Test fit of vice.

I ordered a Veritas face vice, but did not have any suitable timber to make the jaws (I was recommended maple – no doubt any hardwood would do). Partly out of impatience, and partly because I thought a trial run would be useful, I decided to temporarily fit it using some of the left over butchers block worktop from the bench.

The vice is straightforward to fit and Veritas provide clear instructions with a lot of pictures. The only niggle was that the screws supplied to secure the front jaws have Robertson heads. This screw type is apparently popular in Canada, where Lee Valley (makers of Veritas tools) are based, but not so in the UK, and the correct drivers are hard to get.

The upside, however, was that this resulted in me reading up on the history of screws and the baffling number of different types available.

You need to make some reasonably large holes in the jaws to accommodate the vice supports and screw, and while scratching my head on the best/cheapest way to do this I came across this extendable drill bit, which was only 15 quid. Used with it a drill stand it did an acceptable, albeit slow, job.

Several years after doing this job I discovered this job is far quicker using a traditional hand brace rather than a puny electric drill

There is a paper template to use to mark the correct location of the holes.  Only a buffoon (like me) could affix the template to the wrong section of the jaws causing them to be both 2 inches too low and 2 inches to the right of where they should have been.  In my defence I am fitting the vice upside down and this required the template to be used back to front , upside down or some such (I still have no idea way – apparently my brain is defective in the spatial geometry department)

Then it is simply a case of securing the base clamp to the bench with the supplied coach bolts.  In my case I secured it to the top of the mid shelf , although in most cases it would be secured to the underside of the bench top. Then attach and secure the jaws and done!

test fit with temporary jaws