When clamping small parts in my vise, the vise occasionally has a tendency to rack and lose its grip on the part. So I came up with a simple add-on for my vise to prevent that problem. It involves attaching a wood face to my vise jaw that has a couple of angled notches cut into the ends. This lets me use a simple wedge to oppose the piece I’m clamping in the vise. I found that unless the wedge makes full contact with the notch, it will pop out of the vise. So to make these pieces match perfectly, I made four identical wedges and used them as ramps to rout the notches in the vise face. The three drawings below give you all the information needed and the step-by-step details for making both parts.
1. Tape the Wedges.
Apply double-sided tape to the vise face and align the wedges to the layout lines. Be sure to overhang the wedges to guide the router bit.
2. Adjust the Bit Height.
Flip the workpiece and adjust the pattern bit height so it meets the layout line for the entrance of the notch.
3. Cut the Notch.
Nibble away at the notch until the bit passes through the face. Then move the ramps to the other side of the face and repeat the process.
Using The Wedge
Once you’ve installed this setup, it’s easy to use. Start by lightly clamping your workpiece in either end of the vise. Then slide the wedge into the notch at the other end and hold it in place while you tighten the vise.