Cheap Moxon Vise Build

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Project by TravisH posted 05-21-2019 03:22 AM 2189 views 8 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Figured I need all the help I can get to improve my results when it comes to dovetails. As usually discussed the vise allows the work piece in a more comfortable height for sawing and chisel work. I didn’t see a need for a large vise as most of the time will be working on smaller projects and allowed me to use up some off cuts.

The main vise body is constructed from a birch butcher block scrap. Front jaw is constructed of hard maple and vise screws are dumbbell handles. Bought the Gold’s gym handle and cut the rubber grip off (easy to slice then peel away) to get a 14 inch bar. Cut the bar in half then ground the threads flat and drilled a hole to secure to vend and drilled a 1/4 inch hole. A couple bronze flange bushings and 1/4 inch lag bolts rounded out the build. Definitely not fancy but so far have been pleased with the added height.

Have about 9 inches between screws and about 2 inches opening to hold stock. Figure that easily covers most drawers and boxes I will build. May add some dog holes later for kicks.

6 comments so far

View therealSteveN's profile


8666 posts in 1792 days

#1 posted 05-21-2019 03:44 AM

Great job. If at some time you feel the need for wider, taller, whatever, after making one, you know the cheats, #2 will come up quicker.

Use it, and you be will be glad for making it. Good luck on the DT’s, always a confidence builder, and after conquering them it makes you think you can do anything. Don’t try flying without an airplane.

-- Think safe, be safe

View 489tad's profile


4047 posts in 4230 days

#2 posted 05-21-2019 01:32 PM

Great job! Using the barbell thread is genius. Thank you for posting that.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View drewpy's profile


1074 posts in 2575 days

#3 posted 05-21-2019 10:40 PM

Great work! Good use of materials.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View SMP's profile (online now)


4746 posts in 1124 days

#4 posted 05-22-2019 05:49 AM

Hey cool, i remember seeing the plan using the golds gym dumbells somewhere, but haven’t seen anyone else make them. Great way to make one inexpensively and looks better than some of the other clamp versions i have seen. Good job

View TravisH's profile


781 posts in 3153 days

#5 posted 05-22-2019 02:14 PM

Yeah can’t take credit for the idea. When I was researching vises during my workbench build came across the dumbbell and jotted it down in my notes. Had forgotten about it until cleaning up some odds and ends and came across the notes.

The dumbbell was around 7 bucks and most importantly easy to source as most have a Walmart fairly close. I could see using it for other projects in the future as well due to the price/ease of obtaining.

View WorksInTheory's profile


231 posts in 2821 days

#6 posted 03-11-2020 05:13 AM

Hi, great build!

I have been planning to do the same though I wish I thought of this cheaper dumbell versus the more expensive barbell I bought. I thought I wanted more thread length (clamp more thickness).

I have a few questions. How did you go about drilling the hole in the rod and did you only do one per side?

Also did you put a liner in like cork rubber or leather? If not, no problems with grip?


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