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Inexpensive pipe-clamp vise

I enjoyed your "Buyer's Guide to Woodworking Vises" (issue 147), but can't afford the $100 price tag for a really nice vise like those shown in the article. My economical "vise," below, costs about the same as the inexpensive subpar model shown in that article, but offers the reliability and holding power of a good old pipe clamp.

I mounted the business end of a 3/4" pipe clamp to the front of my bench, using a cut-off floor flange and a short length of pipe, as shown in the drawing. (The top of the jaw is about 1" higher than the benchtop.) Next, I drilled two rows of evenly spaced 3/8" holes into the benchtop to accept the dog's 3/8" bolts. The bolts don't thread into these holes; they just pin the dog in place in whatever pair of holes best suits the size of my workpiece.

To distribute the clamping pressure over a wider area than the narrow face of the clamp jaw alone can provide, I insert a wooden block between the jaw and my workpiece. I also keep a variety of thin scraps around that don't interfere when I power-sand a workpiece held in my "vise."

George Roskopf, Pewaukee, Wis.


Comments (10)
NickManley wrote:

I really like this idea. Nice work, George!

1/26/2012 11:01:11 AM Report Abuse
woodclaver wrote:

By the way, I like this fellow's invention.

9/25/2010 01:05:53 PM Report Abuse
woodclaver wrote:

Since it wound up that I was demonstrating in a "faire" type atmosphere, I then also drilled a hole in the tree/post that held up our roof, and stuck the pipe thread through the post as well. The bottom of the 4' piece got a rope tied around it and the post to hold it in position. The jaws weren't parralel, but it worked fine for what I was doing.

9/25/2010 01:02:02 PM Report Abuse
woodclaver wrote:

Next I took a four foot and a three foot piece of 2x4, and connected them with a heavy duty door type butt hinge, so that the hinge was a foot from the end of the four foot piece, and the other ends matched. About six inches from the open end I drilled a hole through both 2x4's that the neck of the tee/nut could fit in.

9/25/2010 01:01:51 PM Report Abuse
woodclaver wrote:

don't recollect at this point which fit through), and put a cap on each end, for a sliding handle. For the thread I took a 3/4" tee, and sawed a hole on the long side so's the middle thread could be threaded through, then insert/screw the long threaded pipe into that.

9/25/2010 01:00:51 PM Report Abuse
woodclaver wrote:

I made a bench vice once by threading a couple feet of 3/4" pipe all the way along except for the reverse/handle end. Then threaded the handle end normally. Put a 1" x 3/4" x 1" tee on that, (handle), end, and insert a 10" nipple 1/2" or 3/4", (I

9/25/2010 01:00:12 PM Report Abuse
William Hook wrote:

5/16 carrage bolts throu scrap for a bnc dog is the best part. Smaller holes in your bench, threads catch better than friction, and custom dogs for curved stock is a snap - clever. You know . . . you could put two clamps in parallel with block between and have nice big vice with a little swivel in it!

9/24/2010 02:11:37 PM Report Abuse
jjt54501 wrote:

This a neat Idea, by adding more of the same you can do a peace the length of your bench . Jim Teitloff

9/23/2010 04:32:39 PM Report Abuse
Fred In Portland, Oreegone wrote:

I assume that your 3/4" floor flange is threaded and thus your 3/4" pipe is also threaded for approx 4" in order for this system to work. Nice idea.

9/23/2010 12:35:31 PM Report Abuse
Louise Hemphill wrote:

Great idea!

9/23/2010 10:36:39 AM Report Abuse

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