Bench upgrade - Shop made end vise and adjustable stop block

  • Advertise with us
Project by Dan posted 11-17-2010 06:05 PM 12724 views 29 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This past weekend I decided to upgrade my bench a little by adding this shop made end vise. I have had an end vise on my list of wants for a while but I just haven’t had the extra money for one. I cant remember where I saw it but I recently saw a work bench plan that had an option to add a pipe clamp as an end vise. I took that idea and kind of turned it into this. I built this all on the fly and kind of made it up as I went along. Its not the best looking but it works.. Here is what I did..

I made the vise from a very old and very solid antique bar clamp. I had two really old and very solid bar clamps that were just taking up space in the corner of my shop. I think I had planned on restoring them but had not got around to it. I decided to use one of them for my shop made vise. The first step was to figure out my measurements and figure out how this thing was going to work. I started by removing the oak trim on my bench and then I cut space in the corner for the vise jaw. Next step was to drill some holes in the bar clamp. I first had to drill out the pin at the end so I could remove the sliding steel stop on the clamp. Once that was removed I drilled a series of holes down the bar which would be used to bold the bar to my work bench frame. I used my Delta drill press to drill the steel bar. The drilling all went pretty smooth.

The next step I took was to build a wooden jaw and construct the side support. The wooden jaw has a slot cut so that it will fit onto the bar and slide along with it. There is also a slot on the side which rides along another hardwood support piece which was also added to the bench.

I pulled this all out of my ass as I was building it so hopefully the pictures show more then what I can tell you about it. I will say that once it was finished I tested it out and it works like a charm. The wooden jaw clamps nice and flat/square to the bench and with the bench dog it held my work just fine. I am very very very happy to have added this and to tell you the truth, I don’t know that I even need to go out and spend the money on a nice vise now. If this one continues to work for me then I am fine with it.

In my last photo is also an adjustable bench stop that I added to the side of the bench. I made this by drilling a series of holes and then filed them clean. It can easily raise and lower by loosening the knobs.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

14 comments so far

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4541 days

#1 posted 11-17-2010 06:19 PM

Very creative. Good ideas.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4648 days

#2 posted 11-17-2010 06:25 PM

Cool idea. I like this one better than the one shown in FWW using pipe clamps that I plan on doing sometime.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4333 days

#3 posted 11-17-2010 06:33 PM

Eric – I do believe it was FWW where I got the idea for this. In my opinion it was well worth it. Didn’t cost me a dime and works great so far.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View PurpLev's profile


8654 posts in 5101 days

#4 posted 11-17-2010 06:44 PM

great setup. my fav end vise.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4641 days

#5 posted 11-17-2010 07:22 PM

Great vise while saving money, very creative no doubt. Congrats.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View swirt's profile


7655 posts in 4424 days

#6 posted 11-17-2010 07:41 PM

Great creation of an end vice, and you saved yourself a lot of money.

That bit of iron from the vise scares me though. It only takes one contact with the plane to ruin your day. By the looks of it, it looks like you could easily drop the vice down another 1/2” or so just by moving the bolts holes in the wood down. That would get the metal part of the vise just below the surface of the bench and out of the path of a chisel or plane blade. either that or grind off the top of the clamp head if that is easier.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4333 days

#7 posted 11-17-2010 08:09 PM

Swirt – My first plan was to leave the metal and not attach a wood block. The metal would have acted as a bench dog to clamp the boards. I then decided to add the wood block. I think with the two dog holes I have enough room to work around that part of the clamp without it getting in the way. If it ends up becoming a problem then I will go with your advice and lower the clamp.

Thanks for the ideas!

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4917 days

#8 posted 11-17-2010 11:08 PM

fantastic! that bar clamp looks solid as a rock. i added a similar stop/planing block to the end of my workbench and it makes things so much easier.

have you looked into making a face vice with pipe clamps? if you’re happy with your end vice, then you might want to give those a shot.

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4333 days

#9 posted 11-17-2010 11:18 PM

Aaron- Yes the bar clamp is as solid as I have ever seen. Its def an antique. As I said I had planned on restoring them but I decided to give one up for this project. I hope its not super valuable..

I currently have a face vice, its a cheap one but I have modified that one as well to make it work for me.

I got the idea for the adjustable planing block from Shop Notes. It was one of those things I had been meaning to add to my bench but never got around to it. I figured since I was doing the whole end vise thing I might as well throw that on also.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 5175 days

#10 posted 11-18-2010 04:13 AM

Very nice idea. My bench vise is also shop made and I have been looking for a way to make an end vise. Thanks for posting this, it has given me some additional ideas.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4256 days

#11 posted 11-19-2010 02:34 AM

Very kool idea. I’ll bet it works grrrrreat

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Bricofleur's profile


1483 posts in 4645 days

#12 posted 11-27-2010 12:34 AM

Clever. I like this kind of stuff. I believe this heavy duty bar clamp will be used more often then ever before. Just great!



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View dubsaloon's profile


623 posts in 4246 days

#13 posted 12-19-2010 11:27 AM

That is function that works. God Thinkin.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 3686 days

#14 posted 10-15-2012 01:49 PM

I was looking at the new Lee Valley / Veritas pipe vise yesterday and almost ordered it. Looking around the shop last night I decided to use a Jorgensen #72 ” I beam” clamp that rarely gets used anymore. Looking at your approach helps me envision my vise set up, Thanks !

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics