Help with a vise that's not parallel

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Forum topic by RD87 posted 04-23-2017 06:27 PM 1541 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 1406 days

04-23-2017 06:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: vise

I installed a quick-release vise in my bench, and installed some hardwood faces. I planed the faces square, but when I installed them an issue became apparent.

They were touching the the top, but had a 1/16 – 1/8” gap at the bottom. At first I thought I had planed the hardwood unevenly, but after I took the faces off, I noticed the vice faces themselves had this issue.

As you can see, there is about a 1/8” distance at the top (the mounting bolts don’t allow the bare faces to close all the way).

And at the bottom it is a little over 3/16”. Any ideas how to fix this? Or should I just retrofit my hardwood faces to compensate for this gap?

8 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


5605 posts in 2955 days

#1 posted 04-23-2017 06:30 PM

When you put a piece of wood in the vise and tighten the jaws, does it hold solidly? If so fugeddaboutit.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4252 days

#2 posted 04-23-2017 06:50 PM

Vice jaws are often toed-in. They become
parallel when tightened.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3972 days

#3 posted 04-23-2017 06:51 PM

. Give us a picture of the whole vice opened up. Sounds like you are not mounted right if the bolt/screws are keeping it from closing.

View RD87's profile


19 posts in 1406 days

#4 posted 04-23-2017 07:08 PM

It holds tight, the problem really came to light when I went to use the vice to laminate two small blocks of wood. It appeared as if the top was receiving more pressure than the bottom. I do not know if this would actually be enough of an issue to cause a problem with such a glue-up (I have been looking forward to trying my hand at making a small wooden plane by laminating this way, following Paul Sellers video).

the bolts that hold the face against the bench are recessed into the hardwood face.

And here is a pic of the recessed holes:

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212 posts in 1083 days

#5 posted 04-23-2017 07:13 PM

-- Y'all need to locate a sense of humor. Borrow one if you can't find yours...

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3584 posts in 3972 days

#6 posted 04-23-2017 07:20 PM

The first pictures show a gap between the jaws that would be caused by the bolt heads? Are you sure the face boards are square and flat facing together? Is there anything under the bench that might interfere with the vice operation? Take the vice off the bench and see how it operates laying on top, does it close up tight, does it close tight with your face boards?

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 3020 days

#7 posted 04-23-2017 07:22 PM

The vice is fine. 1/16 tighter at the top is desirable, so when the vice wracks when tightened the moving jaw pulls square to the fixed face.
when you fit wood jaws they should be sanded hollow top to bottom mid jaw by the thickness of a postcard so the edges grip harder stopping workpieses from moving. Glue leather liner over the wood jaw and you will never see it.

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View RD87's profile


19 posts in 1406 days

#8 posted 04-27-2017 06:28 PM

Thank you to everyone for the replies.

I looked into the “toe-in” and it appears that is whats going on. When I tighten the vice with the wood faces installed, the gap disappears, and the underlying reason for this makes sense to me.

Being a beginner, it amazes me how much I don’t know, but I can always rely on the LJ’s to help me out!

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