Mini-Workbench with Vise

Introduction

I’d been wanting to have a proper vise for some time. Yes, I had built some clamps that I could use to press materials down onto my bench. My bench, by the way, is a self-made kitchen counter which was repurposed.

All that is to say that my bench was not made to be a bench and needed a way to add a vise. That “way” appeared in the form of a neighbour, throwing two dozen hardwood strips right next to the dump on a Saturday morning.

Build

Some of these were warped, others were dented. Most, however, were in excellent shape. Certainly not something a sane man or woman would throw out, knowingly. I proceeded to cut them into shorter strips, then applied ample amounts of wood glue and clamped them together.

The sliding jaw for the vise was laminated as well. The wood for this was found on a pallet that came with our new hedge. I trued this up with my Power plane, hand planes and various sanders.

I drilled the holes in the sliding jaw using my cheap Forstner bits and my DIY drill press table. By keeping the stock clamped securely whilst only changing the bits, I could ensure the second, larger hole, was dead center as well.

I paid twenty euros for the threaded rod and nuts at my local hardware store. They did not sell this particularly large size at my local Gamma. I went for this combo, as purchasing bolts this size would be ridiculously expensive. The nobs for the spindles to sit in were made out of old pine boards that were laminated together.

I built the legs out of laminated pieces of mystery hardwood that a neighbour had dumped at the bins. I cannot thank this person enough for not knowing what he/she was chucking. I used some crude dovetails and glue to firmly attach the legs to the frame. As you can see above, I also started drilling the dog holes and finished the spindles.

After cutting into my hand while working on the dovetails, I hoped that the vise mechanism would be more easy-going. I used Pask Makes design, a video explaining the lot you can find here. Using quick release mechanisms for both threaded rods makes operating the vise a absolute breeze.

And does it hold stuff? Oh, yes!

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