Simple Vise for Beginners (Minimal Tools)

This is an incredibly simple vise anyone can make that is very effective. You choose the materials and accuracy you want. A cheap and simple but a very rewarding project!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

You Will Need:

Tools:

A Drill

Some Kind of Saw (a hand saw will work just as well as a bandsaw or table saw)

Materials:

Lumber: Pallets OR 2x4's OR scrap OR anything!

Threaded Component: Bolt OR Threaded Rod

Nuts: 1 or 2 Nuts (if you are using a threaded Rod you'll need an extra)

Washers: Washers OR A Wooden Block with a hole drilled in it

Guides: Bolts OR Steel Rod Or just about anything round and fairly straight

Screws: A few wood Screws

Step 2: Sizing

Decide how large you'd like to build your vise.

Things to consider:

1. Size of your threaded piece, it can really be whatever size but obviously a larger vise will benefit goes along with a larger threaded component.

2. The length of your vise: How long will you cut the guides and threaded rod to?

3. How accurate you want your vise to be. If you need it to be perfectly square then consider finding some higher quality wood and/or spending more time leveling and measuring. If you don't need acuracy then don't worry about it so much!


Step 3: Cut the Jaws:

Cut several relatively similarly shaped pieces to make up your jaws. I cut my 6 identical pieces from 2x4 and that gave me the width I wanted but you can easily add more or less to change your vise's width! These parts can then be carefully lined up and screwed together as can be seen above ^

*Optionally a notch can be cut into the center piece at the back to later accommodate the threaded piece but this is not strictly necessary*

Step 4: Cut the Base

The base is just a rectangle of wood cut to fit the full travel of the vise and only needs to be relatively flat and not too too thin.

*If their is a warp in the piece you'd like to use as the base of your vise, put the warp's bump underneath thus leaving clearance for the jaws above! *

Step 5: Drill Some Holes!

1. Drill a hole with plenty of clearance for your bolt or threaded rod through the bottom center of both Jaws. This must be as centered as possible. Drill both at the same time to make sure they line up exactly!

2. Now put your threaded rod through and use nuts to clamp the pieces together and drill 2 more holes for the guide shafts on each side. Those holes should slide freely through one side but should be tight on the other. (so use two different drill bits)

* optionally you can go only halfway through the tighter holes as we will be pressing them in and leaving them in there

3. Now Pull the pieces apart and you should be ready to attach the structure to the base!

Step 6: Attach the Stationary Side (the One With 3 Holes Drilled All the Way Through)

Take the Jaw which has 3 holes all the way through and lots of clearance on all of them and screw it to the end of the base from the bottom.

Step 7: Glue/Press the Guide Shafts

Glue/Press the guide shafts into the moving Jaw (the one not attached to the base already). Then push them through their holes on the jaw that's secured down.

Step 8: Screw on Nuts/Washers and Bolt/Threaded Rod

1. Screw one nut on one end of the threaded rod (skip this if using a bolt)

2. Push it through from the stationary back of the vise, then through the front section

3. then put a washer and nut on the front!

IMPORTANT NOTE My design has wooden pieces on the nut on the front and back. The one on the back keeps that nut from spinning it is necessary! A hole just big enough was drilled to fit the nut in and then it was hammered/pressed in. The knob on the front was done the same way. It is not strictly necessary, it just makes tightening and loosening easier!

* the stationary nut (in the back of the vise) could also be attached with a T-nut or by drilling into the vise jaw itself and pressing the nut inside the bored hole.*

Step 9: And Just Like That You're Done!

Finished! Hopefully this was useful to someone and even if this isn't the vise for you maybe you'll realize a new way of using your materials! Almost all of the parts in this can be replaced with other options so find what will work best for you!

Build a Tool Contest

This is an entry in the
Build a Tool Contest

Share

    Recommendations

    • Organization Contest

      Organization Contest
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Build a Tool Contest

      Build a Tool Contest

    4 Discussions

    0
    None
    thegrendel

    23 days ago

    Nice project, but please correct the spelling. All of us have vices, but only tool users have vises.

    0
    None
    AnandM54

    26 days ago

    Cool wood work friend..

    1
    None
    seamster

    27 days ago

    Very interesting homemade vise! Nice to see how you made it, thank you for sharing!