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Joinery Bench on a Bench / Moxon with history

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Project by JayT posted 359 days ago 2770 views 12 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When planning my workbench build, I realized that having something to raise the work to do joinery and other small tasks would be useful. Lysdexic built a beautiful bench on a bench that served as inspiration. While thinking it over, I happened upon this antique vise-like object on ebay.

The seller reported that it came out of a mill in Rhode Island that was built in the 1850’s. I thought it looked just perfect as a start to my joinery bench with built in character. It also cost less than I would have spent purchasing parts and pieces for the Moxon style vise.

With some LJ help, it was determined that the antique appears to be well oiled birch with oak screws. I used some 8/4 ash to build the remainder. The top gives about 10×28 inches of work surface and sits 7 inches off the workbench. The feet were built so that they can either be clamped to the bench top or held down with holdfasts. They are also coplanar with the face of the rear vise jaw to help support and align clamped workpieces.

The front vise chop will likely be lined with leather to help protect clamped surfaces, but for now is just the wood. There are 18 inches between the screws and it clamps very tightly—anything in there doesn’t move a bit. The three dog holes were added to allow use of bench dogs as stops. Additionally, the bench on a bench can be turned around and used as a raised work surface without worrying about the vise screws getting in the way. The last pic shows one way it could be utilized—a piece of scrap in the vise as a stop in order to chamfer corners on a small piece with a block plane.

Thanks for looking and hope you enjoy.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835





16 comments so far

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4754 posts in 615 days


#1 posted 359 days ago

Nice job with that man. Shops lookin spiffy too.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5289 posts in 1231 days


#2 posted 359 days ago

Damn, that is nice. The screws are over the top.

View Mosquito's profile (online now)

Mosquito

4637 posts in 925 days


#3 posted 359 days ago

Sweet work. Can’t wait to make me one of these

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Airframer's profile

Airframer

2406 posts in 586 days


#4 posted 359 days ago

Every time I see one of these I am tempted to modify my Moxon vise. Very cool and great to see that vise put back into service :D Great job!

-- Eric - http://theidiotgaloot.com

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1349 posts in 816 days


#5 posted 359 days ago

Nailed it, Jay. Bravo.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Tugboater78's profile (online now)

Tugboater78

941 posts in 824 days


#6 posted 359 days ago

Very nice

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

View Don W's profile

Don W

14880 posts in 1200 days


#7 posted 358 days ago

Excellent salvage idea.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View CL810's profile

CL810

1968 posts in 1621 days


#8 posted 358 days ago

Very cool Jay!

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View terryR's profile

terryR

3049 posts in 941 days


#9 posted 358 days ago

Nice, JayT. What an excellent combination of salvaged wood and new! I love the color on those oak hubs!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View JayT's profile

JayT

2186 posts in 844 days


#10 posted 358 days ago

Thanks guys. The biggest challenge was trying to figure out how to keep as much of the old patina and finish as possible, while still making it functional for what I needed. In the end the only modifications to the original were slightly enlarging the holes in the screws to accept a 1/2in dowel, ripping and planing the jaws flat and square, and cutting out a small section in the back of the rear jaw to have a good glue surface.

The second challenge was trying to build something that was useful and attractive without detracting from the antique piece. In the end, I just decided simpler was better. Using the light colored ash, which blends in to my workbench, really makes the dark colors jump out—especially the reddish tones of the oak hubs. No cleaning was done to the antique pieces, you can still see all the stains, paint drips, scratches and gouges. All I did was wipe them down with a light coat of Danish Oil for a bit of protection.

There is just no way to replicate what 150+ years of age does to good wood, so why not show it off.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14878 posts in 1821 days


#11 posted 358 days ago

Well done, a real performer….

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View mafe's profile

mafe

9492 posts in 1722 days


#12 posted 358 days ago

Really sweet.
Love that you gave it a new life.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View TechRedneck's profile

TechRedneck

738 posts in 1490 days


#13 posted 357 days ago

Great idea! love it

I built a moxon and enjoy using it. Having some history in yours makes it all the better. Now make those dovetails.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View QuarterHoarder's profile

QuarterHoarder

5 posts in 555 days


#14 posted 342 days ago

Awesome use of that old vise! My dad actually stumbled upon one of these at a flee market and bought it for me for like 7 or 10 bucks! Haven’t committed it to a table yet so for now it’s just a free agent but your entry has motivated me to hammer down a design and go for it. Kudos

-- Recess. is over. GET BACK TO WORK!

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6809 posts in 1784 days


#15 posted 339 days ago

This came out really nice man!

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

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