Shop Tip #095
© Frank Ford 2004; Photo by FF

I recommend that you make some soft jaw pads for your vise using scraps of leather and plywood. Modest as they are, they turn out to be far more durable than the commercial rubber covered ones, from which the rubber tends to delaminate very easily. Rubber jaw pads also have a much greater tendency to allow items to slip. The leather lasts a really long time and provides great protection, even for finished wood surfaces. With either kind, it's a good idea to inspect them before clamping anything precious because the surfaces can get bits of glue attached, or things imbedded in them.