Workbench and Wooden Vice

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Project by vakman posted 03-07-2012 07:16 PM 8806 views 12 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A little a while ago I started and have now almost completed my first workbench.

The pairs of legs are made up of laminated 2×3’s, stretchers are slightly larger 2x stock. The surface is from some free 1”x 6” tongue and groove pine (I think) boards that I believe were used to ship the boiler/furnace for my apartment building. Some have “made in England” stenciled markings as well as gross weight (1200 kg), and had been sitting in my basement for 80 years or so. Unfortunately I had to remove the markings because the boards were all so badly cupped. They are glued together, and attached to 1/2” plywood, which was also free. Not quite as heavy as I’d like, but it does the job.

The vice was and is a bit of an ongoing experiment. The moving jaw was built up using 1x stock, for a total thickness of 2-1/4” and width of 10” or so. I don’t have access to turned products, so I had to improvise somewhat in making the hub that connects the handle to the 1’1/4” threaded dowel. The vice opens to a totally unnecessary 16”+ inches, however that will be reduced as I find a better handle solution. It slides on 1” dia. poplar dowels, and has a total depth of about 5” from bench height to rails. My general opinion is that the vice is too large for what I use it for.

A bit too light, a bit too much slop, and lower quality than I will eventually be looking for, but for now it works fine.

Thanks for looking


The only moving parts that are glued together are the rails to the moving jaw. Everything else is screwed, so it’ll be easy to replace individual components.

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

10 comments so far

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 2528 days

#1 posted 03-07-2012 07:29 PM

Nice looking vice.

Question; How did you thread the dowel?

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View stefang's profile


16058 posts in 3507 days

#2 posted 03-07-2012 07:30 PM

I looks to me that you used a good deal of ingenuity to create that vise and I bet it will serve you well until you get whatever you really want. Good work!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 2844 days

#3 posted 03-07-2012 07:45 PM

Can’t tell how the bench side of the vise lines up with the bench surface itself, but one thing you may want to consider is recessing the screws on the bench side of the vise, or putting a piece of leather/suede on it. Otherwise, you’re apt to end up with several little plus signs on your work (Speaking from experience here…)

View canadianchips's profile


2609 posts in 3169 days

#4 posted 03-07-2012 07:53 PM

Good job on the vise. (And the bench Ilike the fact you re-purposed lumber for most of this )

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 2576 days

#5 posted 03-07-2012 08:02 PM

@Tokolosi: I used a tap and thread box, from woodcraft I believe for about $50. I really wanted a metal vice, but the threading kit was cheaper, had more making and figuring involved, and I can use it to make clamps or a moxon vice with as well eventually. It works pretty well, however I didn’t follow common advice which is to thread the dowel after soaking it in water for a bit, and the results show. Even with the dowel threaded into construction grade softwood, clamping power is sufficient so far.

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 2576 days

#6 posted 03-07-2012 08:02 PM

@AUBrian: I was concerned with that as well. The photo doesn’t show it adequately, but the screws are sunk just deep enough that they don’t leave any marks.

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2476 days

#7 posted 03-07-2012 09:43 PM

that is nice! good idea to get that instead of the expensive vice. you have inspired me to do the same!

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View KevinWelp's profile


17 posts in 2474 days

#8 posted 03-08-2012 02:55 AM

been thinking about trying that myself for a while. Nice job!

-- Kevin - Rochester, MN

View hhhopks's profile


654 posts in 2550 days

#9 posted 03-09-2012 10:05 PM

Checkout CartersWhittling.
He has an awsome blog on making tap box and thread screws.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Dave Dufour's profile

Dave Dufour

274 posts in 2151 days

#10 posted 01-31-2013 04:33 AM

Nice job

-- Dave, from Canada,

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