Type of wood for vise jaws

Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Projects Type of wood for vise jaws

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #21089
    Frankie Lee

    I will be going on Friday to buy the wood I need to build a new bench. I will be building the legs with 4×4, most framework with 2×2 and 2×4.
    I am going to router out recesses for my 9 inch Record Vice.
    What would be the best wood to use for this? Some say it’s best to use hard wood, but others say soft wood, as it’s better to dent your vise jaws, than dent your project. I can’t afford to spend too much money.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    I prefer a softer wood; I used a couple scraps of pine for mine. When they get too beat up, I’ll just replace them. As you said, better to replace the jaws than mar a workpiece.

    That’s just my preference, others may have something to say. Good luck with the bench!


    I went for some middle ground, and used poplar. When working with nice hardwoods, it doesn’t mar it, but when working with pine I typically need to be careful not to crank on it too much. I think Paul has said he uses 3/4″ plywood for his.

    In the end, just about anything will work if you pay attention and realize that the softer of the two will probably give a bit and plan accordingly.

    -Tim Anderson, UT, USA


    I too like the idea of a softer wood so it yields to the work. Used some leftover good one side plywood, but only 1/2″ th, would have preferred 3/4″ but it’s what I had. Shelf liner also takes care of any slip and provides cushion

    Ontario, Canada

    Frankie Lee

    Thanks for the replies everybody. I think I’ll take the advice and go with a couple of bits of leftover pine.


    Mine are made from maple. I prefer hardwood. One is lined with suede to prevent marring on finished work and prevent a better grip. It’s not always wood that goes in the vice. Saws, scrapers, etc. when sharpening them.


    I used red oak on my vise. When I made this pine dress I never had a problem where the pine was hurt by the oak. I would be curious to see what @Paul has to say about it.

    David Gill

    I used Mahogany to make my vice jaws and the majority of projects I have made have been made in pine I can not remember seeing any damage on the pine parts caused by the mahogany vice jaws. I did use the mahogany as that was something I had available in the size I required. I dare say I would have used whatever timber I happened to have

    Wigan, Lancs. England :

    Frankie Lee

    I got all the wood I need to make my bench yesterday, wood over here in Northern Ireland has got very expensive. I ended up getting eight 3.2 metre lengths of 2×4. From which I hope to make everything. The guy who’s delivering the order said he’d throw in a few pieces of different type scrap wood, for my vice jaws.


    Way to go Colin, enjoy the bench build buddy 🙂

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.