Work bench upgrade

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Project by Gator posted 02-03-2013 11:09 PM 2837 views 5 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally broke down and stopped at Lee Valley and bought a decent vice for my bench. I used a piece of 6/4 maple I had for the front jaw, and screwed a piece of 2×10 along the apron to make a nice flush fit. When I originally built this bench I was drag racing, so it was built heavy duty to with stand some serious weight and abuse. It was covered with a piece of sheet metal to protect it, so when I switched “hobbies” I just removed the sheet metal but it made it a challenge to install a good vice. As an added feature, I drilled 2 sets of 3 holes in the top of the bench for a home made “bench brace” – 3 pieces of 1/2” dowel glued into a piece of 7/16” thick walnut so I could clamp a 1/2” board and still have clearance for a hand plane if I run off the end. 3 holes in the maple vice jaw recieve a pair of bench “pups” so it actually gives me a jaw width of 30”. I just keep the long braces on the wall until I need them. I saw this idea on here from another LJ (can’t remember who, but Thanks!) Anyway, I used it today to hold my Kreg jig – worked great.

Have fun all !!

-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

9 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


19700 posts in 2872 days

#1 posted 02-04-2013 12:52 AM

Nice upgrade. I like the “bench brace”! I’ll need to file that away for future consideration!!! (I still need to build my first work bench.)

I need to ask a question. Is that a bench vise, installed upside down??? If so, why? If not, what is it?

Enjoy your upgrade!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3870 days

#2 posted 02-04-2013 01:41 AM

Nice workbench upgrade.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15690 posts in 2815 days

#3 posted 02-04-2013 04:04 AM

Nice way to hold the Kreg jig, and a fine vise.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View ksSlim's profile


1290 posts in 3086 days

#4 posted 02-04-2013 04:46 AM

Grear upgrade. That’s why we have a bench, customize for our own use.
Great job. I’ll borrow a couple of your ideas for a portable “short” bench.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Gator's profile


383 posts in 3873 days

#5 posted 02-04-2013 10:19 AM

Thanks everyone.

DIY, I assume you are referring to the blue vise on the end of the bench? That is a small vice that has a screw clamp that tightens from the bottom to attach to the edge of the bench. You can move it to any postion you want on the bench. Up until now, this was really my only vise.


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View hunter71's profile


3298 posts in 3383 days

#6 posted 02-04-2013 12:02 PM

Every bench needs a good vise.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View BigDawg's profile


52 posts in 3917 days

#7 posted 02-04-2013 02:29 PM

I have a small suggestion for you. I have had the same vise on my bench for three years. The “chop” was continually getting loose because the #10 screws recommended by LV to attach the chop to the mechanism would not hold. Do yourself a favor and counterbore the inside face of the chop and use bolts to secure the chop to the vise mechanism. Just my two cents.

-- Shawn DuGay, Wallingford, CT

View Gator's profile


383 posts in 3873 days

#8 posted 02-04-2013 03:13 PM

BigDawg – by “chop” do you mean the outer jaw? This is the only place I used the supplied hardware. I will make the upgrade as soon as I see an issue, but knowing the potential problem will likely drive me crazy, and I will have to do it tonight.
Yes, my wife says I am anal obsessive…LOL.
Thanks for the tip,


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 4080 days

#9 posted 02-05-2013 11:13 PM

Great idea! I need to do that this spring to one of my benches.


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