Wooden Vice

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The idea behind this project was to create a simple and useful woodworking vice (yes, that's how you spell it over here in the UK) that could be clamped to my makeshift workbench (my desk).

As I don't have any metal working equipment, and only a few hand tools, a wood based vice made sense. Also, the wooden clamps I made a few weeks ago have performed so well that they seemed to be a good base for the project.

Step 1: Tools

To build this project I used the following tools:

A bench hook (home-made)
Two wooden clamps (home-made too)
Panel saw
Hack saw
A plane
Marking guage
A square
A drill
screwdriver
And a sharp pencil

Step 2: Materials

The vice is built from a recycled piece of MDF, to give the flat vice faces, and some stronger stock to act as a clamp - a section of 2x1 would be ideal, but this is just what I had lying around (and I dont mind using a saw and a plane).

The threaded rod is M6 and so are the nuts and washers - this should be plenty strong enough.

Step 3: Cut the Stock

From the left:

The clamp rails are 30cm x 2.5cm x 4.5cm

The MDF face plates are 14cm x 18cm x 2cm

The front rail is 18cm x 3cm x 2cm

The studding is 14cm and 24cm

Step 4: Drilling the Main Rod Holes

This is a relatively simple build, just be sure to keep the vice faces and the back rail sandwiched together with clamps before drilling the holes for the studding - good alignment will improve the strength.

Also once the first hole is drilled, thread a piece of studding through the sandwich to ensure the second hole will be true.

Step 5: Assembly

Now all you do is put all the pieces together.

After assembly the front face was sticking so I've widened the holes to 9mm improving the travel.

Enjoy !

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28 Discussions

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BenH197

2 years ago

Hey Matt,

Thanks for putting together this project. Any chance though you could add some more detail on the drilling and assembly for a beginner like me? Thanks!

.... EPIC! AMAZINGLY SIMPLE! A+ Plus on this idea. I've seen store bought ones, made out of cheap-fake-wood, that do not hold up. And they are really stupid-expensive. Now, I just got into woodworking not too long ago, and very much a newbie, but I use larger stock. Can your design be adapted, for longer stock? example, I am sanding to long board sides, together at one time so they are even-finished? probl'y a stupid question. But thanks for your help! I AM SO GOING TO MAKE A SMALL ONE! Lastly, any ideas, if wood desk seal would help it, stand up to the weather?

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llib111

5 years ago on Step 4

WHen pressured is applied to the wing nuts, the jaws form a "V" instead of straight alignment. How do I fix? Jaws too wide? Nuts too low??

I have used this technique exactly some time ago but mostly to do hold down wooden clamps and handsrew clamps.
For a vise I think it works ok if you have the patients to go through all those fine threads.
Otherwise a good instructable, thanks for sharing it.
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red-king

8 years ago on Introduction

 I would have used larger rods, and i would have used 3 of them, and only put a nut on the middle one. That's just me though, what you have done should work fine too.

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stephenniall

8 years ago on Introduction

Im going to build one of these for my Desk (For my electrical and woodworking projects in my bedroom). Thanks for the idea

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Phil B

9 years ago on Introduction

You made a wooden vise. Wood vice would be illegal things done by wood. Otherwise, you have a nice Instructable. Thank you for it.

6 replies
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matt byrnePhil B

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Glad you liked it Phil. However, according to my Oxford English dictionary 'Vice' is indeed the correct spelling - we brits are funny like that.

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kernsmatt byrne

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction


A wood vice is something that can be used to hold wood. A wooden vice is something MADE OF wood, that could hold something.. like more wood.

Yes? So it's not the spelling of the word <vice> being addressed.

The words "wood vice" describe an immorality on the part of, or perhaps implemented using, wood. Ahem. Erm. Hehehhhh...

The description of a vice as "wooden" signifies that the vice is *made of* wood. Or stiff in it's delivery of a punchline. Ba-dumph tsssh.

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kitsukenkerns

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

You made a wooden vise. Wood vice would be illegal things done by wood.

Phil was making *both* points, the spelling and the wooden ones.

also, technically a wooden vice would make an ideal wood vice as it wouldn't damage the wood like a metal vice would. So it's accurate either way

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Phil Bmatt byrne

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I apologize. I did not realize you are from the UK. I know there are such differences between UK and US usage, but was not aware of that one. I had run into "C clamps" (US) and "G cramps" (UK). Thanks for tolerating my lack of knowledge.

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matt byrneblackcat_rj

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Haven't made one yet, but will do so at the weekend - I need a couple more clamps for a project I'm working on at the mo' so I'll take some pictures :)

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morfmir

9 years ago on Introduction

great instructable, very useful vice from simple and cheap materials. /Thomas