How to Install a Vise on a Workbench
May 29, 2009 4:20 AM   Subscribe

I bought this vise on Amazon but it didn't come with any screws. Can you advise me on how to install it on my wooden workbench?

I don't have a good measuring tool, but the holes seem to be 1/2 inch (maybe less?) in diameter if that helps.
posted by GregX3 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Lag bolts (which are actually screws and sometimes called lag screws) with the appropriate sized washers. a ruler should get you a close enough estimate of the size of the holes. I have a very similar vise and that is what I did.
posted by TedW at 4:50 AM on May 29, 2009

If the holes through the base are countersunk then you should get flat-head wood screws. If they are not countersunk then lag bolts are a good idea. Either way, you should just take the vice to the hardware store and buy the largest diameter screw/bolt that fits.
posted by jon1270 at 5:11 AM on May 29, 2009

Nuts and bolts through the workbench with big washers on the underneath.

This is not a complicated installation at all, but in wood and assuming anything other than relatively gentle (in vice terms) use, through bolts with load spreading washers/plates are the best solution.
posted by Brockles at 5:14 AM on May 29, 2009

Yeah don't use screws. You want bolts. Screws have a chance of pulling through if you really put pressure on it. Bolts means you have to drill holes through your bench to put the vise on it.
posted by sully75 at 5:21 AM on May 29, 2009

Use 3/8" or 1/2" bolts that are long enough to go through the vise and bench with about 1/2" to 1" sticking through at the bottom.

Flat washer on top against the vise. As Brockles said, get the largest washers you can find for the bottom (try to find "fender washers") as regular use of the vise will crush the wood on the underside of your bench. Use the flat washer against the wood, with a lock washer and then then nut to tighten everything down.

You will likely have to periodically re-tighten the bolts.

Be sure to align the edges of the jaws carefully with the edge of your bench. You want the inside fixed jaw to be just over the edge of the bench (so you can clamp long items without the bench interfering)

Here is a comprehensive set of guidelines for vise use. There is a diagram that shows how the vise should be mounted.
posted by davey_darling at 5:56 AM on May 29, 2009

I actually mounted the exact same vice on a piece of plywood. The plywood had a 3/4" groove milled into it, and another piece of plywood, running the length of the first piece, about 2" wide, glued and screwed into it. So basically it forms a T. The vice is bolted to this. So normally this sits under my bench and when I need to use it, I plop the T into my bench vise and tighten it down.

I do this with a number of "accessories" like the sharpening board I use, soe jigs I use for mortising and stuff like that.

Of course you'd need a bench vise though... I picked up an old one at a school auction and replaced the jaw pads with wooden ones. Works fine although it's not quick release like any modern one would be.

But yeah, if you're not going the route above, drill through the bench top and use bolts.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:15 AM on May 29, 2009

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