2 Types Of DIY Magnetic Bench Vise Covers | Easy To Make & Use

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 vise jaw pads 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 of vise soft jaws 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. Learn how to make soft jaws for a vise in this step by step blog for your workshop. No more damaged wood from now on!

Disclosure: At zero cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I earn from qualifying purchases as an Amazon associate. Products featured are selected based on quality, performance, and reputation, regardless of affiliate relationships.

Watch the video here & learn how to make bench vise covers

Here you can watch the video and see how to make the bench vise covers.
After watching the video, you can continue reading the step-by-step guide to making these covers yourself. 

How to make 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.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

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.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

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.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

Once I had cut the shape, I could now cut the bench vise covers to length so that they fit perfectly on my vise.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

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.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

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.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use
Ebook part 1 woodworking basics

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.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

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. Learn how to mix epoxy in my article How to Mix Epoxy Glue Properly: A Clear Step-by-Step Guide to Success.
After the glue had hardened, the glue residues were sanded off with coarse sandpaper.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

Pro Tip

If you want to know more about how to determine the right sandpaper for your project, be sure to check out my blog: The perfect sandpaper grit guide for woodworking.

Everything you need to know about sandpaper can be found in this article. It will no doubt give you a better understanding of the proper use of sandpaper. There is also a FREE downloadable guide available to help you determine the right sandpaper grit. Highly recommended!

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.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

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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.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

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.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

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.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

After covering the rubber with painter’s tape, I also treated these bench vise covers with varnish to protect the wood.

2 Different types of DIY magnetic bench vise covers _ Easy to make & use

how to make soft jaws for a vise – Conclusion

In this article, I have provided a step-by-step guide on how to make bench vise covers using two different methods: one with V-grooves and the other with rubber. These DIY magnetic bench vise covers offer practicality and protection to your vise jaws.

For the V-groove model, I demonstrated how to create a shallow V-groove using a table saw at a 45-degree angle. By making precise cuts and chamfering the edges, the bench vise covers fit perfectly over the vise jaws. We also incorporated powerful magnets on the back, allowing for easy installation and removal.

Alternatively, the rubberized model involved cutting a piece of rubber to match the dimensions of the cover and using contact cement to secure it in place. Finishing touches such as beveling the rubber and applying varnish to the wood were done to ensure durability and protection.

Regardless of the method chosen, these DIY bench vise covers provide an affordable and customizable solution for woodworkers. By following the detailed instructions provided, you can create your own covers to enhance the functionality and longevity of your bench vise.

Remember to exercise caution and adhere to safety guidelines throughout the process. Whether you opt for the V-groove or rubberized design, these bench vise covers will undoubtedly prove to be valuable additions to your workshop.

So why wait? Start crafting your own bench vise covers today and enjoy the benefits they bring to your woodworking projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bench vise covers necessary?

Yes, bench vise covers are highly recommended as they provide several benefits. They protect the vise jaws from damage, prevent marring or scratching of workpieces, and offer better grip.

Can I customize the size of the bench vise covers?

Absolutely! One of the advantages of making DIY bench vise covers is the ability to customize their size. You can adapt the dimensions to fit your specific vise and the requirements of your projects.

How do I attach the bench vise covers to the vise?

If you opt for the magnetic vise cover model, the covers can be easily installed and removed using powerful magnets attached to the back. For the rubberized vise cover model, contact cement is used to secure the rubber to the wooden base.

What materials are suitable for making bench vise covers?

There are various materials you can use to make bench vise covers. Wood is a popular choice due to its durability and ease of customization. Rubber is another option that provides a non-slip surface for gripping workpieces securely.

Can I use these bench vise covers on different types of vises?

Yes, the DIY bench vise covers described in this article can be used on different types of vises, including woodworking vises, metalworking vises, and general-purpose vises. Just ensure that the dimensions and attachment method are compatible with your specific vise.

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I hope this information on how to make bench vise covers was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.

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Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration

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