The return of the z-vice

Last week we went to the Better Homes & gardens show. Not much in the way of new tools to look at, but I did stop to watch the z-vice demo again just because they are so cool. I picked one up second hand late last year but since the workshop got rearranged it hasn’t had a home. Seeing what it can do again inspired me to fix this situation.

For those that don’t know what the z-vice is, it’s made by a company called Zyliss, who also do food preparation devices. It’s a clamp on vice made of aluminium and can be used in a bunch of different ways – planing vice, assembly, carving. They are only sold at trade shows and online, but have been around 40 or so years. The one I have is at least 20 years old and still going strong.

I removed the small tail vice and tried to fit the z-vice where it was but the top was too thin for the vices clamps.


To fix this, I glued a piece of scrap to the end of the bench and clamped it up for a few hours until it was dry


While I was waiting I noticed that the end of the bench looked a bit bare and was wasted space, so I looked around for something to put there. I found a piece of pegboard offcut from making one of the cabinets that was almost the right size so cut it to shape and nailed it in place. I don’t normally like nails but sometimes they are right for the job and I had this done by the time the clamps were ready to come off.



I originally tried mounting commonly used tools on the pegboard but realised they would be hard to get to


so instead I used this spot for the z-vice accessories, and it appears to work well. The vice faces are easy to get at, the parts I use less are still available but just take a little more work to get to.



I’m happy with the result, it’s a good vice and combined with the front vice lets me do a lot of work on quite a small bench.


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