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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys thought I'd post some pics of the vise I just built for my cheap slab door and 2x4 frame bench. Been doing without a useable vise for too long now and until I build a proper bench I don't want to spend money on vises. So I built this using lumber and 3/4 pipe clamps I had already. Turned out way better than I thought it would and I'm very pleased with it. I have a harbor freight wood working vise on one end of my bench but it a joke and basically worth less. So I built this

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Putting the wooden runners in it really made the difference I think. They fit tight but slide easy and they keep the jaws from wracking or binding. I can even clamp something on just one end of vise without the jaw wracking, now if I really need to clamp real hard on something on just one corner of vise I'll still put a scrap of similar thickness one other side to balance out the force. I thought oh well I'll give this a try when I started on it and I thought it would work but not be that great, turns out I was wrong and it works beautifully I didn't know what I was missing all this time without a good vise. I would always work around not having a good vise by using clamps and stuff but that gets old and lately I've been wanting to get back into cutting dovetails by hand and not having a good means to hold my work made that a frustrating endeavor. Just trying to cut the tail board in the harbor freight vise was almost impossible. The jaws on that thing didn't close up anywhere near parallel and I would have to crank as tight as I possibly could and the board would still move and that was just sawing down to my line for the tails with the board vertically in the vise. With this one I just made I can beat I end of the board with my hammer and it don't want to move. Made the jaws out of white oak laminated up to around 2 1/4 thick so it can take some real force.
 

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You have built a "better mouse trap" and looks as though that vice will be in full use for a long time. Thanks for sharing, and be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feed back guys, I've learned a lot from this forum and got a lot a good ideas from here so I thought I'd post this and maybe help someone else with an idea. I've seen pipe clamp vises before so I'm not claiming that the whole idea was mine but I did come up with the mods so now maybe someone else will take the design and make it better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The jaws are 20 inches wide about 5 1/2 inches tall and front jaw is 2 1/4 thick white oak. And i also thought it would be hard to keep even pressure when I was building it but i figured it was better than what i had been using. Much to my surprise it worked very well and I can clamp something with moderate pressure on just one side of the jaw without the jaw racking because of the wood runners I added, if I have to really crank down hard on something then I'll add a scrap of similar thickness on other side but that is only when I really need to crank down. When I do add a scrap tho it doesn't take much to put some real pressure on it. The vise really shines tho while clamping something that fits in between the clamps all you have to do is adjust one side to be just barely clamping then all that is required to hold piece is just maybe a quarter or half a turn of one clamp and piece is basically unmovable much better holding power than any single screw vise I've used. I just watched an episode of the woods rights shop after building this and he had Chris Schwartz on as a guest and Chris brought with him a twin screw removable vise that works same as what I built and Chris shows all the benifits of a twin screw vise opposed to a single screw. I'm totally impressed with the holding power of this style vise. I'd love to claim that I knew it would work well and everything but I really didn't like I said earlier I was pleasantly surprised with the results, I just had an idea to solve a problem that I had and thought it would just be better than what I was using but turned out bring very useful. Some planning on my part but mostly luck lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I also just wanted to add that I think what really made the difference in how well it works is that I was very careful with layout and marking of the holes that I drilled for the pipes and the layout and mounting of the runners and blocks that hold the runners. I used 3/4 pipe and I drilled holes with 1 1/8 forstner bit, that allows some clearance but not sloppy.
 

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This is a great looking DIY vise. I'd prefer something like this over spending a boatload on a brand model. Great work. I'm very impressed. This is a project I've wanted to tackle for my own workshop for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys I'm am really finding the vise useful, can't believe how long I went without one. This thing really holds well
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Hey I just wanted to add a small modifications I added. I watched a video on you tube after I built mine of a guy who built something similar but his was not part of his bench. His was a separate unit that you would clamp to your bench. I considered going that direction at first but decided against because I had already been clamping things to my bench and I wanted to ba able to get my work even with bench top. But anyhow this guy added a small piece of double stick mounting tape to the foot of each clamp to keep them in place and make adjustments easier. I did the same and it helps. I set mine by screwing the clamp in all the way as if I had the clamp tightened as much as it would go then just back off one turn of the handle slide jaws closed then reach under bench and hit release on the foot and slide it up till its touching bench, this way I have as much travel in the open direction as the screw on clamp provides. Setting it up this way works great if you are mostly clamping material on edge. You are really only limited by the length pipe you used tho. If I want to clamp something say 8 inches wide all I have to do is reach under hit the release on each foot and pull jaws open. As much as I need then stick piece between jaws and slide jaws closed against it then make sure foot of clamp is slide forward to bench and you are good to go again and you still have the travel of the thread from there. Reading this it might sound complicated but trust me it really isn't. Only takes one or two times changing the width of jaws for how it works to click in your head. I am still very happy with it and if I ever need it out of the way it's as simple as releasing both clamp feet and pulling front jaw out and then the edge of my bench is clear. 2 seconds.
 
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