Chain Driven Twin Screw Moxon Vise

  • Advertise with us
Project by Rayne posted 01-30-2015 03:32 AM 10675 views 34 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my take on the Moxon vise. It’s similar to the Veritas version with several modifications to reduce cost. I built this plan from scratch using only Veritas’ photos as a general guide since I couldn’t find a plan to make one of these. I think Lowe’s knows me well enough after this project considering how many times I had to go back to find the right item…So far it’s working very well, although I will take some suggestions on what to finish the vise and cover with. I was thinking of just using danish oil, but if anyone has any other better ideas, I’m all for it. This is made out of Oak (hardest wood I can find locally), 3/4” screw, sprockets, 2”x6” lumber for the cover, plumbing Tees, and Poplar for the handles. Please critique or just comment on my work. Thanks for looking.

Laminated some Oak together and drill dog holes.

Laying out where the Tee/Sprocket will be placed

Drilling into the bench to mount jaw.

Testing the Fit after drilling and epoxying 2 – 3/4” nuts in the back.

Screws were too long, so back into the vise to Hand Trim (yeah, 11 p.m. at night; have neighbors; no choice)

Using double nuts to insert screw into poplar handle

Successful install of screw

Used Brass inserts in knobs for easy removal

Testing the handles in Tees

Tees drills and pinned using Spring Pins. The screw isn’t going anywhere.

Sprocket has 2 set screws, so I drilled little openings into the screw to hold fast

Basic Test Run

Test Run with Chain after lubricating with Paste Wax…so much smoother now.

Time for the cover; post routing of shape and getting ready to be cut (I’m proud of myself for making the full cover a 1/4” longer to account for the blade thickness post-cut; it looks better this way)

Cover Cut very nicely.

Middle Cover Installed

Work complete!

26 comments so far

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2024 days

#1 posted 01-30-2015 03:40 AM

Good stuff

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View flatrock's profile


106 posts in 1845 days

#2 posted 01-30-2015 10:49 AM

not seen a vise like this. Looks like you have done a good job. Post a pic after the Danish oil or whatever you are going to use.

View benchbuilder's profile


285 posts in 2989 days

#3 posted 01-30-2015 11:37 AM

Wow, great vise, looks like your very good at doing things your way. Very nice job.

View rtbrmb's profile


719 posts in 2927 days

#4 posted 01-30-2015 12:08 PM

Very clever-where did you pick up the sprockets & the chain at?

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View greyspider's profile


102 posts in 3462 days

#5 posted 01-30-2015 12:14 PM

Great job!! I’ve been looking for an alternate to a LV or LN vise. Yours is just the one. if you don’t mind,could you tell me what sprockets you used?



View Norm301's profile


9 posts in 1751 days

#6 posted 01-30-2015 01:04 PM

Very nice job… and good timing, I was planning to make one myself after making the side vise ( I have used the plans).

Where did you get the sprockets…bicycle store…what kind are they?

Suggestion, sand the interior of the Tees or use epoxy and 2 – 3/4” nuts with a wooden handle to avoid damage to the handles from the Tee threads.

You could also add two small top sections of ’’replaceable jaws’’ of different kind of wood. ;-)

View bushmaster's profile


3692 posts in 2821 days

#7 posted 01-30-2015 01:54 PM

Very well done, I like it. A number one for sure. I had orginally bought vice lead screw assemblies with the same idea. The handle tee was pressed on so could not disasemble it so the project didn’t t off the ground.Recently I just made it into a moxine vice, it has its place as you can add extra pressure to either end. I like your idea of making it from scratch. I think you are using an small industrial chain. Do you have a way of adjusting even pressure to both ends when you are setting it up. I may make one just for fun, I think I would make the inner nut on a plate that coulod be rotated for adjustment.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View eztrigger's profile


161 posts in 2466 days

#8 posted 01-30-2015 04:00 PM

that chain idea is quite interesting, first I have seen like that. thanks for sharing.

-- "Some get spiritual 'cause they see the light, and some 'cause they feel the heat." --Ray Wiley Hubbard

View johnstoneb's profile


3131 posts in 2711 days

#9 posted 01-30-2015 04:10 PM

Outstanding job.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Radu's profile


333 posts in 3582 days

#10 posted 01-30-2015 04:58 PM

Great job. Thank you for the pictures and description. To protect the wood handles from the T threads you can insert and epoxy some copper bushings into the T’s. You might need to thin the handles down to fit, though

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3026 days

#11 posted 01-30-2015 05:29 PM

Rayne, as was mentioned, you might want to lap the faces to hold a sacrificial face. Hold it in with bolts.

Just a couple of other ideas, I don’t care for loose chains. I also can’t tell if they are touching, but no matter, I would put in an idler gear, with or without a spring tensioner. As long as there is a way to adjust the tension on the idler, you are in good shape.

I would also go down to the auto parts store and get a bronze bushing for each side of the faces as you may find the threads of the screw wallowing out the hole as it is turned again and again.

Otherwise, to me, it looks like a very well thought out design and wonderful execution!

When I build one it will be a lot like this!


-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Rayne's profile


1240 posts in 2078 days

#12 posted 01-30-2015 05:33 PM

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. I’ll look into filing the Tees to avoid damaging the handles. Right now, the handles fit perfectly inside, so I’m liking the idea of sanding the threads a little and then epoxying the gaps inside. Does Epoxy stick to Wax paper / silicone? I’ll figure something out.

As for the chain, I bought it from Amazon. It’s a #35 chain…not sure if you really need something THAT strong. No typical method of chain breaking will work unless you have the right tool, which I had to buy. Geez, that thing is strong. Remember, I bought everything somewhat blindly; I’m no expert on sprockets and chains; I was just looking for something that was the right size. I don’t regret it as I know the chain will hold no matter what kind of pressure I put on it.

And as for the sprocket, I bought it off of eBay, but currently, the seller doesn’t have any under that particular listing, so here’s the item description you can use to buy your own.
12 Tooth Sprocket with 3/4” Bore for #35 Roller Chain Tsubaki 35B12F-3/4 New

Brian, My Tees are removable, but it wouldn’t be easy, so instead, I made the sprocket removable; I can completely disassemble mine in the other direction. As for adjusting pressure, yes, you can, which is what I need to do on the right side. I just need to remove the chain, rotate the right screw a few times, reattach chain, and voila, pressure adjusted (the chain has a reassemble clip, so 2 seconds with a needle nose plier and it comes off.)

View Rayne's profile


1240 posts in 2078 days

#13 posted 01-30-2015 05:39 PM

Dallas, I’ll definitely look into sacrificial fence later on. I’m researching all the types that have been used to see what will suit my needs.

As for the chain, it’s actually not that loose at all. My secret…plenty of nylon bushing to adjust how the chain maintains pressure on the sprockets. i was thinking of only using 2 and realized when testing, that it would slip, so I added 4 more and now, there’s very little play and the bushings keep the chain on the sprockets in either direction. I’ll post a pic of it later tonight.

I should have added that I did use steel bushings in both of the jaws. I did see that the threads were burning into the wood, so I epoxied steel bushings to alleviate that. It also helps with the smooth operation as well.

Thank you for your thoughts. :)

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3026 days

#14 posted 01-30-2015 06:18 PM

Rayne, I mentioned bronze bushings because they have a handy property of easily being ‘swelled’. No epoxy needed.
The idea is to make the bushing OD and the hole ID same size or as close as possible. Slide or press the bushing in until it is flush with the wood, lay it on a metal backing plate and put the threaded rod through it.
Then slide another fitting over the rod, slide it down and smack it with a hammer all the way around the edges,
(We use to just use a flat punch around the edges).
If it ever needs replacement, it drives right out.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View benchbuilder's profile


285 posts in 2989 days

#15 posted 01-30-2015 06:44 PM

Just a note to everyone, “Enco tool supply” sells all the stuff needed for a twin screw vise. They have acme threaded rod and nuts very cheap too and i am sure you can find a suitable type tee for a handle. Enco has an online catalog also.

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics