Make 10, Week 7
Some day I’d like to either rebuild this cart or build a more traditional work bench. Until then, I’m getting an idea of what is helpful and what is not helpful for me to a work surface. One thing I decided to add last week was a bench vice.
This is an Eclipse 7-inch vice that has a few features that I wanted. I wanted something that mounted to the side of the bench and sat level with the surface. I didn’t want a bench-top model. I also wanted something that I could use to hold a workpiece against a bench dog, and this has a little notch that can pop up for this purpose. I also wanted to screw in some scrap wood to prevent the metal of the vice from marring the surface of a workpiece. Lastly, I like how this vice has a quick release to quickly open and close without working the vice.
I opted for the smaller 7-inch model because it was significantly cheaper and I don’t see myself needing to hold anything much bigger. Plus it just seemed like a small vice would be an easier retro fit into my bench`.
The vice is designed to sit about 2.25-inches from the surface. This means a 2×4 and 3/4-inch bench top fits it perfectly. Since the front of my cart has a 2×4 running vertically, I trimmed down a section with the jigsaw. The cutout isn’t pretty, but it works. Then I screwed in a new 2×4 to lay flat under the bench top. This supports the second bolts for the vice and I have it screwed from the front of the work bench and sides with the side of the bench and middle cross support.
I ran four 3/8-inch 4-inch hex bolts through the bench top and secured them with washers and nuts. The rear bolts could actually be shorter since there’s less material in the vice. I made it work just by adding some extra washers rather than another trip to the hardware store. Also, I didn’t have a 3/8 counter-sink bit to have the bolt sit below the bench top. I ended up just making the holes a little bigger with a drill. Doing this, however, I actually over drilled a couple of the holes, so the heads spun freely in those holes. It’s not solid tight, but it works.
The last part was I cut two pieces from 1×4 pine to screw into the vice. I trimmed the height of the board to be flush with the workbench top.
Tip: Make sure to screw in the wood before bolting it down! Another tip, this thing fell off the bench and chipped the paint. Don’t do that either.