Vice Mount Revisited

In the old Workshopshed, I made some bars to screw to the underside of the bench to mount the bench vice to a good solid clamping point. Unfortunately, when I moved, I forgot to unscrew these and since I’ve moved into the new workshop the vice has been crudely clamped to the bench. Hence I wanted to make a new set for the new workbench.

I had some of the same bar as last time, so it was a simple case of cutting that to length and drilling some holes.

A few years back I was gifted an angle grinder stand. It was not practical to use inside the old wooden workshopshed so I hadn’t really had a chance to test it out. As I had a few cuts to make and it was heavy going sawing, I thought it was worth testing this out. To set up the blade you need to align it in several axes. The left/right is configured with the adjustment of the bolts holding the hinge to the base, the other axes are tuned using the bolts that push against the body of the grinder. This process is a little fiddly and really needs at least one test cut. Now that the screws are in roughly the right place it should be quicker next time, but I think I’d need quite a few cuts to make it worthwhile. The results were a clean-cut that require just a little deburring with a file, as you can see from the pictures there was some colouration from the parts heating up. The process also generates a lot of sparks and dust.

I marked out the bar with the centre line and holes suitable for the fixing points on the vice and for the mounting screws. These were piloted using a 5mm bit then the end holes were enlarged with a 7mm, 8mm and 9mm bit. The screw holes were countersunk and the end holes were tapped to accept 10mm bolts.

I struggled with a cheap tap from a “tap and die set”, I could feel that it was trying to deform the material rather than cut it. Then I found the set of 3 taps that I’d bought for the job the previous time. These cut the metal easily and the bolt screwed smoothly into place. I would recommend if you are starting out, rather than buying a cheap tap set, to pick a couple of sizes and invest in quality taps. It will save a lot of frustration and broken taps. Also for large or deep holes, keep taking the tap out and clean off the swarf.

You can’t see it in the photos but I used a cutting paste for both drilling and tapping.

The final step was to drill some holes in the bench, to loosely fit the bolts, screw the brackets to the table and tighten the bolts.

A green engineers vice mounted to a yellow bench with 4 large bolts

There is still a little work to do on the bench but I’ll cover that in a separate post.

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