Moxon Vise from locally sourced components

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Project by rdwile posted 01-22-2013 10:39 PM 4891 views 8 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have looked at many of the Moxon vise designs all over the Interweb and after building my Tommy Mac Toolchest and cutting dovetails for hours on end on my bench, I knew I needed a better setup.

The actual construction is pretty straightforward and I was showing my machinist friend the pictures and he said he could build that. The space between the screws is 18” which is plenty big for my use. I placed dog holes in the top and the chop for clamping purposes. The threaded rod is 1” coarse thread. I have read much debate about ACME thread vs others and this is not a compromise and does the job as well as one might expect.

The wheels are turned from 4140 steel 5” bar stack and are very hefty – give them a spin and they lock very tight.

I am very pleased with the end product and hope others are inspired to get their friends to help them build this themselves.

I have a chance to use this today for a few hours and the working height is very comfortable – very close to the rule-of-thumb 4” below your elbow.

Thanks for looking.

-- Richard D. Wile,

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117268 posts in 3748 days

#1 posted 01-22-2013 11:06 PM

Looks great Rich.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Julian's profile


1386 posts in 2861 days

#2 posted 01-22-2013 11:07 PM

Very nice job. The heavy steel wheels must make closing the jaws fast and tight. I built my Moxon vise about 1 year ago and it does make cutting dovetails much more comfortable.

-- Julian

View 1yeldud1's profile


301 posts in 3213 days

#3 posted 01-22-2013 11:29 PM

I used 5/8 11 threaded rod for my vise screws. I think it will be just fine. If it ever does wear a short length of 5/8 11 is fairly cheap. I also lined both jaws of my vise with heavy leather with the suede side “out”. I believe this helps. – Just my two cents

View 1yeldud1's profile


301 posts in 3213 days

#4 posted 01-22-2013 11:31 PM

I found 2 large 5/8 11 hex nuts at a local factory to use for this setup

View TheDane's profile


5534 posts in 3834 days

#5 posted 01-23-2013 02:07 AM

Very nice … this is on my shortlist. I actually bought the hardware (Lee Valley veneer presses) three years ago, but life just keeps getting in the way.

Just curious … what hardwood did you use?


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View rdwile's profile


160 posts in 2283 days

#6 posted 01-23-2013 02:22 AM

Thanks Gerry,

The wood is just hard maple I had laying around, actually made the whole thing from one piece of 2×7 lumber.

No time like the present to get after it.

-- Richard D. Wile,

View Natalie 's profile


367 posts in 2138 days

#7 posted 01-23-2013 04:06 AM

I just saw a demo of this at my woodworking guild meeting. I’m intrigued.

-- Natalie - My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I don't like to go there alone.

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 3154 days

#8 posted 01-23-2013 06:48 AM

nice set up. does it work as smooth as the video shows from benchcrafted?

View rdwile's profile


160 posts in 2283 days

#9 posted 01-23-2013 11:01 AM

Hi doordude,

I have made one improvement in the name of smoothness, and plan to make one more. The first is inserting a small piece of brass bent semi-round in the movable face which sits just above the threaded rod in the hole. This provides a smooth bearing surface for the piece to move and I believe may reduce wear of the threads grinding away the wood each time its moved.

The second improvement will be the installation of a small large diameter spring around the threaded rod to make the vise face pop out when pressure is removed. I saw this on someone else’s design and it makes sense. I have found that sometimes I need a third hand to pull the vise out when putting in a new piece of wood. This should help.

It is all its cracked up to be, I have used the benchcrafted moxon and this is just as good, I am very pleased.

-- Richard D. Wile,

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 2841 days

#10 posted 01-23-2013 06:11 PM

Great looking and very useful vise. Still on my to do list.

-- Bryan

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