Cheap N´ Sturdy Bench Vise

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Introduction: Cheap N´ Sturdy Bench Vise

About: DIY maniac from South-Estonia! I love to inspire and to be inspired.

Every carpenter needs a way to firmly secure his work. A wooden bench vise is a perfect tool for this. Check out how I build mine with plywood and some metal.

This project is actually a part of a bigger build. I am turning a contractor table saw into something more multifunctional. So if you are interested be sure to subscribe to my Instructables channel !

I probably used all the tools I got in my workshop for this build (starting from brad nailer and finishing with welding machine), so I am not gonna list them. You might not have all the same tools but that does not mean you can´t build it. Just be creative an yo´ll find a way ;)

This whole project cost me around 20 euros

Step 1: 1

First I cut my plywood to size. One that was 2 cm thick and one that was 3 cm.

After that I ripped two 1 cm thick oak strips. These were to be glued and nailed on the top edge of the jaws to give them sturdiness and a nicer look. Flush trimmed and sanded after that.

The 2 cm plywood I attached to the table with couple furniture bolts.

Step 2: 2

On with the mechanism.

From my local metal distributor I got a 2 cm thick metal rod ( 2 meters for only 5 euro) and M 27 threaded rod with few washers and nuts. Also from there I got 4 mm thick (6 cm wide) flat bar. This was all the metal I needed.

From my scrap bin I found some oak that I decided to use for the guides. For the threaded rod guide I welded two nuts to a flat bar and attached it all under the table with screws (see pictures).

On the outer jaw I decided to add the flat bar I mentioned earlier. This added tremendous amount of stability to the whole structure.

Important thing is to try to line it all up correctly otherwise it will not work.

I also welded a washer to the threaded rod. This was so that the outer jaw would also move when the rod is tuned. Without it the jaw would stay in it´s position and would have to be moved manually.

Step 3: 3

For the turning head I glued together cherry and oak. On the lathe I turned it to desired shape. With this being my first turning project I´m pretty happy with it. Using chisels I made a recess for the nut. On the drill press I drilled a 2 cm hole through for the handle. This part I messed up a bit because I got the hole under a slight angle. Not a big deal but still....

The handle is just a spruce dowel with cherry plugs on the ends to prevent it from slipping out. Finished it all with linseed oil.

Also on the outer jaw I drilled 3 cm deep holes for the bench dogs. This is why I used 3 cm thick plywood for the outer jaw (instead of 2 cm which would have been sufficient). But of course single row of bench dogs won´t do you any good so I still need to add the other holes on the actual table. I will do this when I get to finishing. I just have to mind the mechanism part underneath.

Step 4: The Finale

I also have to paint the flat bar and apply linseed oil on the jaws to complete the build. I will do this when I am done with the rest of the workbench improvements. I will share it when I´m done.

I hope I have inspired you! I did my best trying to explain how I build this vise. If you still have some questions (or suggestions) let me know in the comments.

Take care

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17 Discussions

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isa_k

2 years ago

I love the concept so much that I wanted to build this... alas, I'm one of those that needs a video tutorial to complete such tasks! I have had this page left open on my browser since I received it in my email (since around two months ago), yet to be attempted... maybe one day... just maybe.

1 reply

Heh, that is cool! Unfortunately I did not take any video of this build but some day I will make a video of the whole table saw/router table/ work bench thingy. Let me know if you need any help, I would gladly help you ;)

Looks great! Nice 'ible, too :)

Very nice. I've been wanting to do this. Just a suggestion, most instructables I've seen include a handy, concise "parts list" placed somewhere all together for easy reference. I realize that all the parts needed are mentioned througout your 'able, but I personally find it helpful to be able to just refer to the parts list rather than having to look back through the whole thing if there is a question as to sizes, quantities, etc.. Thanks.

How stable is the vise when trying to tighten something in it? I have one of a similar design that tries to twist all over the place and tightens crooked. I'm wondering if the second guide block you put is the key to keeping everything straight.

2 replies

Hello . Stick a block the same width as your workpiece in the other side of the vise , so that it will keep both jaws parallel . Has been the solution for single screw vises since the first one was made . :)

My vise is super stable, it has almost no play in it. The second guide block is definitely the key! I think this would solve your problem.

Cheers

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TimB2

2 years ago

I built something like this on my table saw's outfeed table. Although I used a purchased screw mechanism, the placement of it on my saw's table was a real space saver and asset to my shop. I see things you've done that I should consider doing to my setup.

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guy90

2 years ago

Beaaautiful finish, looks profesh! I've often wondered how a bench vise actually works. Thank you for the upload

1 reply

Thanks mate, I am glad it helped!

Great job. I have to make one. Thank you so much for the idea !

1 reply

Great idea! I need one of those for my table too!