wooden vise jaws?

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Forum topic by Belg1960 posted 11-24-2011 09:15 PM 2905 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Belg1960's profile


1062 posts in 3034 days

11-24-2011 09:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Guys I have a Wilton metal working vise that I would like to make some wooden covers for the jaws when I work on soft metal or wood, and would love to be able to slip them on and off easily. I found one project where someone made replacements that screwed in place instead of the metal jaws but that seems like alot of work. Anybody come up with a nice system?

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

8 replies so far

View plantek's profile


312 posts in 2768 days

#1 posted 11-24-2011 10:35 PM

Bore a couple small holes with a Forster bit and use rare earth magnets. Use real rare earth mags and not cheap dime store mags. There is a big difference.
You could simply make “L” brackets out of the wood and the mags will hold it on place.

-- If you want it and it's within reason... It's on it's way!

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3038 days

#2 posted 11-24-2011 10:49 PM

I’ve seen folks make aluminum “caps” for metal vises. They were folded to fit over the jaws and could be easily removed if necessary.

You could probably do something similar with some pieces of 1/4” ply and some 1/2” strips around three sides.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 2949 days

#3 posted 11-25-2011 10:33 AM

Pat – I use strips of lead flashing – I just place a slightly over size peice of the flashing in the jaws then form the lead over the jaws with a soft mallet. I use tin snips to cut the lead, it is easy to cut and fold arond the corners of the jaws.

Once the covers are on I gently squeeze the jaws together using the handle of the vise then tap the lead covers to get a nice tight fit on the jaws. They stay snuggly in place and are very easy to remove….they just pull off and slip back on again when required.

Aluminium would do to as suggested above by sawkerf as it is easy to form and cut too. I just have a roll of flashing….rather than buy Aly. Just don’t go licking your fingers too often if you use lead lol

How did you get on with the job of sticking the low resistance laminate to your shop built TS fence?? send me a couple of pics if you have completed the job.



-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View David's profile


13 posts in 2423 days

#4 posted 11-25-2011 02:58 PM

I found a real cheap and quick fix to cover metal. Each year when I get new phone books they are covered with those magnetic advertisements. For some reason I have been saving them for several years and now have a good selection of sizes. The other day it occurred to me that I could use them on all sorts of items in the shop. The business card size I cut in half and use on pipe and bar clamps. Some of the larger ones work well on smaller vises. On my larger vises I went to a craft store and bought some magnetic tape with adhesive on one side. I just took some scrap wood and rounded over the edges and glued the magnetic tape to the wood and then lined the vice jaws. I haven’t marred my wood since. And they come off the jaws with minimal effort.

View Belg1960's profile


1062 posts in 3034 days

#5 posted 11-25-2011 10:03 PM

hey guys thanks alot for the great ideas. I think for me the rare earth magnets are going to do the trick since I already have them from another project.

David havent had much time to upgrade the saw fence just yet but slow time is coming up for (real) work and will most likely get my upgrades done then. Did get a message back from the plastics guys and they only recommend securing the laminate with screws, one guy said to try epoxy but when I told him it was for a tablesaw fence he changed to screwing it off as well. Being in the construction trade I deal with too much lead already and I’m a little worried about it staining the wood when clamped.

Sawkerf, same reason as the lead I’m ruling this out for now.

David #2, just think these types of magnets would not hold very well on the kurled face of the vice but could be got in a pinch. I happen to have some business card sized ones I could try out.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3144 days

#6 posted 11-25-2011 11:53 PM

what about thick plastic like 1/4 or3/8 thick, It wouldn’t be as aped to spliting as the wood jaw covers.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2940 days

#7 posted 11-26-2011 01:34 AM

I have a honking big old Craftsman Machine vise with 6” jaws. Thing must weigh about 100lbs. I clamped some 2” x 2” x 6” long aluminum angles in it and bent the bottom up around the jaws; hammered up from the bottom with a ball peen hammer.. Stays in place to let me do work where I don’t want to mar the surface, but can be knocked off pretty easily.

View Belg1960's profile


1062 posts in 3034 days

#8 posted 12-02-2012 07:49 PM

Here is my solution to this “problem” I had originally made this using some 1/2” plywood for the piece which laid on top of the vice but that changed the point of bearing too much and did not hold as tight as I would have liked. The little super magnets hold it in place just right and the thin angle iron keeps it at the ideal height to be able to bear down on the work nice and tight. Thanks for all the suggestions.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

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