Shop Tip #368
© Frank Ford 2006; Photo by FF

Here's a tricky one.  Ever have a long or heavy, unwieldy thing in your hands and want to clamp it in the vise?  Unless you're Zaphod Beeblebrox, you probably don't have a third arm. Tie a length of rope in a long circle, and loop it around the vise handle.  Then, wind it around the shaft of the vise screw between the handle and the vise jaw. Set the vise to a bit wider than the item you're going to clamp, position it in the jaws, and step on the free end of the rope loop.  The vise handle will spin right around with just enough power to grip the piece lightly while you let go with one hand and tighten the vise.  Be sure to keep out of range of the spining handle!