Moxon vise retrofit (anti-racking system)

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Project by Chiaroscuro posted 09-27-2017 04:58 AM 2520 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have previously posted my moxon vise build and I have used it extensively. It is my “go to” vise for about everything. However, one of its downsides was the amount of racking I would get if I was not placing a board all the way down (for dovetailing) but was just using the top of the vise to grasp a smaller piece (for jointing). To address this issue I retrofitted two rectangular bars that are inline with the threaded rods into the clamping board. They run in a through mortise in the base that has lots of side-to-side play but is fairly tight top and bottom. When the vise is closed there is enough resistance to stop most of the racking. One of the only reasons this works is that I built the vise out of almost 8/4 oak. There is still enough play to clamp a tapered piece in the vise. The bars were from the same oak I build the moxon vise with and are glued into place with Titebond II. After the glue up, I added the walnut pins (not sure they are doing anything, but they are nice to look at). The bar on the left was slightly loose in the sliding face and I put a few wedge of maple to keep it tight.

If you are going to make something similar, I highly recommend the 45 degree bevel on the front jaw, it is totally worth the extra time and effort.

Bits of the build:

-- Todd

7 comments so far

View Brit's profile


7910 posts in 3522 days

#1 posted 09-27-2017 10:09 AM

Looks good Todd. I’m sure you’ll be using that for many years to come.

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

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4777 days

#2 posted 09-27-2017 03:23 PM

Well done.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3546 days

#3 posted 09-27-2017 03:28 PM

This vise looks nice and the retrograde will be great for the shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1055 posts in 1068 days

#4 posted 09-28-2017 10:50 AM

I like the “lamb’s tongue” detail on the 45 – nice touch. And thanks for the tips. Just finished my bench and considering a Moxon.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View Grumpy's profile


26164 posts in 4530 days

#5 posted 09-28-2017 09:39 PM

Nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.
Very useful Jig.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Chiaroscuro's profile


122 posts in 1454 days

#6 posted 09-29-2017 04:36 AM

Thanks all!

Bill – the design was modified from the Benchcraft plans for their kit. A number of people have “captured” the screw with a collet, but I prefer how I did it. You do need a wide enough handle base to push on the mobile jaw. The anti-racking is only needed if you use this vise like I do (for pretty much everything) – If you are just mostly doing dovetailing it isn’t needed. I use this vise constantly and would use it more if my bench wasn’t already about 3 inches too high and it sits on my bench.

Also – while I would have preferred a thicker dowel for the screw (I was limited by the tap and die I had on hand), it works fine, and is plenty strong. I would strongly recommend a beefier build like mine (out of stock ~ 2 inches thick).

-- Todd

View Chiaroscuro's profile


122 posts in 1454 days

#7 posted 03-18-2019 12:34 AM

Update: the glued in wheels have each come off the shaft of the screw once a piece. I re-glued and put a through ΒΌ inch dowel into the shaft at the base of the wheel. Did the first one about a year ago and the second about a month ago. Given I use this as my primary vise (I.e. all the time), they have been pretty robust since tightening down the vise puts pressure on the glue joint.

-- Todd

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