I have a very nice woodworking workbench.  My bench is adjustable height, has a built in mobile base, bench dogs, a twin screw vise on one end and a quick acting face vise on the other end.  It is a fantastic bench for woodworking, which is most of what I do in my shop.  I do like metal working, but I focus on woodworking.  Occasionally, I need to use a metal vise and I discovered a great, and very easy, solution.

I have two metal vises.  I keep the better one in the garage and I have a smaller one that I keep downstairs in my woodshop.

Wilton Metal Vise

My old Wilton metal vise

This is a really quick and easy tip.  I just bolt a tee shaped block on to the bottom of the metal vise.  On those occasions when I need a metal vise I drop it into one of the vises on my woodworking workbench, tighten it down and I am ready to go!

The block is made up of a small wooden “plate” with holes that correspond to the mounting holes in the vise. I glued another block on to the plate that can be clamped into the vise on my bench.

Mounting block for vise

Tee shaped mounting block is bolted on to bottom of metal vise

Notice that I use carriage bolts to connect the plate to the bottom of the vise.  I often use carriage bolts on wood because once I pound them into the wood they will lock in place.  This means that I don’t need two wrenches to tighten the bolt.  The heads on the carriage bolts also give a much more finished appearance than regular hex heads.

carriage bolt

Carriage bolts have a square section just under the head

Recess in wood from carriage bolt

You can create a recess in wood by tapping the carriage bolt with a hammer

Head of Carriage bolt

Then the carriage bolt will fit snugly into that recess

Head of Carriage bolt flush with wood surface

Carriage bolts have a very finished look when they are flush with the surface

 

Metal Vise ready to install on Woodworking Workbench

Metal Vise ready to install on Woodworking Workbench

I normally store the metal vise someplace out of the way.  When I need to use it I just pull it out, drop it into my face vise, tighten it down, and I am ready for metalworking!

 

Metal vise temporarily installed on Woodworking Workbench

Metal vise temporarily installed on Woodworking Workbench

This is how the vise “might” look when I am actually using it!

Fun with vises on my workbench

Fun with vises on my workbench!

I have to thank my friend Al Frank for giving me the idea for this.  I don’t know if it was his original idea or if he “borrowed” it from someone else, but I really like it.  I hope you like it, too!

Please be sure to check out my other blog articles and for sure leave a comment.  I would love hear about how you approach this issue in your shop!

Thanks!

Charlie