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Building a Cheap Drill Press Vice Quick-Release Clamp

Gareth Halfacree

djpolymath's quick-release vice clamp

If you're lucky enough to own a drill press, or are a member at a hackspace or collaborate maker space with one, the latest project from Instructables member "djpolymath" could save you considerable time: using bicycle seat releases to quickly attach and detach a vice from the drill press table.

If you've never used a drill press before, you're excused from knowing that the vice is one of the most important parts: the piece to be drilled must be held securely in place, both to ensure a smooth and accurate drill and to prevent any fingers coming into contact with the rapidly-spinning bit - or the bit catching the piece and flinging it across the room. Typically, the vice is clamped to the drill press' table, but if you're looking to drill multiple holes in the same piece of work you'll find yourself clamping and unclamping repeatedly as you adjust the positioning for each hole.

While quick-release vice clamps exist, they're not usually cheap - unlike the parts used in "djpolymath's" build: two quick release mechanisms originally designed for bicycle seats, four metal washers, and some spacers or nuts. The quick releases are simply threaded through the washer, then the vice, then the table, followed by another washer, the required number of spacers, and the fastening nut.

The position of the vice can then be freely adjusted using the holes in the table and vice, and clamped firmly in two simple motions; when the hole is drilled, simply pop the handles of the quick releases back up, adjust, and pop them down again. For a very low cost, it's a considerable time-saver - and something we're definitely considering implementing on our own drill press in the workshop.

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