Many intricate gun-cleaning vises are available commercially, but you can save money by building a homemade vise. The vise, which does not need to be complicated, simply must hold the weapon in place while you clean the barrel and stock. The vise uses a U-shaped holder set between two support structures. The U-shaped housing holds the rifle barrel in a static position, allowing you to get into the barrel to clean out cordite and wipe off the gun.
Measure and cut a 2-foot length of the 2x4. Cut four pieces 6 inches in length out of the remaining 2x4 length. Set the cut pieces aside.
Measure and cut out a 1-foot square of the plywood and set it aside. Measure to the middle of one edge of the plywood square and draw a "U" shape 2 inches wide and 2 inches deep. Draw the open end of the "U" on the edge of the square. Use the jigsaw to cut out the "U" piece. Place a piece of the chamois cloth in the "U" left in the plywood and trim the cloth to make a liner for the U-shaped cradle.
Glue the cut piece of chamois cloth to the inside edge of the cradle in the plywood to create a place for the rifle barrel to sit while it is being cleaned. The chamois prevents scratching of the barrel as it rests in the cradle.
Place the 2-foot length of 2x4 wide side down on a flat surface. Place two 6-inch pieces next to one end, forming a "T" shape. Attach two metal brackets to the edges and screw them together, making a solid T-shaped piece.
Place the other two pieces of 6-inch 2x4 in the same way at the opposite end of the 2-foot 2x4 to make another "T" shape. As in Step 4, screw together with the remaining metal brackets. This creates an elongated "H." Place the plywood, with the cradle facing up, against one side of the H. Attach the plywood to the 2x4s with wood screws.
Set the vise down so the cradle is facing up and the "H shape is on a flat surface, such as a work bench. The "H" shape provides stability when the rifle is in the cradle.
Place the rifle barrel into the cradle and let the stock slope down until it rests on the work bench. The cradle allows you to use both hands when cleaning the rifle barrel and stock.
- 2 inch-by-4 inch board, at least 4 feet in length
- Plywood, 1/2 inch-thick
- Measuring tape
- Power saw
- Utility knife
- Chamois cloth
- Wood glue
- 4 2-inch metal brackets
- Wood screws
When cleaning the rifle, always handle it as if it were loaded.