If I turned it down on the lathe, I'd need to leave a big ol' gland where the front sight is and then need to mill the sides/bottom off there anyway. Slab siding was just simpler, much easier, quicker, and removed enough weight for my feel.
The clamps can sit there, the vise surface they're clamping on is harder than the steel making up the clamps. Every surface on that vise was hardened. The reason why they're clamping on there is that nothing really fit where I was doing this at the time; the actual machining side of the operation was done in my sleep. The hard part that caused me endless headaches and actually took hours was finding clamps, finding threaded rods, finding t-nuts, juggling t-nuts that were too small for the table slots, clamps that were too big or too small, threaded rods that were stripped/too short/too long/wrong thread, and dozens of other fucking bullshit ass fuck problems that drove me right up the fucking wall. Dumb shit that baffles and angers me to this day, more than my blood pressure will care to recall.
The only thing that worked right in terms of clamping was that little vise itself, because I made that years ago. The shop had their own vise, but it was not worth its weight in slag. Calling that shop vise a by the name of vise is an insult to vises everywhere.