Workbench Build #14: Moxon 2... Adventures in wooden Handwheels

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Blog entry by Airframer posted 02-24-2013 12:31 AM 7461 reads 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Moxon In Work... The vise to help build the bench. Part 14 of Workbench Build series Part 15: Moxon 3.. Almost done.. I think.. »

The last update was pretty brief and short of details so I hope to make up for it with this one.

I just finished up 1 of 2 wooden handwheels for my Moxon vise. I decided to go with wooden ones instead of cast iron for 1 simple reason…. they would be free lol. Well sorta I did already pay for the wood but it is mostly made from scraps and a chunk of the padauk I bought to add contrast to the bench with.

I cut the main wheel out on the band saw and used a hole saw set to cut out the smaller rings from oak and more padauk. That is where the simplicity ended. While those were gluing up I used a small left over piece of the acme rod to make a homemade 1” 5tpi ACME tap to tap the hole with.

This is the test threading into some crummy cedar scraps I had laying around. I figured if this stuff would hold a thread the padauk would be no issue at all. As you can see it holds nice and tight!

With that done I could get back to the wheel it’s self. Gluing up..

I let that sit over night and today after work I chucked it into my drill press and drilled the spokes with a forstner bit and sanding drum. I then started to sand it smooth.

That part was fun and went pretty quick which then left the scary part.. tapping the hole. I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out and for all I knew it was going to end up destroying the wheel but this was the plan and I just had to see how it went.

As I started it began pulling the grain up and chipping it off a bit around the hole opening. At this point I almost gave up in frustration but I decided to press on and see how this would play out. I went slow only turning a quarter turn at a time then backing out the tap to clear the threads. It probably took about 15 mins to get the hole completely tapped and it spins really smoothly!

This only left dealing with the chipout issue. I then had a stroke of inspiration and chucked up my 1 7/8” forstner bit and simply shaved down past the chipout section. Boom! Problem solved.

I had originally planned to make the hub and wheel on solid threaded piece but after the problems I had tapping just the wheel I was in no mood to attempt it on the hub. I decided to just drill it out to the full 1” and use it as the free spinning washer portion of the vise assembly.

Back onto the drill press they went to get final sanding and a coat of bees wax and here it is all purtied up..

Now all I have to do is make another one JUST LIKE IT! I wish I had done both at the same time now lol…

Feedback is again.. always welcome! Thanks for reading.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

8 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2481 days

#1 posted 02-24-2013 12:36 AM

Very cool!

-- Brian Timmons -

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2686 days

#2 posted 02-24-2013 02:40 AM

Wow! A stroke of genious making your own tap from that piece of ACME rod. That wheel turned out perfectly.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2624 days

#3 posted 02-24-2013 03:12 AM

nice work. ive had some interesting experience with acme rods when i built my behemoth vise for my shop.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 1949 days

#4 posted 02-24-2013 03:20 AM

Thanks guys! It was certainly a couple of days worth of trial and error. Fortunately I FINALLY have a full day off of work tomorrow so I hope to get mostly done with the second wheel and the rest of the vise tomorrow. Stay tuned for updates on that.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View Holbs's profile


1864 posts in 2025 days

#5 posted 02-24-2013 07:26 PM

i really like this idea, framer. i’ll try my luck on it thru the summer as i can see a need for hand wheels in some upcoming projects.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3147 days

#6 posted 02-25-2013 03:01 AM

This came out great man. I love the idea of a wooden hand wheel.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Woodknack's profile


11610 posts in 2376 days

#7 posted 03-02-2013 05:50 AM

The handwheels turned out awesome. I definitely want to try that sometime.

-- Rick M,

View HumidorMinister's profile


412 posts in 3379 days

#8 posted 03-10-2013 06:40 AM

I’ll definitely be trying my hand(wheel) at this. Pardon the pun

-- What you listen to is your business...what you hear is ours.

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