How to Mount a Vise

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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

Bolts

JACKSON PALMER 1,700 Piece Hardware Assortment Kit with Screws, Nuts, Bolts & Washers (3 Trays)

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)

Neiko 50400A Split Lock and Flat Washer Assortment Stainless Steel 350 Piece, Silver

These will keep the mounting bolts securely in place without loosening. 

Lock Washers

Sutemribor 304 Stainless Steel Spring Lock Washer Assortment Set 600 Pieces, 9 Sizes - M2 M2.5 M3 M4 M5 M6 M8 M10 M12

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

DYWISHKEY 480 PCS M2 M2.5 M3 M4 M5 M6, 304 Stainless Steel Phillips Pan Head Screws Combine with Spring Washer and Flat Washers Nuts Assortment Kit

Nuts will mount the bolts to the base of your vise’s work platform. 

Tools

DEWALT Mechanics Tool Set, 205-Piece (DWMT81534)

As long as you have a standard tool set, you should be fine.

Pencil

Amazon Basics Woodcased #2 Pencils, Pre-sharpened, HB Lead - Box of 150, Bulk Box

This will be used to mark the holes where you’ll be drilling holes into your work mounting surface to mount your vice.

Cordless Drill

DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch (DCD771C2)

It’s far easier to use this for drilling holes as you aren’t restricted to the length of your power cord or outlet.

Drill Bit

DEWALT DW1341 14-Piece Titanium Speed Tip Drill Bit Set

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.

Socket

DEWALT Mechanics Tools Kit and Socket Set, 108-Piece (DWMT73801)

Whether you attach it to the drill or socket wrench, you’ll need this to tighten down the mounting nuts.

Wrenches

TEKTON Combination Wrench Set, 30-Piece (1/4-1 in., 8-22 mm) - Holder | 90191

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

WEN 455BV 5-Inch Heavy Duty Cast Iron Bench Vise with Swivel Base

  1. Choose Your Mounting Surface

Make sure you plan this out carefully, as your vice could be there for a very long time.

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

Conclusion

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!

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