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Ask the Staff


Someone sold me a Snap On vise (I think it is a machinist vise) and I was wondering whether is it a waste or destructive to mount it onto a wooden workbench. Will the workbench be able to handle the weight and movements of the work involved? I am not exactly a woodworker, as I am interested in metal work projects such as handling knives, hanging/profiling axes, metal sculpturing besides curving spoons, curving wooden boxes, etc.


Is it is a machinist style vise somewhat like this?

If so, I would mount the vise on a base of 3/4" plywood or MDF (or double it up in thickness so you can countersink the heads of through bolts on the bottom of the base). Make the base a size that you can securely and easily clamp to your work bench (say a 12" or 14 " square base) with clamps that you have. This way it will let you remove the vise when not needed and you do not have to drill holes in the top of your bench to mount.

Concerning your question about the bench being able to handle it, if the vise is huge and very heavy, you have to be careful that you position the vise so the bench does not become unstable due to the weight of the vise (and what you may put in the jaws of the vise).


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