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Venetian blinds purchased from a home center come in a variety of standard sizes. They are cut to the correct width by the dealer, but to adjust the height you remove a number of slats at home.
If you are like me, keep these extra slats because “one day you will find them useful”. For me that day has finally come; I used the extra slats to make spacers to prevent my vise from tipping.
Unless you are able to clamp a piece in the center of the vise, the jaws will warp or skew as you tighten them. This makes it difficult to firmly grasp the workpiece in the vise and can damage the work or vise.
You can always use a board of similar thickness to avoid rubbing, however, unless you have three hands, it is difficult to hold the workpiece and board still while tightening the vise. Invariably, the board or your piece (or both) slips and falls to the ground.
Commercial vise fasteners are available, but making one with extra venetian blind slats is pretty straightforward. Cut a number of 2 ″ wide x 1⁄8 ″ thick slats into 5 ″ lengths. Round off the edges using the band saw (it’s best to pin them together and cut them all at once). Then, at one end, drill a 9⁄16 ″ hole through the slats.
Using a 2 “hole cutter, cut two discs and drill a 1⁄2” hole in each. Insert a 1⁄2 ″ dowel through the hole in the slats and glue one of the discs to each end of the dowel.
To prevent the vise from tearing, insert as many segments of the slats as needed to match the thickness of the workpiece held in the vise. The discs prevent the vice-rack stop from falling through the jaws and to the floor when tightening or loosening the vice. -Peter Marcucci
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