How to Use a Machinist Vise

What You'll Need
Machinist Vise
Safety Gloves
Safety Glasses
Metalworking tools
Cleaning fluid

If you need a heavy-duty vise to hold your projects, then you should consider a machinist vise. These machines are very large and tough, often having a built-in anvil which is used for hammering on. You need to fit a machinist vise against a workbench table or worktop. Using this vise is an easy task, and you should be able to manage to create plenty of projects with it. By using some simple steps, you can learn how to use the machinist vise while working on your projects.

Step 1 - Prepare the Vise

Before you can install the vise into your work area, you need to make sure that it is completely clean. The vise will hold metal that you are working on, so it needs to have a firm grip, without any remnants of trimmings or shards of metal. Check out your vise, to ensure that it is in good working condition, and then use a little cleaning fluid over the surface of the jaws and the body of the vise itself. Rub this in with a cloth, and then dry it thoroughly with another.

Step 2 - Installing the Machinist Vise Using a Clamp

Put on your safety glasses and gloves before you start working with the vise. Take the vise, and place the large piece onto a solid surface such as a worktop. Mark out the location of the vise using a pen or a piece of chalk. If the vise is held in by a clamp, unscrew the bottom jaw to its fullest extent, and push the jaws of the vise onto the edge of the table. Hold the vise in place while you position it at the correct angle for your woodworking. Then, take the screw at the bottom of the vise, and screw this into the bottom of the worktop, until it is holding the vise tightly.

Step 3 - Installing the Machinist Vise using Bolts

If the vise is held in by bolts, use a variable-speed drill to penetrate the worktop. Drill through the first hole, using a small drill bit to make the first hole, then a larger bit to widen the hole, until it is the correct size for a bolt. Repeat this for all marks made on the worktop. Reposition the vise so that the mounting holes are over those on the worktop. Add a washer to a bolt, and push it through both the vise and the drilled hole. Use nuts to secure the vise into position. Repeat for the other sides.

Step 4 - Using the Machinist Vise

When you have fitted the machinist's vise securely it to the worktop, you will then be able to use it to hold items firmly while you are working on them. Take a piece of metal to be worked, and place it into the jaws of the vise. Press down, until it is in the right position for the work you wish to do. You can then use your other tools to remove excess material. It is a good idea to work with a piece of spare metal, until you are familiar with the uses of a machinist vise.