How to Use a Leg Vise

Updated April 17, 2017

A leg vice, also referred to as a solid box vice and a post vice, is a tool blacksmiths use to hold iron secure so they can hammer, bend or chisel it. Woodworkers also use this vice to hold wood in place. Blacksmiths perfected these vices in the 1600s and they have not changed much since. A leg vice is made up of forgings, not cast iron. A major component of the leg vice is its leg part, which users must attach to a base before use.

Mount the foot of the leg vice to a metal plate that will act as a load distribution pad. Drill a metal hole in the plate and insert the spike on the foot of the leg vice.

Attach the mounting bracket of the leg vice to a sturdy workbench or tree stump. Locate the wedges that secure the mounting plate near the back jaw of the vice, and loosen them to adjust the bracket for the different heights of your workbench or stump. Once you have raised the mounting bracket to the appropriate height, mount it using the vise's screws and mounting bolts.

Use the leg vice by clamping the material you wish to secure into the vise's jaws. Turn the vise's handle clockwise to clamp down on the item. Once it's secure, chisel, bend or hammer the item as desired. Turn the vise's handle in the counterclockwise direction to release the item.

Things You'll Need

  • Leg vice
  • Vice screws
  • Vice bolts
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About the Author

Margaret Kay has worked as a freelance writer since 2009. She has worked as a contributor to "The Gonzaga Bulletin." Kay has recently completed her Master of Theology in media ethics at the University of Edinburgh.