How to make soft jaws for a vise – Part 1


Hi makers, builders and hackers. Harley here
with a quick and easy to make shop tool accessory project. I was working on a repair project a couple
weeks ago, and needed to put the project in a vise. However, because it was a repair,
it already had a finish on it and I didn’t want the metal jaws on the vise to mar the
finish on the finished piece. So, I grabbed a couple pieces of scrap wood out of the pile
and was trying to balance two pieces of thin scrap wood with the project and tighten up
the vice all at the same time. Things were just falling all over the place, getting messy,
I figured there had to be a better way. I went back to the scrap wood pile, pulled out
a cut off piece of two-by-four and realized the width of the two-by-four was almost exactly
the width of the vice jaws. And inspiration struck. What I realized was I could make a couple
cuts: one down the center; one at about a quarter in on one side and one about a quarter
in on the other side; trim those off; and then do another cut across here. And I would
end up with two pieces that would fit over the jaws giving me a nice soft, relatively
speaking, surface to clamp things with. There are six cuts that I can do with just
four setups. The first setup I’ll cut lengthwise for the first notch, flip the board over,
cut the second notch lengthwise; move the fence over to the halfway point on the wood
and cut the long slit that would separate the two jaw pads. Third setup: move the fence
down and cut off the first notch, flip the board over, cut off the second notch. Fourth
setup: move the fence down a little bit and finally cut off the two soft pads and the
cutting will be done. With those cuts done, we now have a functional
set of soft jaws. We can put a project in there and tighten it down without having the
metal jaws of the vice coming into contact with the project we’re trying to keep nice
and pristine. So that’s it for this episode. Next episode
I plan on doing some upgrades for this to make it a little bit more functional. Feel free to comment, like and subscribe on
the YouTube channel. Until next time, go make something. It doesn’t
have to be perfect, just have fun!

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