A vise is one of those exceptionally useful tools that every garage should come with. Used to hold everything from pencils to logs, there’s just so many things you can get accomplished with a vise. But a vise is only as good as its mount.
What’s a vise you say? A vise is a device that is used to hold objects still or to clamp them between two fixed objects.
A vise that is used to hold objects still is generally called a clamp, while a vise that is used to hold objects between two objects is generally called a bench vise.
If you want to mount a vise to your bench, the first step is to decide where to mount it. Mounting a vise is a simple process, but it is imperative that you follow the steps in the correct order.
This article is all about mounting a vise., Using this step by step guide will make you the vise-installing King or Queen of your workshop or garage.
Ready to get started with learning how to mount a vice? Let’s get started.
Tools and Materials Needed
Your mounting bolts will hold the vise to the mounting surface. Just as your work surface needs to be strong enough to hold the vise in place, so do your bolts. They should come with your new vise. If you have a used vise, just measure the bolt holes and get some high-quality rust resistant bolts.
Washers (top & underside)
These will keep the mounting bolts securely in place without loosening.
A lock washer is a special type of washer that is used to prevent nuts and bolts from loosening. They are conical in shape and have ridges that cause the washer to expand when tightened.
Nuts will mount the bolts to the base of your vise’s work platform.
As long as you have a standard tool set, you should be fine.
This will be used to mark the holes where you’ll be drilling holes into your work mounting surface to mount your vice.
It’s far easier to use this for drilling holes as you aren’t restricted to the length of your power cord or outlet.
If you have one, drill bits can be picked up from any hardware store. Be sure you use the recommended size for drilling the holes into the vise mounting surface.
Whether you attach it to the drill or socket wrench, you’ll need this to tighten down the mounting nuts.
You can also use these to tighten the mounting nuts. A Vice grip wrench is also very handy.
How To Mount a Bench Vise: Step by Step Guide
- Choose Your Mounting Surface
Make sure you plan this out carefully, as your vice could be there for a very long time.
- Place the Vise on the Mounting Surface
The vise should be set towards one corner of the mounting surface. Please make sure your mounting surface is thick enough to actually support the pressure that will be used for clamping. We recommend at the very least 2.5 inches or more for proper mounting of a vise.
- Check the Clearance
Make sure that you have enough clearance to turn the vise at least 90 degrees at each corner. This will ensure you can use the vise in either direction while something is clamped to it. You should be able to clamp even a long item at your vise rotating points.
- Mark Your Drill Holes
Once the vise is where you want it to be, then go ahead and use your pencil to mark where the bolt holes should be.
Remove the vise and drill the four holes. Just for your information, the innermost bolts are what’s actually taking all of the pressure from the clamping of an object. The outer bolts will be keeping the vise straight.
After the holes have been drilled, just mount the vise down with the bolts and washers and locking clamps.
BAM – You’re Done!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Mount a Vise to Plywood?
Can I mount a vise to plywood? It’s possible, but it’s not normally recommended. Most vises include rubber padding between the jaws and the frame to prevent damage to the workpiece.
Unfortunately, this padding can result in the vise not holding securely to a workpiece, especially plywood. If you place a vise on plywood and try to clamp a piece of wood to it, the vise will likely slide across the surface. To prevent this, you need to prevent the vise from moving on the plywood.
What Is the Best Height for a Workbench?
It’s generally accepted that the best height will be between 36 inches and 39 inches high because of the forces exerted on the work surface. Naturally this depends on your height and comfort level.
We hope you enjoyed our step by step guide on how to mount a vise. You learned about where to mount a vise, what materials to use and how to mount the vise step by step. Now it’s your turn. Happy Vise Mounting!