Adjustable-Width Vise Spacer

  • Advertise with us
Project by rmac posted 991 days ago 2547 views 28 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

If you want to hold a big panel or something in your vise, sometimes you have to clamp it off to one side of the vise because the vise hardware gets in the way. When you do that, it’s a good idea to put a spacer in the other side of the vise to keep the vise from racking. So you have to find something as thick as your workpiece to use as a spacer, then hold it with one hand while you hold the workpiece with your other hand and then somehow snug up the vise with your nose or your knee.

Growing a third arm would go a long way towards solving this problem, but I hear that takes a long time. Also, people who aren’t quite as tolerant as they should be towards biological diversity will point and laugh and look at you like you’re some sort of three-armed freak. So that’s no good.

Maybe you would be better off if you just built this little gizmo. It lets you make any size spacer you need by rotating the leaves in and out of the way. The 3/4” thick blocks on each end of the bolt keep the thing from falling through the vise while you position your workpiece with one hand and tighten the vise with the other.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

20 comments so far

View Neight's profile


112 posts in 999 days

#1 posted 991 days ago

Excellent idea! Thanks for sharing!

-- Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. -Mark Twain

View rance's profile


4126 posts in 1766 days

#2 posted 991 days ago

Now that’s a REAL clever tool. Thanks for posting.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Ken90712's profile


14848 posts in 1794 days

#3 posted 990 days ago

Simple yet so effective and cleaver. It makes perfect sense thanks for sharing!!!!!!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 1103 days

#4 posted 990 days ago

A perfect answer to a common frustration. I usually hunt around for a block and hold it with a spring clamp but this is the best. Neat idea, patent it! (but give us building rights OK?).

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Bertha's profile


12951 posts in 1299 days

#5 posted 990 days ago

Not to steal Ken’s comment but it’s incredibly clever, like a grown up wooden spark plug gap tool!;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Wolffarmer's profile


393 posts in 1844 days

#6 posted 990 days ago

That is a great idea. But if i build one I bet it will be hiding out with the pencils.


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View StumpyNubs's profile


6123 posts in 1406 days

#7 posted 990 days ago

Not to steal Bertha’s comment, but it’s incredibly clever.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View ChuckV's profile


2380 posts in 2133 days

#8 posted 990 days ago

Excellent idea! I have gotten pretty good with my knee, but this is far better.

Thanks for posting this.

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

View SeaWitch's profile


149 posts in 1000 days

#9 posted 990 days ago

What a great idea!

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View Matt W5MIX's profile

Matt W5MIX

28 posts in 991 days

#10 posted 990 days ago

Really nice idea!

-- Matt in Dripping Springs

View Viking's profile


857 posts in 1801 days

#11 posted 990 days ago

Excellent idea Russ!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View rmac's profile


187 posts in 1666 days

#12 posted 990 days ago

Thanks everybody. This was one of those “wake up in the middle of the night with a brainstorm” things.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View Northwest29's profile


688 posts in 1096 days

#13 posted 990 days ago

Great idea. I made one of these a few months ago and it has been very helpful. For those that may be interested rather than using a double nut on one end you can use a nut with a nylon insert and it works just fine. HTH


-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View jumbojack's profile


1157 posts in 1230 days

#14 posted 990 days ago

That. Is. Awesome.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View spunwood's profile


1194 posts in 1442 days

#15 posted 990 days ago

great idea man!

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

showing 1 through 15 of 20 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase