Moxon Style Vise

  • Advertise with us
Project by PlanBWoodworks posted 04-13-2018 12:21 AM 3501 views 10 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a moxon style vise that I made for one of my workbenches. My quick release 12” vise is on my other bench, and while it is great, I wanted something with more capacity. I initially intended to use 3/4” all thread, but saw a video on YouTube where a lot of these barbells are 1” acme thread. Wally World had the barbells shown in the photo above for just under $7. I bought 2.

My initial intention was to have this vise be portable, but while working on it today, I realized I could actually turn my bench so that the short side was against the wall, and then I would have access to both long sides. In addition, it allowed me to add this vise as an end style vise.

Unfortunately, when I built this bench at the beginning of my love affair with woodworking, I did not ensure that the ends or sides (or the top for that matter) were flat. I had to do a little shimming to get the vise mounted properly. I the barbells are 12” long, and I did not want that long a bar sticking out, so I drilled holes with a Forstner bit that allows me to have about 4” of threaded rod recessed inside the bench top.

I used a forstner bit and a hole saw to counterbore a hole that allowed the locking knobs to be inset into the back of the rear jaw. Both jaws are 1 3/8” thick and 6” tall. The rear jaw is 30” wide and the front jaw is 24” wide. The jaws are ash finished with BLO. In its current configuration, I have about 5” of depth capacity. By turning the rods, I can add the 4” recessed in the bench top giving me a total of about 9” of capacity. Thanks for looking!

-- Why can’t I ever find my pencil???

18 comments so far

View swirt's profile


6620 posts in 4211 days

#1 posted 04-13-2018 01:34 AM

Wow. That will be handy. Well done.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 3371 days

#2 posted 04-13-2018 01:51 AM

Very nicely constructed

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View MrWolfe's profile


1669 posts in 1363 days

#3 posted 04-13-2018 01:57 AM

I’m really digging the barbell threads. That is a great solution for your moxon.
Well done.

View mel52's profile


2275 posts in 1504 days

#4 posted 04-13-2018 06:51 AM

Definitely looks solid. Great job.

-- MEL, Kansas

View chrisirving's profile


122 posts in 1670 days

#5 posted 04-13-2018 11:24 AM

Excellent job, especially with the Wally World barbells!

View RPhillips's profile


1323 posts in 3075 days

#6 posted 04-13-2018 11:36 AM

Good Job!

great idea on the barbells, I may have to give this a try.

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

View Underdog's profile


1749 posts in 3275 days

#7 posted 04-13-2018 01:25 PM

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View kocgolf's profile


408 posts in 3418 days

#8 posted 04-13-2018 02:28 PM

Oh man, what a great tip. I had heard of this way, but was planning to do a pipe clamp version. Simply because I didn’t know where to get the dumb bells like that. I had been watching CL and used exercise stores but they seemed more expensive than a pipe clamp. Wally for $7 sounds great! Thanks!

View Joe's profile


581 posts in 2326 days

#9 posted 04-13-2018 04:22 PM

That’s a beast of a bench and vises to boot, great job. Thanks for inspiring

-- CurleyJoe, "You only learn from your mistakes"

View Steve_In_MN's profile


29 posts in 1296 days

#10 posted 04-13-2018 04:42 PM

Great idea, nice looking vise! I was not aware of this solution and can really use this approach. Thanks for sharing!

-- Steve, Minneapolis area

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17529 posts in 3858 days

#11 posted 04-13-2018 04:49 PM

Ditto on the barbell tip kudos. Makes me want to do some shopping today!

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

View D. B.'s profile

D. B.

33 posts in 3280 days

#12 posted 04-13-2018 11:25 PM


View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8413 posts in 1821 days

#13 posted 04-14-2018 12:00 AM

Nice job finding the barbells. A lot cheaper than most vise screw kits. :-/

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View PlanBWoodworks's profile


174 posts in 1721 days

#14 posted 04-14-2018 03:12 AM

Thanks all for the replies. I recently went through a bit of a slump. I wasn’t building anything that was really getting me excited to be in the shop. I realized that I needed to challenge myself.

I decided that I was going to start challenging myself in every project. Mortise and tenon, dovetails… I want to add something challenging to every project.

My first project in my new challenge is a Morris Chair. Knowing that this project was going to require a LOT of mortise and tenon joinery, I knew I needed a great vise.

Today, I milled all of the parts of the chair down to final dimensions and started cutting mortises. The vise worked beautifully. I couldn’t be more pleased. I am looking forward to many years of use.

Also, adding new challenges seems to have worked. I can’t wait to get in the shop tomorrow!


-- Why can’t I ever find my pencil???

View kocgolf's profile


408 posts in 3418 days

#15 posted 05-01-2018 07:57 PM

Okay, I am resurrecting this to ask a question. I followed through on buying those same dumbells, and I have the lumber picked to mill for this. Only thing I am not sure on is how exactly did you secure the “nuts” that you have recessed into the back jaw? I was thinking of tracing their pattern and making the hole match the near exact shape of the star nut, but is their an easier way? Yours is just in a round hole. Is it secure? Tons of epoxy? Hardware?

showing 1 through 15 of 18 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