Author Topic: Lining a vise with leather  (Read 3627 times)

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Offline travisj

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Lining a vise with leather
« on: April 04, 2019, 05:29 PM »
I am working on building a Moxon Vise out of hard maple.  I was going to line one of the jaws to offer some protection to softer woods.  I do not like the cork option so was leaning towards leather.  I reached out to a leather supplier and although they have heard of people doing it, they had no knowledge of what style leather (tanning process), weight (thickness?), face type (smooth, suede, etc...), or fastening method (glue, contact cement, etc...).  I have searched other forums and online sources and can find references to doing it, but nothing about what type of leather.  Would any of you have any knowledge or input on where to gain this knowledge?  The leather supplier also wanted my feedback for reference should someone else make a similar request.

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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Lining a vise with leather
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 05:43 PM »
I am a little surprised that they didn't help you out more.

I might suggest calling Tandy Leather's home office where their technical support person is ( 817-872-3200)

or try Weaver Leathercraft ( 800-430-6278 )

I imagine that the answer will be vegetable tanned, split side facing the workpiece, attach to vise jaws with contact cement after scuffing up the smooth side for better cement adhesion.

If you want to experiment I probably have some scraps that I could send you to try out.


Offline neilc

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Re: Lining a vise with leather
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2019, 08:50 PM »
Benchcrafted now ships theirs with Crubber liner.  This looks to be more durable than just cork. You can get that here....

I did line my Moxon with leather - I actually got it from BenchCrafted years ago.  Not sure if they might be able to advise on what they recommend.  Mine is applied with contact cement.  Split side to the interior.  Smooth side is glued.

Offline jtwood

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Re: Lining a vise with leather
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2019, 10:45 PM »
I lined the jaws of my bench vises several years ago with scraps I had left over from a leather project.  It was Tandy leather, tanned and smooth.  It works fine to prevent scratches.  I used double sided tape and it is still in place.  The more you use the vise, the more the leather is pressed onto the vise jaws.  The first thing I did after putting it onto the faces was to put a flat board in the jaws that was longer and wider than the jaws and tighten it down.  If the jaws are tight on whatever you have in them the leather won't be able to move.

You want it to be fairly thin so that depressions aren't left in the leather if you clamp a piece smaller than the vise face.
I don't see an advantage in buying a special leather for this.  They are easy to replace if you use the double sided tape used for jigs.


Offline Bert Vanderveen

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Re: Lining a vise with leather
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2019, 07:30 AM »
I used suede that I bought online from a leather dedicated shop. Stuck it on with #77 glue (3M spray can). It works ok.

If I had to do it again, I would use the stuff Andy Klein sells, a kind of synthetic cork. He has a YT-channel and a new brand and webstore: ""
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Lining a vise with leather
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2019, 10:06 AM »
@travisj Andy Klein is hawking the cork rubber he is using in his turbo vise and selling it separately. Check out

« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 10:08 AM by Richard/RMW »
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Offline travisj

  • Posts: 364
Re: Lining a vise with leather
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 11:01 PM »
Thank you for all of the replies.

Tandy was most helpful.  turns out there is a store about 2 miles from my house.  Their suggestion was that thickness was a personal preference.  4oz to 6oz (a little over 1/16th") vegetable tanned would be the standard to add a little grip and prevent marring.  They recommended a glue they sell called "Barge".  It is like a contact cement.  Put the pieces together while the glue is wet if adjust-ability is needed or like regular contact cement if desired.  I didn't pick up the terminology, but I was told to glue it smooth side out (rough side gets the glue), also to rough up the hard maple with 40 grit to give the glue more purchase on the maple.

I had checked the Benchcrafted "Crubber" originally, but I didn't like that the pieces were smaller than my vice jaw meaning I would have incomplete coverage or a seam.

The Amazon cork rubber looks promising.

Andy Klein does some neat things.  Somehow I missed this video.  Interesting information.  I'm not surprised that he would take a scientific approach to the matter.

I did a cost breakdown on a per square inch basis.

Tandy leather - 4-6oz veg tanned  -  2.5 cents/sq in (available locally)

Amazon cork rubber  -  3.3 cents/sq in (no shipping costs thanks to Prime membership)

Andy Klein's cork rubber  -  8 cents/sq in plus shipping (which is insanely high for some reason)

Benchcrafted Crubber  -  11.25 cents/sq in plus shipping

While Andy's solution may be the best, I am leaning towards the leather.  It is locally available, I could line my other two vices, put a leather face on a couple of my mallets, and all with material to spare.  I also thought I could make some strops, but at the store they told me not to use leather.  They said that the rougher inside face of cardboard cereal boxes works a lot better.  I may have to try that.

Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 253
Re: Lining a vise with leather
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2019, 11:31 PM »
You can use regular white/yellow glue when attaching leather to wood, just tighten up the vise to clamp it evenly.  I wouldn't bother buying Barge unless you have other projects like repairing shoes in mind.  That's what it's designed for.

For that matter, white/yellow glue is reversible with a hot iron while Barge is very permanent.

Rubber can be a challenge to glue.  It will repel glue though.  It will also crack with age in a few years.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 11:34 PM by lwoirhaye »

Offline leer

  • Posts: 262
Re: Lining a vise with leather
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2019, 02:17 AM »
I would have thought that hide glue would be best for this application ...     

Offline Tommie

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Re: Lining a vise with leather
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2019, 07:59 PM »
Almost purchased Andy’s liner. Got past the PayPal option and then discovered the UPS shipping (up to seven days) was $16.70 to Maine. No other options. I backed out. Benchcrafted charged me about $5.00 for shipping the Crubber. Too bad, because I think InKleind is likely as good as it’s promoted.

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Lining a vise with leather
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2019, 08:49 AM »
I have just posted on cork-rubber:

It is replacing the leather I have used for many years. New to it, but it has much promise. If you are not aware, leather will gain a shine and lose its grip after a few years.

Regards from Perth

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