The plans are here:
This is a short video of how I made my Wooden Vise.
Since I first made this vise a year and a half ago I’ve received many hundreds of emails from people who wanted a shorter version. So, this is it; 14 minutes instead of the original Hour & a Half.
This is a serious vise and has the full grip strength of a real metal vise. I use it daily and it would make a wonderful addition to any shop.
If you want to see the full three part highly detailed version, here is a link to the full series:
Things we used for this project:
2” diameter x 4-1/2 thread per inch nut:
2” diameter x 4-1/2 tpi threaded rod:
The Wood I Used:
Lignum Vitae piece for Clamping Jaws, 3”x3”x12”:
East Indian Rosewood for both Dynamic & Static Jaws, 6”x6”x2”:
East Indian Rosewood for Caps at end of Handle 2”x2”x12”:
Marblewood for Screwhead 4”x4”x8”:
Marblewood for Handle:
Finish & Wax:
Deft Semi-gloss Lacquer (best there is):
Minwax Paste Wax:
The Tools & Bits I used:
3” Forstner bit for Nut:
2-1/8” Forstner bit for Screw:
Flush trim router bit:
Pattern cutting router bit:
Sandpaper I used Diablo:
Kobalt Wood Chisel:
Wood Rasp & File:
This vise is a Beast, the jaws are 12” and I can grab most anything with it.
This is the most fun project I have built in probably over 20 years. And to top that off, I also get to use it every day in my shop!
I decided that I wanted a bench vise for my shop, when my old one was finally seeming too small for everything. I went looking for one, and the more I looked the more I was intrigued by how they worked. I studied the parts involved and realized that they are not really all that difficult to build. There are really only 6 or 7 parts to the standard bench vise, and I could just build them one at a time.
I decided to use all exotic lumber for the build because this was something that I wanted to keep forever, and really cherish. Also, exotics were also very hard and durable. The perfect wood for a vise. Although, it could just as easily be built out of a domestic hardwood such as oak or cherry and still be very durable.
I needed to get only a small board of African Padauk, and one of Purpleheart. The rest of the exotic pieces I picked up either from Rockler or Woodcraft in their turning blank section. And since I always like to have a bunch of turning blank pieces around, I had all that I needed already in my shop.
I spent a while perfecting the design for absolute maximum strength and ease of building. If you decide you need to build one too, you can pick up a set of plans from my website. They are extremely detailed 3D plans, and you can easily build this vise from them.
If you went out and purchased all of the most expensive exotics for your build, it would cost about $250.00 – $300.00. That’s a whole lot less than the price of a bench vise with 12” jaws. Even if it is a cheap vise. So, not only can you save money, you can have the pride of doing it yourself. If you used something like oak, you can do this build for maybe $25 – $35, and a lot of the pieces, you probably have sitting in your scrap pile, since many of them are small.
I hope you give it a try. It was without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable builds that I have done. And in the end, I got a tool that I use every single day now.
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