Moxon Vise Benchtop Bench #1: Milling the pieces

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Blog entry by lysdexic posted 01-01-2013 09:29 PM 13600 reads 13 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Moxon Vise Benchtop Bench series Part 2: hardware installation and more design considerations »

When I ordered the BenchCrafted hardware I also ordered the hardware for the Moxon vise. Not only was I inspired by BrandonW’s bench but also his Moxon vise. So, it has been sitting in my shop for about nine months.

Brandon’s Moxon Vise

The plan is to make a Moxon Vise Bench-top Bench because when I doing fine work I find myself slumping over for extended periods of time. That kind of zaps the fun of it after a while. Furthermore, I admit to being spoiled when comes to have a perfect working environment. It is always 70 degrees and 50% humidity and two bright articulating lights. When I need the table height adjusted, I just say “table up” and some one else makes the adjustments. Yep, I admit it I am spoiled.


Overall the design comes the BenchCrafted pdf. Mine design is 1 1/2” taller @ 7 1/2” because, for detail work, it is recommended that the working height is hand level with your elbows bent 90 degrees. The final working height is a bit over 42” from the floor.

Table structure comes from examples here LJ’s and BenchCrafted.

I do like the idea of beveling the front chop like Brandon did to allow more clearance while sawing. Schwarz provides a good example but I plan to shape mine differently to match the chop on my leg vise.


Instead of buying new lumber I decided to re-purpose the “unwanted” dining room table that faithfully served as my previous workbench. This was the last picture of it in its old position.

However, this table is made of clear, hard maple and my workbench consists unclear, soft maple. That said, I decided to fashion the front chop from some left over sticks from the Roubo bench build. This way the most visible aspect of the vise will tie into the Roubo bench design.

I wanted to use this board but with all its defects it is approaching firewood status.

I found another and cut it to length, edge jointed it and glued it.

*Side Note: I abandoned my oil stones and brought out my 1000/8000 water stone. Man, what a difference. It is probably my fault but I just couldn’t achieve a sharp edge on my A2 irons with the oil stones. Bummer.

I jointed a reference edge on the table top and cut the pieces at the table saw and miter saw.

For the bench top, i could just squeeze out the square dimensions from the curve. Unfortunately the cuts were centered right on the previous dowel holes. So shifted the layout to cut out one hole and decided to plug the other.

Off to make a 3/8” dowel.

For the bench top I scraped the old, yellowed finish and then smoothed her down. Unfortunately my was #112 was delivered to work and I want get until tomorrow.

Now the pieces are all milled and cut to size and should go to something like this.

Thanks for taking a look.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

23 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4055 days

#1 posted 01-01-2013 09:37 PM

Sweet! Those vises look really useful. How much was the hardware, if you don’t mind me asking?

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4079 days

#2 posted 01-01-2013 09:41 PM

The hardware kit , like all BenchCrafted stuff is spendy but I got sucked in. ——- $150.

Many, including Brandon, have smartly accomplished the same results with much less expensive hardware.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4055 days

#3 posted 01-01-2013 09:44 PM

Whoa! probably still cheaper than the “table up” option…plus you have come this far with the good quality stuff, no need to skimp now. I am sure the cost will be ultimately justified by its usefulness.

View Brit's profile


8508 posts in 4299 days

#4 posted 01-01-2013 09:48 PM

It had to be done sir didn’t it? The essential Roubo add-on. Looking good Scott

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Don W's profile

Don W

20384 posts in 4024 days

#5 posted 01-01-2013 10:10 PM

Some great recycling going on there. Nice job.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View AnthonyReed's profile


10196 posts in 3897 days

#6 posted 01-01-2013 10:16 PM

Mallets, stool, all kinds of fun stuff to look at in addition to the fine workmanship.Wagon vise is action too!

Quality remains long after price is forgotten.

The Moxon is taking shape nicely Scott. Thanks for sharing.

That is a damn fine bench you have there.

-- ~Tony

View Mosquito's profile


11757 posts in 3749 days

#7 posted 01-01-2013 10:30 PM

Should be pretty sweet. Once I’ve got a bench I’ll be making one of these as well, so I’ll be watching and learning :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View terryR's profile


7732 posts in 3765 days

#8 posted 01-01-2013 10:35 PM

+1 to what Mos says!
I get tired of bending and stooping over…

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

View Brandon's profile


4382 posts in 4408 days

#9 posted 01-02-2013 12:21 AM

That vise/bench is turning out quite nicely. If I had it to do over, I would have made my Moxon vise a bench top as well. I guess I could always retrofit it. Looking forward to seeing the final product.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View NormG's profile


6576 posts in 4460 days

#10 posted 01-02-2013 03:14 AM

Great build

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4079 days

#11 posted 01-02-2013 04:21 AM

Thank you gentlemen.

Brandon, a retrofit should work out well. A log grain -long grain glue up to the back of the fixed jaw should be strong enough.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17825 posts in 4075 days

#12 posted 01-02-2013 05:02 AM

Looking very good. I like the re-use of materials particularly (surprise!), and the dimensions overall. Good, too, to see shots of the shop space. The table, bench, vises, lighting and hold fasts; love it all. Great progress, and a fine choice of hardware. Thumbs Up, Carry On!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View sb194's profile


197 posts in 4475 days

#13 posted 01-02-2013 02:52 PM

Looking good. I am actually in the process of building the same thing.


View Mauricio's profile


7170 posts in 4608 days

#14 posted 01-02-2013 05:18 PM

Oh yeah, this is going to be much, much, beter than Brandon’s. In Yo Face Brandon! LOL… jk.

This is going to be sweet Scott, I don’t think I’ve seen one that was also a bench top bench. I will be making me one of these! But with wooden screws…

Are you going to have dog holes in the top and in the chop?

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

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4079 days

#15 posted 01-02-2013 05:44 PM

I am Mauricio. Thanks, I forgot to mention that. They will go long the sides. A row in the middle will be precluded by the relief bevel on the front chop.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

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