About: I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession. I also have a M. Tech. degree in Mechanical Engineering.

While working on projects it is required to hold different kinds of raw materials for various operations. For instance, holding

-    a sheet or board for sawing;
-    a metal rod for threading;
-    a bunch of papers for binding;
-    a channels for sawing, filing, drilling etc.;
-    block of wood for planing;
-    copper clad boards for cutting, and many more.

Hence, there is a need for a device versatile enough to hold different kinds of materials for different operations. In addition to meeting above requirements, the device should be simple so that it does not cost time and money.


1.      2" by 2" wood stock of approximately 2' length (any other wood stock from scrap of similar dimensions may be used)
2.      6 mm drill bit (6.5 mm recommended for easy movement of bolts otherwise the holes may be filed a little)
3.      drill press (electric or manual hand drill machine may also be used)
4.      center punch and hammer
5.      two M6 4" bolts with nuts and washers
6.      3" C-clamp (6" C-clamps will give more versitality; for use later with vice bar)
7.      block plane
8.      #180 and #320 sandpapers (one each for finishing)
9.      steel rule (for taking measurements and marking)
10.    tri-square (for marking right angles)
11.    empty ball point pen (or pencil for scribing; ball point pen usually has tungsten carbide tip which is harder than most materials and does not wear off easily, therefore it can be used in place of regular scriber)
12.    30 minutes

Step 2: HOW TO?

1.    The wood stock is worked for right angled edges and smooth and plain surfaces. #180 sandpaper is used first for coarse sanding. Then #320 sandpaper is used for fine finishing. It is recommended to make the  surfaces as smooth as possible with the block plane for best results with sanding. Perfectly plain surfaces will avoid deformation of objects clamped to vice bar.

2.    Two 6 mm holes are drilled such that each hole is 1" from the end and 1/2" from one side of the wood stock. The position of holes is made clear in drawing (reason for offsetting of holes is explained later).

3.    Two more 6 mm holes are drilled in work table such that the vice bar is flush with the edge of the table from the side to which the holes are closer (see drawing).

4.    Vice bar is finally secured to the work table with M6 nuts, bolts and washers.

5.    Vice bar is now ready for use.


The vice bar is complete in itself but two 3" (or larger) C-clamps will make it more effective.

The images show different uses of vice bar. These are categorized in two configurations - flush and offset. Flushed configuration is used for holding sheets for sawing; bunch of papers for binding; etc. Offset configuration is used for sheet metal bending; cutting metal channels, tubes; etc. 

Vice bar may be used for,
-    holding sheets (wood, metal, ply, hardboard, plastic, etc.) of thickness from 1 mm to 2";
-    holding wood stocks;
-    holding M.S. and alumunium stocks of various cross-sections;
-    holding 6 mm metal rods for making threads with dies;
-    for bending sheet metal;
-    for holding wood for planing, filing, drilling etc.;
-    as guide for straight cuts;
-    as bench stop for chiselling and many others.


1.    Two holes for M6 4" bolts are intentionally kept closer to one edge rather than in middle, intentionally. This offsetting allows to mount the vice bar in two ways - firstly, flush with the worktable edge (flush edge); secondly, half inch outside from worktable edge (offset edge).

2.    The holes in the worktable are to drilled such that the edge of the vice bar to which the holes are closer is flush with the worktable. Specifically, 1" from the table edge.

3.    The top surface of the bar should preferably be kept plain. This helps when holding a long object lengthwise with the help of C-clamps.

4.    Length of the bar is kept short in addition to a big square cross-section. This is done in order to avoid bending in the bar when holding an object is held in the middle of the bar.

Further improvements:
1.    Hard wood, solid aluminium, square metal tube may be used for making vice bar (use of solid mild steel bar is not recommended as it is heavy and might cause accidents upon falling).

2.    Vice bar may be polished or painted.

3.    A metal angle may be placed on the offset edge (flushed) for bending sheet metal using a mallet.

4.    A V-notch may be cut for holding cylindrical objects such as pipes, rods, etc.



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    13 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Ah, the aluminum is rolled over the wooden top, I see it now.

    Thanks, and thanks again for the instructable. Gives me ideas for my new shop area.



    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    0.5mm???? one half a millimeter?

    I find that rather hard to believe.

    Now 1/2" aluminium I could believe.


    Captain VyomRalphxyz

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    To be exact, the thickness of wooden top is 20mm and the aluminium sheet that is used for covering is 0.3mm.

    May be you are looking at the thickness of wooden top. Aluminium sheet is just used as some sort of laminate. It does not serve any structural purposes.

    Captain Vyom

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I have published the next instructable showing different uses of vice bar.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice !
    However I wouldn't paint the vice bar as the material may be stained by scratched paint. At least the bottom of the bar shouldn't be painted at all !…

    1 reply

    You are right. The paint might stain the material held. If the wood is sanded properly it might not require extra finishing and will look good. It will also serve the purpose of non-staining of material held.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Looking forward to your next instructable on how the vice bar is used. So far, so good!

    Captain Vyom

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Firstly, I want to thank all of you for taking some time out of your precious time for reading this instructable and appreciating it.

    Vice bar can be used for holding things both horizontal and vertical.

    I am working on the next instructable that will show the uses of vice bar that I have figured out. Hope that will be able to satisfy all your queries about its usage and will be as useful as this one.

    Thank you, once again.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Is this for clamping things vertical to the workbench? Some pictures of it in-use might be helpful.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    +1 also. This seems really useful- I'm just not sure how it works.