Vise Table Extensions

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Project by Fridgecritter posted 02-07-2013 12:54 AM 2776 views 13 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife bought me this vise bench for around 15 bucks at a discount overstock type store. It has an MDF tabletop with 3/4 inch holes in it, and you put plastic pieces into the holes to hold your work in place while you work on it. You turn the knobs at the same time and it squeezes the table top halves together.

If you have been married for more than a day, you know that you don’t tell your wife the tool she bought you was 15 bucks for a reason. Instead, I opted to modify the table so I could actually use it. The table is a little flimsy, and not very level, but I fixed that by adding shims underneath the tabletop where it screws down to the metal base. The table would only open about 11.5 inches fully extended with the plastic pieces in the outermost holes. I cut some pieces of wood and recessed the screws so projects will sit flat on the workspace. The bottom pieces are poplar, and the part that puts pressure on the projects is plywood. I rounded the outer edges of the extensions just for a finished look, and so the plywood doesn’t chip.

I made a forum topic already asking about what I could add to the wood pieces to make the surface non-stick so the cutting boards will not stick to it, and after much thought, I may screw some pieces of a silicon baking mat to it for that purpose. For now I am using wax paper.

The table now extends to about 15 inches, and is perfectly level. I am making cutting boards on it, and the wife is happy that she contributed to my hobby on the cheap.

-- "Anyone can post a quote on the internet and attribute the quote to a famous person." -Abraham Lincoln

10 comments so far

View Chris Moellering's profile

Chris Moellering

227 posts in 2848 days

#1 posted 02-07-2013 01:07 AM

Nice save. Glad you were able to turn it into a win-win. Now educate your wife about tools! ;o)

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

View gawthrrw's profile


207 posts in 2647 days

#2 posted 02-07-2013 01:12 AM

I could see that actually being a handy tool in the shop… Nice job!

-- Rob, Dallas TX

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2207 days

#3 posted 02-07-2013 01:26 AM

I have a B&D “Workmate” that I’ve had for over 25 years. This would be a good modification to it!
Thanks and a hat tip to you for sharing the idea!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View RalphCompton's profile


86 posts in 2849 days

#4 posted 02-07-2013 03:57 AM

Someone should write a book: 101 handy improvements for a workmate. Your project would definitely be in it.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

566 posts in 2578 days

#5 posted 02-07-2013 04:17 PM

I have the same table with a different name on it from menards for $10. I’m glad my wife didn’t buy it for me because it is total crap and I basically never use it but I didn’t have to make a nice save like you just did :)

-- Matt, Arizona,

View DJ's profile


19 posts in 2149 days

#6 posted 02-07-2013 05:28 PM

I know what I’m doing tonight. Great Idea!

View Bob817's profile


673 posts in 2582 days

#7 posted 02-08-2013 04:27 PM

Well, at least her heart was in the right place, Great idea is right. I’m going to make some extensions for mine also Thanks for sharing.

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View amateur's profile


91 posts in 2857 days

#8 posted 02-10-2013 02:53 PM

I have 3 such tables from various times and various places. I have found them to be pretty handy. One is about to become handier. Thanks for posting.

View jeffwedekind's profile


144 posts in 2892 days

#9 posted 02-11-2013 05:40 PM

I have found these to be just the ticket for a cheap, yet stable platform for “bench top tools”. Grinders, sanders, whatever. I mostly use mine with a 12 inch Dewalt planer, and it doesn’t move a bit.

I may be modifying mine with this idea, as I currently place my tools on a piece of ply, then add cleats to the bottom to fit within the tables. It works great, but, when not on the stand they rock on the cleat when placed on a shelf, and that just bugs my sense of order.

-- Jeff, eastern Wa

View Fridgecritter's profile


176 posts in 2316 days

#10 posted 02-11-2013 10:49 PM

...and here I almost didn’t post this as a project because it was so miniscule, such a simple quick fix… but I am so Type-A about things that this project took me about 4 hours to do with the leveling and all of the forstner drilling for counter-sync and such.

I am really glad to see people can use this idea.

-- "Anyone can post a quote on the internet and attribute the quote to a famous person." -Abraham Lincoln

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