this back together, but I could make a nice fresh one.

Step 3: Set Your Table Saw at 45°

While being exactly 45° is nice, close is OK too. Here I use the head from a square to check the angle. If you get this right a square block will fit in the V-Block at 45°.

Step 4: Check the Debth.

Here you can see rough layout lines so I can check if the blade can cut deep enough.

Step 5: Line Up the Fence.

Using the layout lines as a guide, clamp the fence next to the blade.

Step 6: Drop the Blade.

So once you have things lined up, drop the blade to about half way. This makes for an easier and safer cut. This is a deep rip and it is OK to take it in stages so you don't overload your saw's motor. Safer too since reducing the cutting forces reduces the risk from the saw grabbing, etc.

Step 7: Half Cuts Finished.

Cut both sides half way before raising the blade. The soon to be scrap in the center helps support now.

Step 8: Last Cut - Scrap Free!

You can see that this cut will free the scrap.

Step 9: Free at Last!

The scrap stops where it gets free.

I like to save scrap triangles like this to support painting projects.

Step 10: V Groove Cut.

The V groove is cut, but there is still a bit a wood at the very bottom.

Step 11: Square Up the Blade.

So we are done with the angle cut, time to square up the blade. I have this little square I made back in Trade School that is real handy here. Anything square will do.

Step 12: Bottom Relief.

Raise the blade to reach the bottom of the V and set the fence to hit the center.

Step 13: Relief Groove

I ran the block through twice, once in each direction. Makes a relief that is centered, without pesky measurements.

Step 14: End Clamping Ledges.

To have a place for C-Clamps I cut two Dados, one on each end. If I was making more of these ( for friends perhaps, Gifts, etc. ) I would set up the dado blade. But for just two grooves I took multiple cuts using the miter guide for support. Here the fence is set for the bottom of the ledge.

An alternate would be to screw a bit of plywood to the bottom of the V-Block.

Step 15: Finish the Clamping Ledge.

I moved the fence over to the top of the groove for the ledge. About 10 more passes and the groove was finished.

Step 16: Clamped to the Drill Press.

So the two clamping ledges allow a firm mount to a drill press.

Step 17: All Finished, Ready to Drill.

Here a bit of PVC pipe to show how it works. I've also pre-drilled holes in oak floor boards to avoid splitting.

Step 18: Plywood Clamping Ledge

Hi Gang: I passed the drill press and realized I had a second V-Block for drilling floor boards. And it has plywood screwed to the bottom for clamping! Also it is off center to support the floor board.

Step 19: Floor Board Drilling

I just hate to drive a nail or screw into wood and have it split. So when I put bamboo flooring in our camper I drilled the boards for small wood screws. The off center V-block made it easy. Carl.