|Project by Dallas||posted 11-18-2011 04:47 AM||7904 views||26 times favorited||34 comments|
I finally broke down and decided to buy a real vise. Then, I remembered the Benchcrafted Moxon Vise.
The store had one, but I didn’t have $300 for something that excels at squeezing real tight. $83 and a new friend at Woodcraft later, I had a tap/thread kit, some 8/4 popular and a hardwood dowel.
I spent the better part of an hour planing down the cupped poplar (agonizing video here), followed by some vigorous headscratching with the tap and thread. I don’t have a lathe, so I just bought a 1.25” diameter maple dowel which is the diameter of the threader. You drill a 1.25” dole in the face piece even with a 1.125” hole in the back piece that is to be threaded. Use oil or paste wax to lubricate as you cut the threads.
The handles aren’t very romantic, but now I have more vise than I’ll ever need.
Dims: About 32” long, 24.5” of clamp width and 8” of extension. I added a cleat and use holdfasts to hold ‘er down. There are various ways to do this. I found using clamps on the back jaw wasn’t stable enough alone.
You don’t really HAVE to have a non-slip surface in the jaws, but it might help. A harder wood would prevent the slight bowing of the jaws when clamping narrower material. If I really go at it with the saw, it shakes lightly. Frankly, I use it as a reminder to let the saw do the work or sharpen for Pete’s sake.
I don’t necessarily think this is any better than a $250 twin screw vise (it doesn’t have a dog hole or anything), but I’d bet that I’ll revise statement after I have had to dovetail a 24” panel in wood I could afford with the money I saved.
This was a great project to practice:
- Drilling straight
- Using paste wax (for the threads)
- rasping/filing down tight spaces and circular objects
Of course, I can say I made my vise. No one will ask if it was pretty or not.
-- If a tree falls in the neighbor's woods, and no one is there to hear it...can you take it home, mill it and turn it into a coffee table without your neighbor making a sound?