Mini Project: Home made Stick-Vise™

This is a Stick-Vise™. I first came across one on Dave Jones’ EEV Blog. It looks useful; a nice way to clamp a circuit board while you solder it and give it a bit of weight to stop it sliding around. But it costs $29.97! (I don’t know about shipping). I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy it – if you have the money, and want the luxury of metal construction and replaceable clamp sections – but I simply can’t justify the price. So I built my own. And it only took about an hour, using things I had left over from other projects.

The exact dimensions can be found on their website and I reckon it could be made in lots of ways, but this is how I did it.

The parts you need are: about 9 inches of 20x8mm strip wood, 28cm of M6 threaded rod, 2x M6 nut, 1x M6 winged-nut and 2x springs (I made two from a hose stent). Also super glue, a saw and a drill.

1. Cut three lengths of strip wood, about 3 inches in length

Three times 3 inch length of 20x8mm strip wood

Three times 3 inch length of 20x8mm strip wood

2. Take one piece and mark 3 holes, all 8mm from the bottom of the wood. One central, and one 12mm from either end, and then drill them with a 7mm drill bit. Call this “Part 1”.

Three holes, the exact locations don't really matter, but it's better to have them offset towards a long edge.

Three holes. The exact locations don’t really matter.

3. Line “Part 1” on top of another piece of wood and use the drill to mark the locations of the holes on the second piece. Call this “Part 2”.

Using the previous part as a stencil ensures the holes line up.

Using the previous part as a stencil ensures the holes line up.

4. Using the drill, continue the central hole right through the wood. For the edge holes, just go halfway through the wood.

The edges holes do not go all the way through the wood. The middle one does.

The edges holes do not go all the way through the wood. The middle one does.

5. Also using “Part 1” as a stencil, mark the central hole onto the remaining piece of wood. Call this “Part 3”.

Only mark the central hole.

Only mark the central hole.

6. Deepen the hole in “Part 3”, but only half way into the wood.

This hole only goes half way.

This hole only goes half way.

7. Cut a 20cm length of M6 threaded rod, and two 4cm lengths. You should have everything you need.

Everything so far.

Everything so far.

8. Cut a notch in “Part 2” on the opposite side to the two “half-holes”. Cut a notch in “Part 3” on the same side as the “half hole”

Just cut 2 or 3mm in using a saw

Just cut 2 or 3mm in using a saw.

9. Finally, glue the two 4cm lengths into the “half-holes” in “Part 2”. Also glue the 20cm length into the half hole in “Part 3”.

10. Slide “Part 2” onto the 20cm threaded rod, with the 4cm lengths pointing away from point. Slide the springs onto the 4cm length.

11. Slide “Part 1” onto the 20cm length and then onto the 4cm lengths. Glue the two nuts onto the end of the 4cm lengths.

12. Screw on the wing-nut onto the 20cm length.

13. That’s it!

It works really well!

It works really well!

I haven’t used the original Stick-Vise, but I reckon this is good enough for me.

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4 thoughts on “Mini Project: Home made Stick-Vise™

  1. Just stumbled upon this today, nice build! Hey, not everyone wants to buy their tools especially if you can make them yourself, doesn’t offend me at all!
    -Alex (Stickvise guy)

    1. Part one and part two are not rigidly held together by the rod. Part 2 is glued to the rod. Part 1 is held in place by the springs and nuts. If you tighten the wing nut on the long threaded rod, the springs will compress and part 1 will move closer to part 2 (creating a tighter grip on your board).

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