Vise chop liner

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 01-31-2014 12:32 PM 1858 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 3434 days

01-31-2014 12:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench vise cork

I have heard a lot of people lining their workbench vise chops with leather, but what about cork? I happen to have some thin cork laying around and I’m wondering if it’s a good idea.


-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

8 replies so far

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 3156 days

#1 posted 01-31-2014 01:00 PM

Cork would improve the grip, but wouldn’t be as durable. I think you’d have to replace it pretty frequently. That said, if you have a lot of free cork, and can figure out a way to switch out an old one for a new one quickly and without a mess, it would be a plausible option.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17268 posts in 3668 days

#2 posted 01-31-2014 01:07 PM

Try it, see what happens…

For leather, I was able to strip a seat cushion that was curbside for the garbage pickup one Saturday; it was a leather loveseat that had seen better days. Pulled the cover and had what I needed with plenty to spare.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3682 days

#3 posted 01-31-2014 01:52 PM

I think cork is a good idea. While not as durable as leather, I think it would still last a long time.
Just use any adhesives sparingly, making removal an easier process.. I can’t imgine needing more than a few well-placed dabs of contact cement to hold it in place.

View bondogaposis's profile


5972 posts in 3400 days

#4 posted 01-31-2014 02:02 PM

I think it would increase the gripping power of a vise nicely. I wonder about it’s durability though, it may not hold up as well as leather. Try it and let us know.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View JeffDM's profile


8 posts in 3235 days

#5 posted 01-31-2014 02:11 PM

I made a cheap moxon style vise and lined it with cork. It does improve the grip but when I make another I will line with leather.

As the others have mentioned the cork is not as durable. This wouldn’t be a big problem if it just lost grip over time but what happens is you get little pieces of cork flaking off that then gets stuck in the rest of the lining. One day you pull out your case side that you just spent a decent amount of effort dovetailing and see a bunch of little dents in the wood because of the cork protusions. Sure, you can usually steam them out but why add the hassle?

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 3156 days

#6 posted 01-31-2014 03:28 PM

I didn’t think about the cork flaking off and sticking to the remaining cork. I wouldn’t have guessed it could dent a workpiece either. I’m glad you chimed in!

Another low cost option I’ve seen used is shelf liner. I’m pretty sure that’s what Paul sellers uses in his vices. It doesn’t last as long as leather, but it’s cheap, and grips incredibly well based on his vids. He glues it to the top of his vise like a flap, so he can flip it out of the way in instances where he doesn’t want to use it.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View DubyaB's profile


18 posts in 2634 days

#7 posted 01-31-2014 04:56 PM

I lined mine with leather which works great, I used double sided carpet tape to adhere to the wood, use that with the cork and see how it works!

View mds2's profile


310 posts in 2993 days

#8 posted 01-31-2014 05:18 PM

I use shelf liner stuff from menards. Not very durable but it works well.

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