Jigs For Ironjawed Bench Vises

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Fitting wooden inserts to metal jaws

If your bench Is equipped with a metal-jawed vise like the one shown at the top of page 61, fitting interchangeable auxiliary jaws can extend the vise's versatility. The wooden inserts shown above will not only be less damaging to workpieces than metal jaws, but they can also be custom-made for special jobs. Each insert is made from ^-inch-thick solid stock with a rabbeted 1 -by-1 block glued at each end to hug the ends of the vise jaw. Although a pair is required, only one of each sample is illustrated. The basic jaw (above, left) will do most standard clamping jobs.The tapered jaw (above, center) features a wedge-shaped strip for holding tapered stock efficiently. The V-groove jaw (above, right) includes a strip with a groove cut down its middle for securing cylindrical work.


A quick-switch vise

If you are reluctant to bolt your bench vise onto your workbench, attach it instead to a T-shaped base made of 3A-inch plywood. Join the two pieces of the base together with a dado joint and screws. Secure the vertical part of the base In either the tail or face vise of the bench,


If your "workbench" is a standard table with a bench vise fastened to one edge, the jig and fence shown at right can lend it some versatility. Cut the auxiliary vise jaws from 1-inch stock and the pieces of the T-shaped vise jig from %-inch wood. You will need two pieces for the jig: a top and a lip. Rout a dado across one auxiliary jaw to accommodate the lip of the vise jig and another on the underside of the jig top. Screw the auxiliary jaws to the vise jaws, making a cut for the vise screw if necessary, then glue and screw the lip to the top of the jig. Cut the sliding fence from ^-inch-thick stock and cut two stopped grooves through it for Winch carriage bolts. To mount the fence, bore two holes through the table for the bolts, feed the bolts through the holes and the grooves and fasten them with washers and wing nuts. To use the jig and fence, slide the lip into the auxiliary jaw, adjust the sliding fence to hold the workpiece snugly and clamp it in place by tightening the vise jaw and wing nuts.

Using a stepped block

When securing a workpiece at one end of a face vise, the other end of the vise is likely to rack—or tilt toward the bench—and cause the work to slip. To prevent racking, use a stepped hardwood block to keep the jaws square. Cut a series of steps in one face of the block, spacing them at equal intervals, such as V2 inch. Place the block in the open end of the vise at the same time you are securing the workpiece so that the vise is parallel to the edge of the bench (left).

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