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Build a Plywood Shop-made Wedge-style Trapezoidal Bench Vise

Shop-made Wedge-style bench vise To make your own simple bench vise, you can cut a trapazoidle pattern in a 3/4" thick scrap piece of MDF or plywood and clamp it to your workbench. If your workbench doesn’t have a vise, here’s a simple jig that can take its place for holding workpieces on-edge. Start with a piece of 3/4" scrap MDF or plywood, measuring 14" x 36". Crosscut it into two 18"-long pieces. Use one for the jig’s base. Rip a 2"-wide strip off the other piece, and glue and screw it along the edge of the base to create a fixed fence. Take the remaining rectangle and rip it diagonally, a couple of inches in from the opposite corners, to form two matching trapezoidal “wedges.” Tip your saw blade to 30° when making this diagonal bevel cut. Now attach the trapezoid with the outward facing beveled edge to the opposite edge of the base. To use the jig, clamp it to your bench. Set a workpiece against the narrow fence and tap the loose wedge against the fixed one to lock things in place. To unclamp, just tap the other end of the wedge to release it.