How to Build a Homemade Vice

Vices are used for holding pieces of wood that are being worked to fabricate an object.
Mass-produced vices can be expensive compared with homemade versions.Mass-produced vices can be expensive compared with homemade versions.
Workbenches are commonly made up of a number of devices designed to hold a piece of wood or a wooden object firmly in place as work is completed on the wood. By firmly gripping the piece of wood, the person working the lumber can be sure the wood will not move and the carpenter has both hands free for using tools. A basic vice can be constructed from lumber without the expensive metal jaws used to apply pressure to the wood.

Step 1

Screw a 2-by-4-by-8 piece of wood to the surface to be used as the workbench. Drill pilot holes first to ease the inserting of screws.

Step 2

Set the blade of a table saw to between 35 and 40 degrees. Where a tapering jig is used on the table saw it should be set to a 15-degree angle.

Step 3

Cut a 2-by-8-by-8 piece of wood down the center using the table saw; cut the wood with the grain. Using the slanted settings on the table saw, two trapezoid shaped pieces of wood are created.

Step 4

Place the larger of the two cut pieces with its longest side on the table parallel to the 2-by-4-by-8 piece of wood around 11 inches from the 2-by-4-by-8 piece. Drill holes in the wood and surface and screw into place using wood screws.

Step 5

Insert the piece of wood to be worked flush to the 2-by-4-by-8 piece of wood. Insert the second unattached piece of sawn wood against the cut piece that has been screwed to the surface to hold the wood in place.

Things You Will Need

  • 2-by-4-by-8 piece of wood
  • 2-by-8-by-8 piece of wood
  • Table saw with a tapering jig
  • Drill/electric screwdriver
  • Wood screws


  • Use a hammer or mallet to tap the second piece of trapezoid-shaped wood into place against the wood to be worked on.

About the Author

Paul Cartmell began his career as a writer for documentaries and fictional films in the United Kingdom in the mid-1990s. Working in documentary journalism, Cartmell wrote about a wide variety of subjects including racism in professional sports. Cartmell attended the University of Lincoln and London Metropolitan University, gaining degrees in journalism and film studies.