Vice Jaw Question

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Forum topic by onoitsmatt posted 12-31-2015 06:01 PM 612 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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395 posts in 1373 days

12-31-2015 06:01 PM

I’m cutting a piece of maple to use as vice jaws. The piece I’m using has a slight cup. I have flattened both sides of one piece to use as the rear jaw. I am considering flattening the lower half of the front jaw but leaving the “cup” in the top half of the front jaw to act as the initial point of contact. Since the jaw should taper slightly this way anyway. Is there any reason I shouldn’t do this as long as I flatten the surface that’s flush with the metal vise jaw? Am I making sense?


-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

2 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5171 posts in 2691 days

#1 posted 12-31-2015 06:24 PM

A lot of the metal woodworking vises are toe-in slightly at the top, so the top contacts the wood first. this is a nice feature since the jaws usually come into alignment once they are tightened down, but with a bulging middle you may not get as much surface area contact (less grip on the workpiece). You can try it and always go back and flatten it later, I guess; I’d probably just start with flat pieces from the getgo.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View GregTP's profile


63 posts in 1141 days

#2 posted 01-02-2016 02:29 AM

I have taken my tail vise apart several times to reshape the inside of the jaw. I attached the bench side of the jaw with two continuous dovetails with no glue, which in hindsight was a bit of a mistake because I’m too nervous about breaking those dovetails to take it apart. At the time I was too hung up on not using fasteners in my bench construction.

But the vise side of the jaw comes off no trouble, I reshaped it and fixed some alignment problems a few months ago. I still do have some trouble with racking so I tend to use rack blocks of the same thickness if I need to clamp something out towards the end of the jaw. That is part of the problem with a wide vise and only one screw.

I would go with your idea and see how it works, it you dont like it you can always take it off and plane it down afterward.

-- From exercise machine warning label: "Step ladders can cause injury and even death; the ROM machine is more dangerous than a stepladder"

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