How to Make a Simple Wooden Vise

Step by Step Instructions for Building a Wooden Vise

If you are working with delicate parts when building something, then there can be times that you need a vise that will not damage the parts. Metal vises sometimes just don’t do the job too well because the teeth on them can leave scars in a part that has been placed in them. It is at that time that a wooden vise can do the job and help keep your delicate parts in the best condition possible. However, wooden vises are usually very expensive and hard to find. Therefore, it can be a good idea to build your own wooden vise.


In order to build your wooden vise, you will need a few basic materials that can be found at the local hardware store. The first thing you will need is a drill and a 1/2-inch drill bit. Then you will need two 6-inch-long 2-by-4s, four 1/2-inch carriage bolts, four 1/2-inch wing nuts, a ruler and a pencil. Once you have these materials together, you can begin building your wooden vise.

The first step in making a wooden vise is to use the pencil and ruler to draw two marks that are parallel to one another in the center of each side of the 2-by-4s about 1 1/2 inches in from each of the ends. These mark the pilot holes for where you will drill to place the carriage bolt closing pins of the vise.

The next step is to use the drill and 1/2-inch drill bit to drill a hole at each of the marks that you drew in the previous step. This makes the holes for the carriage bolt closing pins of the vise.

The third step is to slid a carriage bolt through each of the holes that you drilled towards the ends of one of the 2-by-4s. Then line the other 2-by-4 up on the bolts to where the bolts go completely through both 2-by-4s. This places the closing pins of the vise into position.

The final step of making your own wooden vise is to place the 1/2-inch wing nuts on each of the 1/2-inch carriage bolts. This places the nuts for the vise’s closing pins into position. At this point the vise is completed.

To use the vise, simply place an item in between the two 2-by-4 sides. Then adjust the distance between the two 2-by-4s until the item is snug between the two boards. Now tighten the wing nuts on the closing pins down completely until the item is firmly held in the vise. At this point, you can work on the item that is being grasped by the vise without having to worry about it being damaged by teeth like a metal vise possesses. For a total cost of less than $10, you can easily and quickly build your own wooden vise in about an hour’s time. If you are like me, you will find this simple vise to be one of your favorite shop tools and it will become an indispensable part of your tool kit.

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