|Project by Greg In Maryland||posted 02-16-2014 12:46 AM||5200 views||23 times favorited||14 comments|
In May I am taking a class where I have to cut something like 120 dovetails in five days. I don’t think this is an easy task for anyone—whether they are experienced or not. To make my life easier and perhaps increase the chance for success, I built this Moxon vise and bench on bench platform.
The entire unit is made of hard maple. The chops were 8/4 maple jointed/planned down to 1 3/4 inch. The platform was 4/4 maple jointed/planned down to 7/8 inch (or so) and then laminated. It is about 1 1/4 inch thick. Overall the platform is 33 inches wide by 21 1/2 inches deep and is 5 3/4 above the bench.
The finish is an oil/varnish mixture described on the Wood Whisperer’s forum: link. Cliff notes version, it is 1/3 Pratt & Lambert 38 Varnish, 1/3 Pure Tung Oil and 1/3 Mineral spirits. I combined the ingredients, mixed up and liberally applied it with a foam brush. After a few minutes I wiped it off and ta-da it’s finished! Because of the oil there is a slight yellowing, but not much. It has dried nicely and I am pleased with the process. It is easy and pretty idiot proof. For how I intend to use the appliance, it should be plenty durable. I used this finish on all the parts except the inside face of the fixed chop.
The vise pretty much follows the standard outline using BenchCrafted hardware and plan, except for a few enhancements:
The first is I added some ‘tabs’ on the end of the vise for the clamp and a 1/4 round cutout. I first saw these in CL10’s build: link and subsequently read that using a 1/4 round strengthens the transition. I like the way it looks and works, and would not hesitate to recommend this approach.
The second is that I made it 25 3/4 inches between the screws. I anticipate building a 24 inch chest, so this gives me a bit of wiggle room.
The third and biggest is that I made a ‘portable’ bench on bench platform. The platform is 33×21 1/2 inches and attached to the Moxon Vise via four bolts.
The bolts are countersunk and screw into a coupling nut: link and there are screws from the bottom ensuring that the coupling nut doesn’t go anywhere.
On the back there is a cleat to which the coupling nut is screwed into
I drilled holes for each nut and then smashed them in with a hammer (I only missed twice). By the time I was done, it was apparent that I did not need the bottom bolt. The fit was so tight that the nuts are not going anywhere.
The platform is simply held up with a scrap piece of wood placed under the back.
The point of making the platform detachable is so that I can easily store and transport it to my class. Most likely I will attach some sort of handle to the platform portion so I can carry it with one hand.
Finally, the BenchCrafted plans: link suggests that a mortise should be cut for the nut in the fixed chop. That seemed like a bunch of work to me and instead I drilled a slightly smaller hole and used the two nuts to screw the nut into the fixed chop. It worked perfectly and it isn’t budging at all.
Here is the requisite semi-action shot
Thanks for looking!