About: I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession. I also have a M. Tech. degree in Mechanical Engineering.
This instructable is in continuation of "VICE BAR: AN AID TO CLAMPING". It shows various ways in which a vice bar may be used. More emphasis is given on threading a metal rod with the help of vice bar (see step one for details).  Needless to say there can be more ways than shown in this instructable for using vice bar.

The instructable is broken into steps such that each step focusses on single application. Some applications use C-clamp. This will be evident from photographs. Explaination is given only in those applications where photographs cannot say it all. The order of applications (and hence steps) is as follows:
  • Holding metal rods for making threads using dies;
  • Holding sheets (wood, metal, ply, hardboard, plastic, etc.) of thickness from 1 mm to 2" (maximum thickness depends on the length of M6 bolt used; but longer bolt means more screwing and unscrewing);
  • Holding wood stocks;
  • Holding M.S. and alumunium stocks of various cross-sections;
  • For bending sheet metal;
  • For holding wood for planing, filing, drilling etc.;
  • As guide for straight cuts;
  • Holding page bundle;
  • Holding silk screen printing screen.
  1. Vice bar (see instructable "VICE BAR: AN AID TO CLAMPING" for instructions to make one)
  2. 6mm metal rod (mild steel, alumunium or brass or any other similar metal)
  3. Die
  4. Die wrench
  5. Metal file
  6. Adjustable wrench
  7. Two 3" C-clamp

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.


Threaded rods are required for various projects. There are two main problems. First problem is of holding the rods and avoiding from turning while threading. Second problem is of starting the thread (in tap set a starting tap is provided by default).

CAUTION: Please use safety glasses when holding a metal rod in vertical position as shown in this step. It is risky to hold a metal rod in such a position without safety glasses as the metal rod may cause injury to eyes.

Problem of Holding

There are various ways of holding the metal rod on internet. All successfully addressed the issue of turning of metal rod due to excessive torque. Some held it in lathe spindle, some used sandpaper between vice for increasing friction, some used pipe vice for holding the rod. Somewhere I found a special attachment for bench vise for holding cylindrical objects. The methods work but are more complicated than expensive. Also they require some special tooling.

Sand paper worked for sometime and then it worn out. Test tube stand vice (it has two screws for holding circular rods perpendicular to each other) was also tried but worked only for alumunium. In that too the holding screw made a goove and the rod slipped after sometime.

So the problem is of slipping due to excessive torque. Friction alone is insufficient. This problem can be solved by two components - a flat surface filed (or grounded) on the rod and an adjustable wrench. Vice bar is used for holding in offset arrangement.
  1. One of the bolts of the vice bar is removed.
  2. The rod is inserted in that hole such that a convinient (or required) length is above the vice bar.
  3. A flat surface is filed right above the hole (this flat surface acts as the flat surface of a nut). It should be atleast 2 mm deep.
  4. The rod is held in position with an adjustable wrench using this flat surface (adjustable wrench is designed to withstand high torques).
  5. The end of the wrench is clamped to the vice bar using C-clamp.

Problem of Starting

This problem can be solved by grinding a 45° chamfer at that end of the rod where the threading is to be started.

Scope for improvement
  1. The flat surface is not aesthetically pleasing. It is avoided in case of full threaded rod where the excess rod is cut off. But in case threading is required on both sides of rod, the threading is limited by the flat surface. Also this flat surface is not aesthtically pleasing. In these cases flat surface is unavoidable. But there might be some way to avoid this flat surface.
  2. The diameter of the rod is fixed by the diameter of the hole.


This step shows three different ways of holding sheets.
  1. First photo one shows multiple sheets of hard board clamped horizontally with vice bar alone (flush arrangement).
  2. Second photo shows copper clad board clamped horizontally with aid of C-clamps (offset arrangement).
  3. Third photo shows copper clad board clamped vertically with aid of C-clamps (offset arrangement).


A bundle of pages held for cutting, glueing or binding etc. in flush arrangement.


The photograph shows holding wood stock without using any clamps in flush arrangement. Wood stock can be kept at an angle to vice bar for sawing at an angle.

It will be more convinient to hold a wood stock in the middle of vice bar.


Single or multiple sheets can be cut at the same time. Angular cuts are also possible if the sheets make an angle with vice bar edge.

Flush arrangement is used.


Multiple sheets clamped for planing in offset arragement. Single sheet of varying thickness can also be clamped.


Offset arrangement is used.


Bending sheet metal requires a mallet and 90° metal edge. Since, vice bar has such an edge it can be used for bending sheet metal. To avoid the problem of soft edge an angle of aluminium (or any suitable metal) is clamped to vice bar. Now this edge can be used for bending sheet metal.

