Don’t know how to bolt down a bench vise? If you are planning on buying one for your workshop, then knowing the basics is the very first thing that you need to focus on. After all, you need to learn about whether or not you have the tools needed to use it.
Yes, you read that right. In order to affix a bench vise onto a surface, you need other tools such as bolts. Sounds intimidating? Well, it doesn’t have to be. Once you know what you need to do, all you have left to worry about is executing the steps properly.
What You Need to Know Beforehand
Like anything else, there are things that you need to take into consideration when bolting down a bench vise. In knowing these things, you will be able to do the process more easily and in a quick manner.
Here are the two factors you have to keep in mind before attempting to bolt down a bench vise:
Type of Bench Vise
Bolting down a bench vise is generally easy, but what you have to know in advance is the type of bench vise that you have. This is the case because the steps of bolting it down rely on the type of bench vise that you own; different types of bench vises are bolted down differently.
Bench vises come in a lot of types and designs, but generally speaking, there are two. The first one is the heavy-duty bench vise, which is great for bending metal and cutting thick pieces of hardwood. The second type is the small bench vise, which is used on projects that involve plastics and fine woodworking.
Type of Workbench
Another thing that you should know is the type of workbench that you have. This is important because it has a lot of say on what materials you would need in order to bolt down your bench vise, or if the workbench can securely hold your bench vise.
There are metal and wooden workbenches, and of course, you should pair your bench vise based on the material of your workbench or vice versa.
Even if you have a metal workbench, more often than not, its top is still wooden. This type of workbench will be great to bolt down heavy-duty bench vises. If you do have a heavy-duty bench vise, it is best to have a workbench that has at least one or more inches of hardboard on top.
On the other hand, if you have a wooden workbench with just a particle board at the top, this can still be used with small bench vises. However, you should know that the particle board will not be able to withstand the pressure of cutting. Instead, it is only ideal for intricate and detailed work.
How to Bolt Down a Bench Vise
A lot of people tend to bolt down their bench vises with the use of hard bolts, which is actually the most secure way of doing it. However, there is also another technique where you do not need bolts. This technique is great for those who do not want to place the bench vise on a workbench permanently.
1. Take your bench vise and drive the roll pin from the end of the vice screw. Remove the front jaw and the connecting bracket. Then, make sure to de-grease the vice from its coating.
2. Give space allowance for spacer blocks. You can do this by placing the rear jaw upside down on top of the inverted benchtop. You should then measure the top on how it projects on the underside. Based on that measurement, adjust the vice at least one-half or one-fourth, depending on where you want to bolt it down.
3. Measure the bearing surface of the rear jaw and add that to the measurement of the cheek width. Make sure that it extends for up to 1.8 inches on the surface of the bench. The cheeks should have the same size as that of the rear cheek, which can be achieved by using a 3.4-inch wood. Attach the rear cheek with some flat screw heads. As for the front cheek, use roundhead washers and screws.
4. Make the spacer blocks. It is up to you if you want them to be thick or thin, which should be based on the project that you are working on. Just make sure that they are aligned with the same width and length of the mounting holes on the bracket of the rear jaw. Place the blocks in between the bench and the bracket, trace the mounting holes, and drill some clearance holes. You can then glue or screw the spacers to attach the vise at the top.
5. Now, you can attach the washer, roll pin, and the connecting bracket. Turn the benchtop upright and adjust the cheeks at the top.
1. First, you have to make a drill guide block from a two-inch wood stock. Then, drill a 3.4-inch diameter hole on the press of the drill.
2. After that, glue the block to a standoff that is hooked, which can then be placed at the edge of your bench.
3. Draw a line down the rear face of the block for reference. A square can be used to lay the dog hole on the bench. Make sure to space them six inches apart.
4. Drill in the marked holes and align it at the centerline of the dog hole line. Clamp the jig on the bench with the use of a board. Use a brad point bit to bore a hole that is 3.4 inches.
5. Lastly, follow the same steps in the simple mounting technique.
There are still different ways on how to bolt down a bench vise, but the two techniques that we mentioned are the easiest ones to do. Just remember that the type of bench vise and workbench that you have dictate the method of bolting down that you have to follow. At the same time, if you know what you already have, it will be easier to prepare the materials that you need.
Now, you are ready to take on more DIY projects! After all, you can securely hold your materials down now, thanks to your secured bench vise.