Benchcrafted Envy Moxon for Cheapskates

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Project by Tim Royal posted 09-13-2017 08:04 PM 3106 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a cheapskate’s confession to make. I like nice stuff and the BenchCrafted hardware epitomizes nice stuff. So I took a hard look at their Moxon hardware. Way out of my budget, but awesome and fast acting. I would gladly own it if I could. My hand joinery is where I need work and practice and so a Moxon was a must have accessory in my mind.

I actually saw some things about the BC hardware that I didn’t like. I am clumsy enough to constantly run into the protruding threads and I felt that I would like to have a bit more jaw capacity than the BC allowed. This led to me tooking at other hardware that placed the threads behind the vise and I really loved the Bench on Bench designs because I could also have a portable workbench as a bonus.

The hardware just seemed to be the obstacle. I really wanted the smooth and fast action of the BC! In fact, it became a “must have.” So what made it fast and smooth? I decided that I needed single digit TPI and a relatively heavy handwheel to act as a flywheel. I had some one inch threaded rod and at 8 tpi that seemed like a good start, but what about the handwheels?

My “AHA!” moment came in the sporting goods section at Walmart. I looked down and saw Gold’s Gym 2.5 lb steel weights for around $2. I seemed to remember, from a time when it mattered to me, that these went on a 1 inch bar! I took them home and had the makings of my hardware. After carefully welding them perfectly square to the threaded rod I was set.

The top is made from a scrap piece of beech counter top from a GC friend of mine (I would have laminated recycled/salvaged timber if I didn’t have the beech) and the base is from trash picked plywood and covered in Cherry Veneer (my first veneering attempt… glad it’s a shop project). Glued to the base is a simple platform of ash so that the holdfasts have a sold purchase and I can quickly index the vise to the apron of the bench. The size of the base plywood boxes was determined by the 1 inch nuts which are wedged and epoxied into them. I love how the threaded rod is completely hidden by the base. It will hold a 15 inch carcass between the rods.

To say I am pleased is an understatement. After getting the hole sizes right in the chop and adding leather to the jaws it spins and clamps extremely smooth and fast (lubrication courtesy of Vaseline) and clamps like a rock. Now if my dovetails were as nice,,,

-- -Tim Royal -"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

9 comments so far

View jim65's profile


1020 posts in 3099 days

#1 posted 09-13-2017 09:04 PM

WONDERFUL, in caps! well done!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View PaxJen's profile


200 posts in 1822 days

#2 posted 09-13-2017 10:33 PM

beautiful. Very nice! Great idea with the weights.

-- Pax - Maryland

View observer100's profile


476 posts in 2276 days

#3 posted 09-14-2017 11:29 AM

Great to not see any threaded rods protruding. Compact. Inexpensive. Super project!

-- Seeing is believing.

View JoeinDE's profile


450 posts in 4489 days

#4 posted 09-14-2017 01:12 PM

I envy your welding abilities. As someone who made a similar moxon vise on the cheap, I say well done!


View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3833 days

#5 posted 09-14-2017 02:09 PM

I agree have been using these weights for years along with Acme rod .

-- Kiefer

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4033 days

#6 posted 09-14-2017 03:01 PM

You did a great job on this and itwill be a wonderful addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3127 days

#7 posted 09-14-2017 06:10 PM

Also envy your welding skills. I need to get some.

Nicely done. I figure I can adapt that to a design without welding, maybe with a drilled keyway.

View Tim Royal 's profile

Tim Royal

325 posts in 2653 days

#8 posted 09-16-2017 07:22 PM

Thanks for all the compliments guys. Kiefer I have followed your projects for awhile, even subscribed to your YouTube channel! Subliminally I may have channeled your project into mine! LOL, Who knows?

-- -Tim Royal -"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3833 days

#9 posted 09-17-2017 02:53 PM

Thanks for subscribing Tim !
The idea is to spread information among us to give us less expensive option to make your own tools and keep it affordable .


-- Kiefer

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