Offset arrangement is used.


It will be more convinient to hold silk screen if vice bar is on the far end of the workbench. If one can move around the workbench same vice bar can serve the purpose.

Screen is clamped in position with the help of C-clamps. An aluminium rectangular tube is fastened to screen frame with door hinges. Then the aluminium tube is clamped to vice bar. This allows lifting up of screen.

Offset or flush arrangement may be used.

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Make it Move

      Make it Move
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest

    27 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I've never had to deal with the problems inherent in trying to tap threads onto two ends of the same rod, but I wonder if you could avoid cutting a flat onto the finished product by threading a few nuts onto the finished end with some high-strength (red) threadlocker and tightening the nuts against each other. The flats of the nuts would allow a good grip on the rod, and (especially with more than one nut) I doubt that you would break the bond of the threadlocker during the tapping process. Of course, the downside is that you have to wait 24 hours for the threadlocker to cure and you need to heat the rod to around 500 degrees Farenheit (260 Celsius) to break the bond and remove the nuts.

    3 replies
    Captain VyomLynxSys

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, for giving time to come up with a solution to the problem of avoiding flat. Sometimes there is a requirement for holding two plates or some components in compression or tension. In such cases full threaded rod is not required.

    I think that the doubts you have raised can be solved. The problems of breaking of bond due to excessive torque and removal of the adhesive can be solved by making a little extra sacrificial thread and then moving on with your steps. Later these nuts can just be cut off.

    I have tested instant adhesive (super glue). It sets within seconds and can be removed by a much lower temperature than you have mentioned. This adhesive might be used in place of thread locker but I cannot say about its strength.

    If the threaded part at both ends is long enough may be the rod can be just tightened in the vice bar using just the nuts.

    Captain VyomLynxSys

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, for sharing this interesting instructable. It is really an innovative solution for holding threaded rods without damaging the threads. I think this method clamping can have several applications.


    6 years ago on Step 9

    That is a great tool - so often the simple things get missed or passed over for gizmos and gadgets - if I still had my workshop then one of these would be made and ready right now for use.


    6 years ago on Step 6

    Perhaps a second bar could be attached to the first in place of the C-clamps?

    1 reply
    Captain Vyomdtierce

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    That can be done if longer bolts are used. In case of holding objects vertically two additional holes and bolts might be required. Use of second bar might eliminate the need of C-clamps but I think the arrangement will require testing for versatility that C-clamps provide. The second bar can be a good addition to vice bar and will increase its uses such as in bending sheet metal.

    I've used something similar to bend sheet metal in a different way then you did. I have a 3/8" thick steel plate on my bench I use for welding. I drilled and tapped two holes to bolt a piece of 1.5" steel tube down to, like you do with your vise bar. I can then slip a piece of sheet metal between the tube and the plate, clamp it down and bend it down against the plate, creating a nice sharp bend.

    3 replies

    I agree with you clamping sheet metal between two metal stocks will produce very good quality bends. Your experience might be incorporated in vice bar by providing two aluminium angles i.e. one on the worktable and the other at the bottom of the vice bar. In this arrangement C-clamps will not be required as vice bar will take care of clamping everything.

    Wow ! … I didn't think of it when I had to (see my above remark). Thanks for the tip… the whole problem is to make I nice fold in the center of the piece when it is relatively large : I had to fold at 90° a 90cm wide sheet and I must say that although I was satisfied with the result as it was good enough for my needs it was less than perfect !…

    I learned the use of a mild steel block for bending sheet metal using a mallet in sheet metal shop in my college. There we were suppose to make small trays of galvanized steel sheet metal. So I just recreated that mild steel block by clamping an aluminium angle.

    This method just works. It will certainly produce average quality bends but it is handy and quick. I agree this method of bending sheet metal has scope of improvement.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    In "Step 7: HOLDING METAL STOCKS", it will be easiest to saw the metal if it is clamped as close as possible to the cut.

    1 reply

    You are right. If you look closely at the photograph of step 7 in which the aluminium angle is held parallel to the vice bar, the end of the vice bar is suggested to be used as guide for starting the cut.

    In the other arrangement where the angle is held perpendicular to vice bar, some other guide might be required.

    Here, I will also like to say that purpose of using scrap wood stock is to eliminate the worry of spoiling vice bar with saw cuts.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great set of examples. The guide arrangement for flush-held wood might solve a problem I've had using the jigsaw on small pieces of stock.

    1 reply
    Captain Vyomlewisb42

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    It is good to hear that the instructable is useful and might be able to solve your problem. I guess your problem is of using a guide for small pieces of stock for straight cuts.