I was trying to find some information online about using a vise along with dog holes instead of clamps for glue up. I can't find a single reference to it.

Is this commonly done? Can the vise pressure be supplemented with clamps? Is there any reference showing glue up using face or end vises?

  • Are you hoping to reduce the number of clamps needed in the shop? If so for storage reasons or due to the rising cost of clamps?
    – Graphus
    Apr 20, 2017 at 9:59
  • @Graphus: well, both of those are good reasons, since clamps are pretty pricey and I don't have a full set. But mostly I was just curious if it was a good or bad idea to try.
    – jbord39
    Apr 20, 2017 at 21:27
  • What's a full set anyway, 12.... 20? O_O Reason I asked is that there are some lower-cost commercial clamps that work well that are apparently quite reasonable in all markets. They're the type with a hollow square-section aluminium bar, they're recommended by Paul Sellers and with a suggestion to stiffen them with an insert of wood. Even cheaper than that there are some DIY clamping options, including simple wooden clamps with one fixed head and one moving one and some clamping panels/frames, both of which rely on wedges to apply the final clamping force.
    – Graphus
    Apr 21, 2017 at 6:48

1 Answer 1


This is not generally done, although I'm sure I have seen the vice being used for glueing up certain jobs, mostly between the jaws, I can't remember the sources. One passing reference to this the poster said he'd never do it again though, since the glue dripped onto the vice screw and guide rods and made a mess that was tough to clean up.

Too much strain on the vice
The main reason not to rely on this is because a vice isn't capable of exerting the same pressure as clamps can, at least not without putting excessive strain on the mechanism.

You can get away with a light hold using hide glue (or no clamping pressure at all in the case of a rubbed joint) so if you used hide glue much then this could be a practical way to do some smaller glue-ups.

But since most of us are using PVA glues primarily these days (both white and yellow types) which rely on very high pressures to ensure the strongest bond you'd really need to crank the vice down tight and you'd risk wearing it out or breaking it — they ain't made like they used to be!

Ties up the vice
Another reason that occurred to me is simply that while the thing is drying the vice is tied up and you can't use it, and that area of the workbench, to work on something else. Even in a home shop this could prove to be a bottleneck to production.

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