How to install a vice on a woodworking bench

Written by david miller
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How to install a vice on a woodworking bench
The vice needs to fixed to the bench. (wydynd/iStock/Getty Images)

A woodworking bench is not complete without a vice. Vices work like a second set of hands, allowing you to hold an object in place while sanding, drilling or sawing. Vices come in different sizes and most vices have some degree of rotation, which makes it easier to work with the material you have clamped. Regardless of size, all vices need to have a secure installation to perform correctly.

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Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Spanners
  • Four flat washers
  • Two lock washers

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  1. 1

    Buy bolts for anchoring your vice to the workbench. You may use lag bolts but a bolt with a nut and washer will provide a more secure installation. Get the largest bolt that you can fit through the vice mounting holes and that is long enough to go through the workbench with at least 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) exposed. Buy six washers; two for top, two for the bottom and two additional lock washers for underneath the vice.

  2. 2

    Place your vice on the area of the bench you are going to mount it on and mark the holes in the vice base with a pencil. Align the stationary jaw just over the edge of the workbench edge to allow for long material to hang down unobstructed when working with it.

  3. 3

    Drill holes in the workbench where you marked the vice installation holes. If you are using lag bolts, drill pilot holes that are smaller than the bolt diameter.

  4. 4

    Align the vice with the drilled holes in the workbench, insert the bolts and tighten.

Tips and warnings

  • If the surface your are mounting the vice to is thin are does not provide as much stability as you would like, try placing 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) plywood on the underside of the bench and run the bolts through it. A section of 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) or 5 by 15 cm (2 by 6 inch) board could serve the same purpose.
  • Routinely oil or wax the main screw of the vice to keep it in good working condition.

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