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How does a woodworking vice work?

Shop for Vices

smooth woodworking vice jaws Similarly to a metalworking vice, a woodworking vice has two jaws which work in a parallel motion in order to firmly clamp an object. Their jaws are smooth and flat, so as to not damage or mar the surface of the wood.
planks of wood Woodworking vice jaws tend to be larger than metalworking vices in order to extend the clamping pressure over a bigger area on a workpiece. This means there is less chance of denting the wood while clamped.

Larger and smoother jaws are important for woodworking vices, compared to metalworking ones, because most types of wood are softer than metal.

woodworking vice One jaw is attached to the fixed mounting bracket and is constantly stationary. The other jaw is attached to a pair of guide bars which slide in and out of the fixed body, allowing the sliding jaw to always move in alignment to the stationary jaw.
threaded screw and nut A threaded screw also connects the sliding jaw to the stationary part of the vice, and is held in place by a long, threaded nut which is securely dovetailed into the main body of the vice.

The screw is then outfitted with a handle, which controls the screw’s movement and can either open or close the vice jaws.

Donkee says 'a dovetail is a joining technique'
open woodwork vice When rotated anti-clockwise, pressure is exerted by the handle through the screw which then moves the sliding jaw outwards, thus opening the jaws and allowing you to insert a piece of wood.
closing vice jaws Conversely, when rotated clockwise, pressure is exerted in the opposite way through the screw. This contracts the sliding section and moves the sliding jaw inwards, bringing the jaws together.
drilling with a woodworking vice When the jaws are closed around a workpiece, the vice holds the object securely in place so that work such as drilling, carving, planing or filing can be completed on it.