How To Make A Vise Into A Woodworkers Vise

Introduction to Working With a Woodworker Vise

The woodworking vise is an essential tool for any woodworker. It is used to hold objects securely while they are worked, making cuts and drilling easier and more precise. The versatility of the vise makes it great for a variety of different types of projects, such as chiseling, planing, sawing, jointing and even general clamping.

When using a vise as a woodworking vise, there are numerous techniques that can be used effectively depending on the type of project. For most basic operations, using pressure applied with clamps or another form of fastening material will typically suffice to hold the workpiece in place – small pieces being held merely in place while others may require multiple levers and handles to apply consistent pressure from all angles.

Whenever larger items need to be held in place or jobs such as mortising require very specific joints shaping and cutting, securing with screws is often necessary for perfect accuracy. Additionally for craftsmanship projects like dovetails, chamfers etc., wedges can also be used for precision results as well as quick adjustment if changes need to be made during the process.

Some specialized forms of woodworking commonly employ customized vice jaws designed solely for certain tasks e.g. finishing or sculpting certain objects from wood like toys or figures which require very precise control over shapes when producing tiny details. Although this kind of soft jawed vice may not have the same kind of bulky strength capable with hardware store vise models there are still many tasks they are suitable for completing safely without risking damage to the wooden item being cut into shape ” some craftsman even go as far as making their own unique jaws out of hardwood varying depending on each task at hand.

Many examples of great projects that have been completed using a Woodworker Vise include furniture such as tables and chairs; smaller scale items including chess sets and wooden boxes; metalwork projects employing ornamental designs being cut precisely into metal sheets; intarsia pieces featuring amazing works consisting entirely from different species of wood mosaic-fashion assembled together with tight joints; advanced workshop set ups and so on!

The Different Types of Woodworker Vises

Tail Vise: A tail vise is a full-sized, heavy-duty vise that can handle largeworkpieces. It typically consists of two or three large jaws, typically steel with wooden faces, on adjustable arms mounted along the length of the bench. They can be adjusted from both sides and, thanks to their large size, are capable of clamping workpieces up to 36” wide. Tail vises are pricier than other types due to the construction required for increased stability and their no-questions-asked guarantee against wear and tear. Installation takes 1-2 days depending on model complexity and requires precise measurement along the length of the bench.

Face Vise: Face vises are smaller, light-duty versions of tail vises that rely on top plates which attach directly to the benchtop itself while its main body is also mounted downward from underneath. This type is best suited for general woodworking applications where small workpieces are held strongly in place using a single screw drawbolt located in the center for quick and easy adjustments. Face vises can be cheaper than tail vises but may require additional stationary mounting hardware such as bolts for added stability when installed onto heavier benches.

Parallel Jaw Vise: Parallel jaw vises offer even distribution across a larger working surface allowing more controlled adjustments although they still aren’t suitable for extra-large pieces due to limited leverage potential when dealing with thicker workpieces. With a parallel jaw vise, pressure will be equally exerted as you reach further down into its throat making it ideal for fine detailed craftwork such as sawing intricate joints or routing out delicate carvings. Price points range between $50-$250 USD depending on sizes specified whereas installation typically involves only four pre-drilled mounting holes with adjustable tightening screws so total installation time should not exceed an hour or two at most.

How to Mount Woodworking Vise

Tools Needed to Turn a Vise Into a Woodworker Vise

Tools and Supplies Needed to Turn a Vise Into a Woodworker Vise:

– A vise ” ensure it is the correct size for your needs. Look for heavy-duty vises with enough capacity to hold the material you plan to work.

– A bench (or suitable surface) ” this should be properly stabilized stainless steel or hardwood, ideally with non-slip surfaces.

– Bolts, washers and nuts (at least 4) ” use these to secure the vise to the bench/surface.

– Screws and nuts (at least 8) ” they should be long enough and strong enough that can extend through both the vise and bench/surface so they can be tightened securely.

– 1/2” long dowel pins or bolts (4 needed) ” look for those that are corrosion resistant so they don’t get stuck in the wood over time.

– Woodworking tools (chisels, gouges, saws, etc.) ” essential for once your vise is attached to your bench/surface.

Safety Tips:
1. Always wear proper protective gear when handling any tool or material during your project such as safety glasses, gloves, and ear protection;
2. Never force screws into wood if they seem difficult to install as it could cause damage;
3. Ensure all screws are tightened securely after assembly so nothing comes loose while in use;
4. Practice full focus while using power tools as a distraction could lead to injury;
5. Disconnect power before making any adjustments on a machine or tool;
6. Read all instructions prior to using any product and+ follow manufacturer’s suggestions when applicable;
7. Perform regular maintenance checks on all equipment used throughout project completion

Preparing the Vise for Conversion

In order to convert a vise into a woodworker’s vise, an inspection must be performed in order to check for any damage or defect that could prevent the vise from being properly and safely converted. Certain steps should be taken while performing this inspection:

1. Visually inspect the vise to make sure all of the primary components are present and intact such as the screw, wedge, handle and jaws. Look for any signs of wear or corrosion that may interfere with performance and stability when clamping pieces together.

2. Give the moving parts of the vise a shake and listen for any loose or rattling parts or connections – if anything is detected, replace it before attempting to use it in its new configuration.

3. Examine the threads on both ends of the screw shaft for smoothness along with evidence of wear or damage which may catch or bind when adjusted. If necessary, clean out any clogged portions with a small wire brush.

4. Take some time to check over each jaw surface for any defects such as pitting, warping or other scratches that can inhibit proper clamping performance once converted into a woodworkers vise. Light sanding may be required if needed here but just be careful not to sand too deep so that overly large amounts of material are removed from them in total.

Installing the Necessary Hardware

When installing the necessary hardware, it is important to choose the appropriate screws and bolts that are strong enough to handle the weight of whatever you are clamping with your vise. A good option is using grade 8 steel hex heads with minimum 3/8-inch diameter shafts and werehers. This will ensure a secure grip while woodworking. To further ensure the fasteners are securely set, use a wrench or socket wrench to tighten each bolt or screw individually in a crisscross pattern before using the vise. You can also secure the head of each fastener with a locking compound to prevent them from loosening over time. To finish off the installation, add an optional mounting plate for additional stability if needed.

Best Woodworking Table

Setting Up the Woodworker Vise

To make a vise into a woodworkers vise, begin by attaching the jaws to mounting brackets. Each mouth should be centered exactly in the middle of each bracket – use a level to ensure this is correctly done. Once the jaws have been mounted, adjust the tension of the vise by tightening or loosening the adjusting screws that are located on each side of the vise body. It is important to maintain optimal pressure levels – otherwise, your workpiece will not remain locked in place. Next, secure the rear handle that allows you to open and close the jaws of your new woodworker’s vise. To make sure your vise is properly locked in place, add more pressure by slowly turning each adjusting screw located on either side of your body until you feel an ideal amount of tension. This will help keep both sides 12 evenly balanced and allow for efficient clamping action when binding or cutting materials. Lastly, add an additional layer of security by using locking pliers to lock both ends of your woodworker’s vise firmly in place. With these tips and techniques, you can make a regular vise into an efficient woodworking tool!

Finishing Touches on the Vise

When not using the vise, it is important to protect its surfaces to prevent corrosion or other wear and tear. To keep your vise in tip-top condition, try some of these methods:

1. Waxing your vise is an effective way to protect its surfaces. You can easily apply a layer of wax – clear furniture or auto wax work well – with a soft cloth and occasionally reapply when necessary. This will help repel moisture and prevent rust build-up.

2. Disassemble the screw mechanism, remove all debris and grease both the sliding parts and all points where metal contacts metal before restoring the screw mechanism. This will help reduce friction between strips, making them smoother when operating.

3. Store your vise in a dry place to further help prevent rust. If you live in an area often hit by harsh weather conditions, consider storing it indoors or cover it with a shield from snow or rain when outdoors for protection from moisture damage over time.

4. Finally, if you plan on working on particularly delicate wood such as white pine, lilywood or balsa wood, you should use extra caution and look into methods to pad your jaws so as not to crush or press too hard into the material being worked on.


In conclusion, the steps outlined in this post showed how to make a vise into a woodworkers vise and how to install it properly. By following the instructions, you can rest assured knowing that the vise will be able to securely hold the objects you are working on, making woodworking projects easier. Moreover, it ensures that all your clamps and other components are perfectly balanced and accurately paralleled. This allows you to not only work more efficiently but also more accurately while protecting yourself from potential injuries as well. So if you’re looking for an easy project with lasting results, convert your vise into an essential tool of any workshop!

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