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Moxon Bench Vise

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Project by CL810 posted 202 days ago 2900 views 23 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this joinery vise and small “bench top” with leftover maple from my bench build. The vise is 5” high and 25” wide. It is capable of holding wood 21.5” wide and 3.25” thick. I used 9” veneer screws with the nuts embedded in the back jaw (pic #5.) The work surface is 23” wide and 15” deep.

Since the front jaw of a moxon vise is typically heavily chamfered, I thought why waste that beautiful live edge. I’m happy with how it turned out but wonder if I should have darkened it with Watco’s dark walnut Danish oil instead of their natural Danish oil.

The finish was an initial coat of Zinsser’s Sealcoat sanding sealer (1 lb. cut dewaxed shellac.) I then sanded this more aggressively then you would normally a sealer. I originally planned to use just Danish oil for the finish. But on my test boards the oil created a “dirty” look to the maple. So I tempered the oil’s ability to penetrate the wood with the sealer. The aggressive sanding still allowed some oil to penetrate while still keeping the maple’s clean appearance.

The verdict is out, but looks grim, for the veneer screws. While they are a very low cost alternative to Benchcrafted’s hardware, they may not be stout enough. There is 3/32” vertical play in them. Addionally, the hand wheels are not smooth. You certainly cannot spin them like Benchcrafted’s hardware.

Thanks for looking!

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





29 comments so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1829 posts in 855 days


#1 posted 202 days ago

The live edge is pretty cool, Clayton. I’m glad you were able to save the edge. Nice job!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View chrisstef's profile (online now)

chrisstef

10437 posts in 1610 days


#2 posted 202 days ago

The live edge is very cool. Im also into the clamping points on either side. Great use of off cuts and extras too. I approve ;)

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View woodcox's profile (online now)

woodcox

560 posts in 616 days


#3 posted 202 days ago

A good fixture for your bench, the rounds tie it in well. Nice job.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

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ShaneA

5258 posts in 1202 days


#4 posted 202 days ago

Looks really good.

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4779 posts in 1227 days


#5 posted 202 days ago

Good call on the live edge.

How did you execute the little round overs?

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4846 posts in 1402 days


#6 posted 202 days ago

Nice addition to your bench Clayton. Too bad about the screws but I’m sure you will work something out and until you do, you have a serviceable moxon.
I have several of the veneer press screws and when used vertically for a press they are outstanding. I guess it’s just one of those “seemed like a good idea at the time” situations.
Sometimes re-purposing works better than others.
On the bright side you are about half way to a good veneer press. :-)

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4447 posts in 586 days


#7 posted 202 days ago

You’ve got some great taste in designs my friend. That thing is handsome.

Bummer about the veneer screws. If it helps any, the BC wheels definitely take some finesse to spin freely like the video. However, there’s no play, pretty solid.

-- Red -- "There's nothin' in the world so sad as talking to a man, who never knew his life was his for making." Ray LaMontagne

View whitewulf's profile

whitewulf

438 posts in 1541 days


#8 posted 202 days ago

All is not lost,
You have plenty is room outboard and below the screws for “guide rods”. 1” thin wall tubing should reduce the slop in the screws.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View yuridichesky's profile (online now)

yuridichesky

314 posts in 568 days


#9 posted 202 days ago

Live edge is a winner, no doubt.

I think the main reason for the vertical play is that screws are movable: you have to turn them to clamp the work. The BC setup does the opposite: screws are secured in the back jaw, front jaw moves on the screws back and force (there must be some play, but not much I guess), and the wheels give no play at all.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View JayT's profile (online now)

JayT

2102 posts in 815 days


#10 posted 202 days ago

Looks great! Love the live edge. I think yuri has a pretty good explanation for the play. My benchtop vise setup has some sag, too, but it’s not that big of a problem, really, so I just deal with it. Most of the time you are using this, you are working with consistent thickness stock for that project, so the vise gets opened just enough to pull one board out and put another in. There’s never a need to spin the wheels/screws for fast changes.

-- "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 sikrap's profile

sikrap

989 posts in 1963 days


#11 posted 202 days ago

Nice job!! I’m curious about the slop in the screws. I have a couple of veneer press screws and I was going to use them for a quick and easy Moxon. The threaded rod from Jameel is 3/4” and the veneer press screws are 11/16. Would the 1/16” difference make that much of a difference? When you drilled the holes, what size hole did you drill?

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)

bondogaposis

2447 posts in 955 days


#12 posted 201 days ago

Really nice vise, I’m sure if the veneer screws don’t pan out you’ll be able to come up w/ something else.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View terryR's profile (online now)

terryR

2979 posts in 912 days


#13 posted 201 days ago

Awesome build, Clayton! I love the live edge, and the natural color of the Maple.

The little round overs near the hold downs…elegant touch!

And thanks for sharing your view of the veneer press screws…good to know…

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

View john2005's profile (online now)

john2005

870 posts in 782 days


#14 posted 201 days ago

Glad you kept that live edge. Looks awesome! I’m sure you will get the play sorted out in no time. Great job

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View WillliamMSP's profile

WillliamMSP

42 posts in 208 days


#15 posted 201 days ago

Very nice – love the live edge.

I third Yuri’s explanation on the sag and think that it explains the (relative) difficulty in adjusting, too – the weight of the front of the vise is essentially levering the screw against the top of the back threads of the nut and the bottom of the front threads of the nut (or the front edge of the bore hole, if play is sufficient), so it’s seeing a lot of friction at those two points. You can check this theory by lifting the front of the vice with one hand and spinning the cranks with the other – it should spin much more freely.

Guide rods, as suggested above, should help relieve the screws from some of that weight, but they’d need to be firmly anchored in the base and be able to slide through the front of the vice someplace that doesn’t interfere with you or the operation of the cranks.

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