A vise is indispensable in a workshop.
It’s like an extra pair of hands.
But when clamping wood, you run the risk of over-tightening, resulting in damage to your workpiece. Thanks to that damage, you can throw away expensive wood and start all over again.
Nobody likes that, but with these bench vise covers, you don’t have to worry about that.
Damage by over-tightening is excluded thanks to these covers.
I made 2 different types of covers for my workshop.
The first type has both a horizontal and a vertical groove with which round objects can be clamped very easily.
The second type is provided with rubber so that items that are extra sensitive to damage, such as threaded rods, can be clamped.
Both types have strong magnets on the back for easy placing or removal.
In this blog, I will show you step by step how to make these vise covers for your workshop.
No more damaged wood from now on!
Before we start building
To prepare you for building this project, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipment that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this jig.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! protect yourself!
Materials I used for this Bench vise covers
(power)Tools I used for this bench vise covers
Building these Bench vise covers step by step
Model 1 with v-grooves
Step 1 | Making a V- groove with the table saw
The V-groove provided in these bench vise covers can be made in different ways.
Since I currently do not have a V-groove bit for my router, I have used an alternative method.
By placing the saw blade of my table saw at an angle of 45 degrees and lifting the saw blade just above the surface, I could very easily create a shallow V-groove.
After first making a test cut I was able to adjust the fence to the correct distance from the saw blade so that the groove was perfectly in the middle of the bench vise covers.
Step 2 | Making the bench vise covers
The bench vise covers are made in one piece and have an L-shape.
By taking a square piece of wood and making two cuts with the table saw I was able to remove the excess wood.
Due to the L-shape that I got after making these cuts, the bench vise covers fit perfectly over the bench vise jaws.
Once I had cut the shape I could now cut the bench vise covers to length so that they fit perfectly on my vise.
After cutting the bench vise covers to size, I chamfered the edges so that they are better protected against impact.
I did this by going a few steps over the edges with my Stanley block plane at an angle of 45 degrees.
The last step in making the bench vise covers was making the vertical groove.
I did that in the same way as the horizontal groove.
This time I didn’t let the wood slide along the fence but used my miter gauge.
Clamping the workpiece to the miter gauge was a much safer way of working.
Step 3 | Placing the magnets
Now that the base of the bench vise covers was made, I could provide them with 2 powerful magnets on the back. These make it possible to install or remove the covers to the bench vise quickly and easily.
With a Forstner drill, I made 2 holes on the back of the covers in which the magnets fit.
The hole was made slightly deeper than the thickness of the magnets so that glue could still be applied between the magnets and the wood.
To drill these holes safely, I clamped the covers on my homemade drill press vise. Thanks to the step-by-step instructions and the FREE PLANS on this blog, you can make this vise for your workshop too.
The magnets were fixed with epoxy glue.
As you can see in the video above, I always mix epoxy glue on blue painter’s tape. That way I can check on the tape that the glue is completely dry, without touching the actual glued piece and having the chance that the bonding fails. Another advantage is that thanks to the tape, the rest of the glue is easy to clean.
After the glue had hardened, the glue residues were sanded off with coarse sandpaper.
Step 4 | Finishing
To protect the bench vise covers against scratches and damage, I treated the wood with varnish.
When using varnish, allow it to cure sufficiently.
I left it untouched for 24 hours to make sure the varnish was hard.
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Model 2 with rubber
Step 1 | Preparations + cutting the rubber to size
The second type of bench vise covers I made was rubberized.
The preparations to make the base of the covers were the same as those of the type I discussed earlier.
By placing a cover on the rubber I could cut out a piece of rubber with exactly the same dimensions as the cover.
Step 2 | Gluing
To glue the rubber to the base I used contact cement.
This glue must be applied to both parts and let dry for a while.
If you touch the glue with your finger and the glue does not come off when you pull your finger back, you can attach both parts to each other.
Step 3 | Finishing
To finish the bench vise covers I made a bevel on the rubber. I did that with my block plane, just the same as I made the bevels on the covers.
After covering the rubber with painter’s tape, I also treated these bench vise covers with varnish to protect the wood.
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Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration