Build Your Own Woodworking Vise!
Workbench vises are essential to woodworking. However, the conventional vises that come with a bench can be difficult to use with some jobs. For example, when working with small pieces, or doing detail work that requires a lot of finesse, most vices are too big and too low to work at comfortably.
Our shop-made vise design you see here solves the problem. It's based on a traditional style of vise, or étau, that was once common in France and other parts of Europe. It's made from stout hardwood and heavy-duty threaded rods to deliver all the clamping force of a standard vise, but in a compact package. The narrow, profiled jaws let you work on a piece from a variety of angles. Best of all, the vise is elevated so I'm not stooped over while working—a real back-saver. Plus, the design provides three ways to attach it to just about any work surface or bench.