Machinist Vise for Woodworking Workbench

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Project by tyvekboy posted 10-30-2012 08:09 PM 35910 views 38 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Oct 30, 2012

After Spending 4 months building my workbench, I just couldn’t bring myself to drilling and attaching a machinist vise. Also, such a permanent installation would interfere with the end vise use so I came up with this work-around.

It consists of 2 pieces of 3/4 inch plywood to serve as the base.

The lower plywood base has over-sized holes drilled in it so that the bolts that attach the vise to the upper plywood base will be recessed and cannot scratch the workbench top.

The sides and back edges of the base are covered with a thin piece of wood to hide the plywood edge.

The front has a 3/4 inch hardwood lip that extends below the base to register to the front of the bench.

The 2nd picture shows a 3/4 inch dowel that projects about 1 inch below the base. This dowel is positioned to engage the 2nd row of bench dog holes and prevent the vise from slipping off the front of the bench top.

For even more security, a holdfast can be used to clamp this setup to the bench as shown in picture 3.

The nice thing about this setup is that the machinist vise can be mounted any where along the front of the workbench.

When not needed, this is stored off the bench top.

Comments appreciated. Questions welcomed.

Thanks for looking.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

16 comments so far

View RaggedKerf's profile


425 posts in 3454 days

#1 posted 10-30-2012 09:03 PM

Looks great! Very solid looking and love the hook on the front. I may add one of those to mine! Excellent work.

-- Steve

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4190 days

#2 posted 10-30-2012 09:38 PM

That will keep your bench clean

Very practical

I have a magnetic tray next to mine, collects

the metal shavings


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27241 posts in 4439 days

#3 posted 10-30-2012 10:48 PM

Pretty neat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Always thinking….I like that…................................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 3443 days

#4 posted 10-30-2012 11:51 PM


Mine’s on a “tee” base that drops into my twin screw jaws.

I’ve done the same with my pocket screw jig and several bench top tools.

View tyvekboy's profile


2150 posts in 4346 days

#5 posted 10-31-2012 02:54 AM


I never thought of setting up my KREG Pocket Screw Jig up like this. Thanks for the idea. I think I’ll do that too.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 4114 days

#6 posted 10-31-2012 01:17 PM

Ditto Barry, bench grinder’s set the same way on my laminate/Arbourite covered bench,

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Jim55's profile


242 posts in 3400 days

#7 posted 10-31-2012 01:19 PM

All around great idea!
Personally, I am hard on tables so don’t make them purty but, that’s just me.(;) But, the idea of being able to locate your vise specifically where and as needed, and to have it out of the way when not is great idea. Too many times my vise was just not in the ‘right’ place or was sorely in the way. Good idea too, to set it up so it uses the existing holes in your table. (Mine may be beat up but I don’t like drilling holes in it either.)

I will be building a new table for my shop in the near future and well may incorporate this idea of yours into it.
Thanks for sharing this one!

View luv2learn's profile


3148 posts in 3636 days

#8 posted 10-31-2012 03:24 PM

Great alternative to a permanent mount. Way to think outside the box.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View HorizontalMike's profile


7934 posts in 4247 days

#9 posted 12-03-2012 01:28 AM

Wow! I like this idea! Will have to bookmark this one. Well done!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Natalie 's profile


369 posts in 3300 days

#10 posted 01-07-2013 04:53 PM

Happy Memories: I have this same type of vise in a box in my shop. It will be mounted somewhere prominent in my shop and I will use it often. It was my father’s and I swear he lived in front of that thing. It’s one of the few things of his that I have, and it is my most cherished. There wasn’t a problem he couldn’t solve or a thing he couldn’t fix. If he didn’t have a tool, he invented one, and if he didn’t have a part he needed he could make one.

-- Natalie - My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I don't like to go there alone.

View realcowtown_eric's profile


642 posts in 3270 days

#11 posted 05-03-2013 02:48 AM

I’m always using diffferent vises and sometime multiples of them

I do the same as you…fabricate mounting plates that let me put any vise anywhere.

Trubble is hangin them all up and out of the way.


Eric in Calgary

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View MikeD48's profile


5 posts in 2332 days

#12 posted 11-05-2015 05:58 PM

I’ve done something very similar with both a big and a small machinist vise—only yours is much prettier 8-)

As mentioned earlier, it is great to be able to locate the vise at various locations on the bench.

Good work as always,

View Whosyourzaidy's profile


1 post in 541 days

#13 posted 07-27-2020 03:07 AM

I just picked up a vise from a friend that looks just like yours! I’m having trouble attaching the base to the top. Got any tips? Do you know the manufacturer?

View tyvekboy's profile


2150 posts in 4346 days

#14 posted 07-27-2020 02:52 PM

Whosyourzaidy—would need some pictures to help you. You could probably search for the construction of any machinist vise and you’ll see how they are put together.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Dark_Lightning's profile


5008 posts in 4442 days

#15 posted 07-29-2020 12:12 AM

That’s a smart solution! But I’d have to add a layer of Masonite or something to stop the grease from soaking into my bench when I’m working on a drive shaft…and I’d have to drill all those holes, which aren’t presently there. They aren’t there as it is my carving bench, and I just clamp things to it ATM. I’ll figure something out.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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