Moxon in Maple

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Project by Dinger posted 08-21-2014 02:29 PM 3722 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey Everyone!

This is my version of the Moxon (Felebian?) vise. I’ve been quite influenced by the hand tool movement and Chris Schwarz in particular. As I delve deeper into hand tool woodworking, work holding becomes more and more important. This is a great addition to the Roubo-inspired bench in the background of these photos (which I haven’t finished and posted yet, but it is complete enough to be functional.) There are many uses for the Moxon which probably do not need to be detailed here, but for my it’s primary use will be in cutting dovetails. For the moment, while my sliding leg vise remains incomplete, it will be my primary work-holding device.

The vise is made from very old maple that has some beautiful flame to it. Why did I use such beautiful wood for a lowly shop appliance? Well I didn’t know how pretty it was until I got started. This is what I started with:

It was my old workbench top before I built my Roubo. The rest was made from dimensional pine that as beautiful, old, and stable. It’ll make great saw benches. I also enjoy the symbolism of re-purposing the wood from my old bench, to new more useful shop items. But that’s just me. You can see how tight this grain is here:

Beautiful stuff. This photo was before I took my smoothing plane to it.

There is about 21” between the screws. The vise stands about 5 1/2” tall. The front jaw is about 1/8” taller so I can register the vise with the front of the bench. Jaw capacity is about 6” (which is probably more than necessary.) The screws are from the same 2” thick stock. I simply made two octagons on the table saw and turned down the rest. I used Beall Tool’s 1 1/2” screw making kit for the screws. I will say I wish they’d make a quicker screw kit more along the lines of the screws that Lake Eerie Toolworks makes, but they do work flawlessly. My wrists get tired if I have to screw them all the way out. I snuck up on the correct diameter by running sandpaper down the threads while on the lathe. I also added some paraffin wax to the threads and burnished with shavings. This made a big difference in the action. I may drill some holes for wooden tommy bars at some point for easier action. Finish is tung oil. I’ll put on a coat of wax soon enough. Perhaps I’ll add a chamfer detail along the front at some point if I ever begin to cut half- or full-blind dovetails. This was a pretty simple project. I built it all in an evening and fine-tuned the threads and put the first coat of finish on the second evening.

Also, if you decide to make on of these I recommend cutting one set of holes for the threads and the other for the screw to go through first, THEN put the first screw in place to register and drill the other through hole. Then use that hole to mark for the other thread hole. Don’t ask how I know this… d’oh!

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

6 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3725 days

#1 posted 08-21-2014 02:53 PM

Fine job. Nothing wrong with having great looking gear.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Dinger's profile


145 posts in 3502 days

#2 posted 08-21-2014 03:11 PM

You know, I feel the same way. It’s for me after all. Why not use the best?

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

View Woodbridge's profile


3751 posts in 3658 days

#3 posted 08-21-2014 11:40 PM

Great looking vice, I agree with you in that it is very satisfying to re-purpose wood and bring new life and use to it. In this case I guess the wood paid you back by being so beautiful.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View spclPatrolGroup's profile


233 posts in 4134 days

#4 posted 08-22-2014 05:49 AM

Beautiful wood!

View punk's profile


181 posts in 3656 days

#5 posted 08-22-2014 10:48 AM

looks great the threads look real good nice job

-- Punk in PA

View G5Flyr's profile


99 posts in 2973 days

#6 posted 08-22-2014 01:48 PM

Beautiful wood. Beautiful work. Love the before during and after shots. Thanks for sharing.

-- G5Flyr

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