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How to use a woodworking vice

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Donkee DIY guide While there are many different types of woodworking vice, they are all used in a similar way. Here are a few easy steps explaining how to use your vice.

Before you begin

mounting a vice

Step 1 – Mount vice

Before using your vice, make sure it is securely mounted onto a workbench or sufficient work surface.

For more information on mounting, visit How to mount a woodworking vice.

Using your vice

anti-clockwise

Step 2 – Open vice jaws

Turn the handle anti-clockwise to open the vice jaws.

open jaws with handle Keep rotating the handle until the jaws are open wide enough to fit your workpiece.
object in vice

Step 3 – Place workpiece

Place the workpiece in-between the jaws. Make sure the area to be worked on is placed as close to the edge of the jaws as possible. This will avoid any vibrations when sawing, drilling, filing, etc.

Donkee says' remember to use your jaw pads'
clockwise

Step 4 – Close vice jaws

Close the jaws by rotating the handle in a clockwise direction.

vice holding wood Keep rotating the handle until the jaws are firmly closed around the workpiece.
vibrating vice

Step 5 – Avoid racking

Racking occurs when the pressure applied onto a workpiece is not even because the sliding jaw tilts or twists when the vice is closed. This will result in the workpiece slipping out of place in the vice. If the jaw pressure is uneven, use a wooden toe-in or a spacer block to avoid racking.

For more information, visit What is racking? and What is a toe-in feature?

sawing wood in a vice Once you have completed these steps, the workpiece will now be securely clamped and ready to be worked on!

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