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How to temp. a Metal Vise on a Woodworking Workbench

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.

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.

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 bolts have a square section just under the head

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

Then the carriage bolt will fit snugly into that recess

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

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

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

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!




New Interviews with Prominent Woodworkers

I know many YouTubers do regularly scheduled updates on their channels. I can’t commit to regularly scheduled updates at this time. I think later this year I am likely to begin some kind of regular update, but I am just not ready for that yet.

Fast Acting Twin Screw Vise

My friend, Andy Klein, asked me to help him with the prototype on a fast acting twin screw vise that he designed. I spoke before about this, but it certainly is one of the bigger things that I have been working on. For a variety of reasons, Andy was not able to work on the prototype for the vise. I ordered material from an online supply house, fabricated the parts, welded them together, and assembled the completed prototype. Along the way, Andy and I worked together to refine the design. This was a lot of fun!

Four Way Parallel Clamps

Before the vise was even completed, Andy presented another new design to me. This one was for some four way parallel clamps. The clamps were another very fun project that I recently worked on.

Jack Bench: Series of Interviews for YouTube

When the projects with Andy started to slow down I decided that I would conduct a series of interviews for my YouTube channel. My idea is to conduct face to face interviews with prominent woodworkers. Many of the people I will interview are well known on YouTube and on the internet, but there are some fabulous craftsmen, wood artists, and makers without a strong internet presence.  I am interested in meeting anyone with an interesting story whether they have an internet presence or not.

I interviewed George Vondriska of the Woodworkers’ Guild of America. Actually, I did 3 interviews and a shop tour with George. George also discussed workbenches. As it turns out, George likes Adjustable Height Workbenches. He likes them so much that he has not one, not two, but three of them in his shop!

I also interviewed Tom Caspar. Tom works in a fabulous shop and we did a video tour of his shop. Unfortunately, my el-cheapo microphones failed and I was unable to salvage any of the footage from the shop tour with Tom. Hopefully, he will be nice enough to give me another chance.

Last week I interviewed Matt Cremona. Matt is involved in a really exciting project with the Wood Whisperer, Marc Spagnuolo. Matt is conducting an on-line woodworking class for the Wood Whisperer’s Guild. I also got to see some of the cool things in Matt’s shop. Among the coolest was a 16″ circular saw! The best part was the Matt let me use it, that was fun!

Going forward, I have commitments for interviews from Zac Higgins at NV Woodworks, Ray at TabLeft Woodworks, Matthew Morris at MM Wood Studio, and from my friend Andy Klein. There are several others who I plan to interview, but I don’t want to say more about them until I actually schedule the meetings.


Welcome To Jack Bench Woodworking

Adjustable Height Workbench

Adjustable Height WorkbenchHello and welcome to the new Jack Bench website. I am very excited to introduce the new website and the changes that have been made. I hope this can be a place that can fuel discussion amongst wood workers and generate ideas. And I will be posting weekly blogs to help facilitate this conversation. So, I think we should get to it, the exciting news:

The plans for the ergonomic, movable, and adjustable height Jack Bench can now be obtained through digital download! This allows you to get to work immediately, rather than waiting a couple days for them to arrive via mail. This is a great option for younger woodworkers who utilize a tablet. Of course, for those who still like large, physical copies of the plans, ones that they can hold in their hands, the plans can still be purchased through regular mail. Both options have their own benefits, and it really depends on your personal preference which one you want.

Hard Copy Workbench Plans

The physical plans are great because they are printed on 11×17 paper and this large format enables woodworkers to get an up close and personal look at the plans. They can also be filed away and pulled out years later should you want to build the bench again. These plans are probably the best option for people who still like to read an actual newspaper, instead of dealing with the internet.

Digital Download Workbench Plans

This is a good option for people who use tablet computers in their workshop. People who choose this option could print the plans, however they would be either condensed or split up as standard home printers use 8.5”x11” paper and the plans that I sell come on 11”x17” paper. Although, when you use the plans on a tablet computer, you can zoom in and get close looks at the plans, just like you could with the hard copy plans. Really, it all depends on your personal preference and if you mind waiting a couple days for the plans or you want them immediately.

DIY Workbench Plans & More

With the new Jack Bench website, not only will I continue to offer plans for the adjustable height workbench, but other plans will be offered too. Right now plans are being drawn up for a jewelry box with a locking mechanism and those will be offered shortly. And more plans will be coming too. So remember to check back here often as I will always be adding to and updating the site. Also, if any of you have recently built a Jack Bench, I would love to see pictures of it. Always curious to see others’ creations. Until next time, Charlie Kocourek.