An easy portable clamp vise you can easily build for your workshop no matter your skill level. Learn how to make it in no time.
If you have a garage workshop or a small workshop with no space and you want to save money on tools and equipment you can make a simple benchtop portable clamp vise.
It is a handy solution to a problem most woodworkers, hobbyists, and makers encounter. You can attach the clamp vise to any bench using ordinary clamps, turn an ordinary desk into a workbench, move the vise around the shop as necessary, and quickly use it whenever needed.
A bench vise can be quite expensive and I understand that not everybody has a vise in their workshop (neither did I), but you might probably have a set of clamps (at least they are much cheaper than a vise bench). That is all you need to build this simple vise for a workbench.
RELATED: Check out also these other easy DIY Projects for a garage workshop.
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*Safety is your responsibility. Make sure you know what you’re doing and take all necessary safety precautions while working with power tools. Safety comes first!
Please, always be careful and protect yourself.
What you'll need to build the Workshop Portable Vise
Birch Plywood – 25 x 30 x 1,2 cm
8x – L Angles with predrilled holes
8x – M4 Bolts, M4 Nuts, M4 Washers
8x – Wood Screws (3 x 10 mm)
Set of 2 F-Clamps
Let's Start Building
You can easily make this benchtop vise in one afternoon. To build it, no special power tools are needed. Ordinary tools around the shop are sufficient.
Check the list of materials above.
How to Make a Simple Portable Clamp Vise
Step 1: Prepare the L Angles
First I started preparing the L angles that would support and hold the F-Clamps. Those are ordinary angles you can get at your local hardware store.
Add a bit of epoxy on a washer and attach it to the angle around the predrilled holes. Make sure all the holes are easily accessible and there is no epoxy excess. (Better to already get angles with pre-drilled holes, it will save you some trouble. If you don’t have those, drill 4 holes in – 2 holes to fix the L angle to a plywood base and 2 to fix the F-clamps.)
Put a bit of epoxy on a nut and attach it over the washer. Carefully get rid of the epoxy excess so that the holes are clear. Make sure the epoxy does not get in the nut thread.
NOTE: Adding a washer between the L-angle and the nut will allow for more epoxy making the joint stronger.
Repeat the process 7 more times for all L-angles.
Fix the angles together using M4 bolts. Make sure the bolts are long enough to be able to fit the F-Clamps between the angles.
Step 2: Mount the Clamps
Measure and cut the plywood board that servers as a stand for the clamps. I am using a 1,2mm thick plywood desk, see dimensions above.
Place the L-Angles on the plywood board and insert the Clamp between the angles.
Find the right position, tighten the bolts, and fix the angles with the board using wood screws.
Step 3: Make Angle Covers
You can make 2 simple wooden covers that are placed on top of the angles to prevent the cut piece from being scratched or damaged by the angles.
They also serve as stands where the cut piece is placed.
Cut 2 wood stripes that have the same width as the width of the angle and mark the distance between the angle tops on the stripe.
Cut 2 shallow lines on the stripe and use them as rails to cover the top of the angles.
Step 4: Testing the Clamp Vise
I made a few test runs with the clamping vise and I was quite surprised and happy with the result. It is not a full-fledged workbench vise but if you are looking for a simple benchtop vise that can be easily mounted to a benchtop and used right away this one will do the job.
And eventually, when you get yourself a workshop vise you can disassemble this jig easily and get the clamps back 😉
An easy project for woodworking beginners no matter your skill level. If you want a quick and simple benchtop clamp vise that will do the job then make this one. It is easy and you will make it in no time.
How to Make a Portable Bench Clamp Vise
Take a look at the video below to see how easy it is to make a portable bench clamp vise!