09-07-2008, 06:50 PM
One of my great pleasures in life has been to make a lot of my own gear for my hobbies. I was the progeny of the depression generation, which led to the "do it yourself" craze of the 50's and 60's, which was an extension of the "lackofmoneyitis" that permeated the nation prior to the invention of plastic money. We all saw the need to adapt things for other uses, or build them outright, and every handloader in town made a lot of his own gear out of common hardware parts or stuff we had laying around the house. Here is one such item of juryriggery I have used for over thirty years now, one of the most useful if not critically important items I literally could not do without.....a homemade rifle vise.Rifle vises became popular in the late 70's, but were made largely of particle board and cost a fortune. So being your basic starving civil servant, I set out to make my own, and here is how I did it.

First, I've made a dozen of these with materials ranging from 2-by s**** lumber to oak. This one was the result of some stair work I did involving ten dollar Poplar stair treads from Lowe's a few years back, and a friend and I even made four of these units for the two rifle ranges at our club. You can imagine how the muzzle-loading guys love them! And at a unit cost of $22.00, the Board of Directors loved them too. Here she is.

I cut the stair tread down to a length of 31.5" and a width of 9". Stair treads are exactly one inch thick.

Here's the back side setup.

Here she is in action. It not only holds conventional rifles.....

But holds the evil black rifle too!


This is the forend cradle. It is 8" high, 7" wide and the forend opening is 2 5/8" deep and 3" wide at its top. The padding is common outdoor carpeting. Belt leather works well too. It is situated 1 1/4" back from the front end of the base, and its right end is 1/4" in from the right edge of the base. It is secured with long deck screws or even lags from the bottom. The little wooden support is a s**** piece cut from the front of the vertical support, secured with two screws from the front of the cradle and the one visible into the base.

This is the vertical support for the rifle stock. It consists of the vertical support and a wooden brace. The vertical support itself is 16" long, 6 3/4" high, and is located with it's rear edge 3/4" in from the rear edge of the base. It is secured with four long (5-6") lags from the bottom. The wooden brace is 13" x 3 3/4", secured from the bottom by shorter lags, and then it is screwed into the vertical support. It is situated with its back edge flush with the vertical support. The top three screws are holding the padded board to the face of the vertical support seen in the next photo.............All lags and screws on the bottom of the unit must be countersunk......REALLY countersunk.

This shows the correct relationship of the vertical support, pistol grip support, and the clamp and base. The padding on the vertical support is a half-inch piece of plywood padded with anything and covered with any soft material stapled to the back of the plywood. It is retained by screws from the back......AND THE SCREWS MUST NOT POKE OUT THIS SIDE OR THEY WILL DAMAGE THE RIFLE SEVERELY.

The pistol grip support was made from three poplar blocks glued together,rounded on a belt sander, and upholstered. It is 4" high, 2 3/4" wide, and 3" deep.It's rear (right) edge is located 8 1/2" from the rear (right end) of the base. It can be secured by screws from its back or from the bottom of the base.

This photo shows the correct relationship of all the components when they are installed to hold a rifle correctly. The clamp is nothing more than a cut-down C clamp from Northern Freight installed on a pedestal to make it hit the stock at the right height........this height will depend on the C clamp you use, as they all come in different dimensions. We used 4" clamps but bigger ones will do. The pedestal is held on with short lags from the bottom, and the C clamp is attached to it with three downward screws.

The clamp pad is a block of wood cut to your desired specs. It is held to the clamp by drilling a hole about 3/8" deep with a spade bit, placing the clamp end into the hole and filling the whole shebang with epoxy glue. It is encased firmly and will never come out. Now you just upholster or pad it to your own tastes. Make sure not to sink the clamp end so deep into the hole that the glue gets into the swivel mechanism, because you definitely want it to swivel.

This shows the parts relationship from the front.

You can use just about any engineering techniques available to you to build one of these, and certainly there are techniques far superior to my poboy ideas. But this vise, built to these dimensions, will hold an amazingly diverse number of rifles...from the long Mosins to the short AR's, and can be used for installing scopes, tightening screws, installing or adjusting sights, and was my principal work cradle for inletting at least a dozen rifle stocks. It is the most wonderful device on earth for cleaning barrels. And they are a barrel of fun to build. Best wishes.


If you enjoyed reading about "A HOMEMADE RIFLE VISE" here in the FamilyFriendsFirearms.com archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join FamilyFriendsFirearms.com today for the full version!
09-07-2008, 06:54 PM
A necessary accoutrement!

09-07-2008, 07:52 PM
I need to rework my crude one into that configuration. Good job :up:

09-07-2008, 09:30 PM
Very nice work

09-07-2008, 09:34 PM
Wow, that's pretty trick. I'll have to build one.

09-07-2008, 10:26 PM
Thanks. Good work, and I muchly appreciate your sharing of the detail.

09-07-2008, 11:58 PM
Your vice is "a nice piece of work". Congratulations! The photo's also serve as an excellent instructional aid for anyone pondering a like effort. Thanks.

09-08-2008, 07:26 AM
That's a great looking project. Shows good skills and planning for utility. Congratulations.

09-08-2008, 10:29 PM
Very very nice!! I'm impressed with the way that turned out. Good jorb.

09-08-2008, 11:49 PM
Great job :up: :up:

09-09-2008, 11:07 AM
Good job! Yours is much prettier than mine. Saw one in an old Cabela's catalog 20yrs or so ago but bucks were very tight then so I found some s**** oak & sorta duplicated it using hand tools. It's served me very well & I've actually had some requests for info that I sent to a few folks. Gotta get busy one of these days & fabricate a new, better finished model out of better material :D



If you enjoyed reading about "A HOMEMADE RIFLE VISE" here in the FamilyFriendsFirearms.com archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join FamilyFriendsFirearms.com today for the full version!