How to install a vice on a woodworking bench

Updated July 20, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.


Always use safety equipment when working with a vice such as safety glasses. Before drilling through the workbench, check the underside for any unexposed wiring, metal or other obstacles that could cause damage to you or the drill. Try the vice out with something light before moving on to heavier objects to check for stability.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Spanners
  • Four flat washers
  • Two lock washers
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About the Author

David Miller is a Kentucky-based freelance writer who has written on a variety of subjects for eHow. He has also written content for many websites and small businesses. He has a background in the technology sector which he still pursues and enjoys.