LumberJocks

New Moxon Build

  • Advertise with us
Project by MrWolfe posted 08-14-2019 12:01 AM 480 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the second moxon I’ve built this year. I have used the goldgym barbell threaded rods with the star nuts for the hardware. The first one was smaller, about 12 inches between the screws on the vise chops, and I use it all the time for dovetails and planing small pieces and detail chisel work. Here is a link to that moxon and some of the planing shooting boards I made earlier this year. https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/410230

I’ve been wanting a larger one that I could use outside for rough hewing bowls and platters as well as doing dovetails on larger pieces. I will eventually use it for power carving too. The distance between the screws on this one is about 18 inches and the benchtop is 26 inches wide and 25 inches deep. The bench top is 6 inches high and it slips right over a very sturdy and low work table. That makes the benchtop 22 inches off the ground. Great for swinging an adze or ax. If I set it up on my big bench it brings the work surface up to 42 inches. I added a 45 degree chamfer between the dog holes on the front chop. It is for cutting dovetails with a saw, the workpiece can be approached at an angle without cutting into the vise. I rounded it a bit for aesthetics.

I’ve made a couple of doggers/battens/plane stops that are great for planing and other clamping options. There are one inch tall oak rings that keep me from busting my knuckles when I tighten the starnuts. I also have a wrench for the starnuts from the first moxon I built and it fits this one as well. I use it occasionally to cinch down the vise chops.

The nuts are recessed into the back of the chop and I used a glue up of 2 pieces of birch plywood to create a dado of sorts on the underside of the deck. The vise screws run along these dados. The plywood adds weight and stability and brings the thickness of the deck to 2 1/2 inches.

I put dogholes in a pattern that matches the planestops and added slots for my favorite chisels and notches for my adze, ax and drawknives. I wanted this to have a rough texture and not too slick of a finish so sanded it at #60 grit after I planed it flat and I used a finish recipe of beeswax, turpentine and boiled linseed oil shared on this thread – https://www.lumberjocks.com/topics/305763

I’m using that finish on all my tool handles as well. It is really great. It is kind of tacky but not sticky.

Along the way for this build I ended up restoring an old hatchet/ax.

Its a Norlund and I had to shape a new haft from one that was too long and too wide. I removed the rust and flatten the left side of the ax head and will put the bevel on the right side to make a right handed ax. I am excited and can’t wait to use it. I haven’t sharpened any of the drawknives, adze or ax yet. Maybe tomorrow or this weekend.

Lastly I am using these Craftsman hold-down and inline clamps on my moxons and on my workbench. They are identical to the Amour brand but very inexpensive by comparison. They work really really well.

I had bought some 8 inch cast iron holdfasts when I built my workbench but I have never been able to get them to work very well. I have just order some blacksmith crafted holdfasts on Ebay so I am hoping they are better.





7 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4074 posts in 1037 days


#1 posted 08-14-2019 12:27 AM

Looks like a nice portable work-surface. Nice work!

Holdfasts hold better in a bench that hasn’t been oiled. I wonder if that’s the problem you’re having. In my low workbench, if I re-oil a section of the surface, I might need to rough up any holes that got oil into them before the holdfasts will hold again. My solution is to be more careful about slopping oil in the holes, and also to use things like a palm which fit into a larger 2” square hole (which will eventually take a dumbhead to give me a shave-horse / bowl-horse).

Looks like a good setup, in any case. Have fun!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View robertjacob's profile

robertjacob

58 posts in 724 days


#2 posted 08-14-2019 01:56 PM

Very good moxon, I have to make it soon.

-- Woodworking is skill >> http://wood.nowrichest.com

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)

therealSteveN

3390 posts in 1029 days


#3 posted 08-14-2019 04:14 PM

Jon, that thing is massive. Do you plan to move it off and on the base?? Also please update occasionally on if you are happy with the Golds barbells. I don’t know why I think this, but I wonder if they will be up to the task you are asking of them. Smaller no problem, but this isn’t small.

You may be a solo here, or possibly you are launching the next Roubo workbench phenom.

Thanks for posting.

This may be some help about holdfasts. There was a time when everyone was building benches at PWW that the correct holdfast was also a big topic. The links off of it are also informative. That Gramercy that Joel sells is as good as store bought can be, and I think Phil Koontz is still making.

Not sure if on here, as I’ve only been here a short time, but online you can also Google about sanding, shaving, and roughing up so so holdfasts to get better grip. Some folks report they kept what they had, after roughing up the back side of the shaft.

Also wrought from solid blanks of metal = good

made for cast iron = bad

This is a consensus I’ve gotten from reading about them online.

Can’t say I have read what Dave said about oil before, but it makes perfect sense. Typically I have sold, or moved to another bench before oil is needed, so I can’t say I have ever oiled a benchtop. I do however oil the daylights out of my wooden boxes. Walnut oil for me.

-- Think safe, be safe

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

260 posts in 578 days


#4 posted 08-14-2019 05:08 PM

Thanks for the comments and sharing your thoughts and tips.
Dave, are you using cast iron holdfasts like I am? I think that is the issue. I bored out the dog holes at the bottom a little to try and get that magic angle that holdfast work at. I just think these cheap holdfasts don’t flex enough to hold anything down. I didn’t use oil on the workbench I bought them for or the first moxon I tried them on either. I’ve roughed up the holdfasts with #30 grit and no help there. I’m waiting on the blacksmith crafted ones and will report back. Would like to see your bench with the dumbhead with the shave horse/bowl-horse when you’ve finished it.
How is the move coming along?

Robert,
I like my moxons, both of them even though I haven’t really used the large one yet. It really made a huge difference in my hand tool work and especially with cutting dovetails. I think you will like it once you build it.

SteveN,
Ha… I didn’t realize it was so big. The added six inches between the screws will be great and its just light enough that I can move it without breaking a sweat. It is heavy though. The low table is my outdoor bench I drag outside and put my planer and my jointer on when I am planing and jointing lumber. So now it has a third purpose. I could not lift them both at the same time but its easy enough to move one and then the other.

Those Gold Gym barbell screws are just under an inch in diameter and 14 inches in length. That give me between 9 and 10 inches in between the chops of the vise. Plenty to clamp down on some stock for chisel carving.
You had mentioned before about using a sacrificial cradle for hewing and carving and I really like that idea. Just a piece of plywood with the boards screwed down to cradle the piece and then clamped to the benchtop.

I might make some really tall doggers out of 2×4’s and maybe a few that are v-shaped like doe’s foot battens to use in the dog holes. A couple of tall doggers and a few doe’s feet in the right dog holes might hold down wood cookies or slabs. (Dang that is a strange sentence).

Thanks for the article about holdfasts… bookmarked in my woodworking folder.

Anyway… If there are any issues with the screws then I’ll report that back here with an update.
Jon

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4074 posts in 1037 days


#5 posted 08-15-2019 01:24 AM

Dave, are you using cast iron holdfasts like I am? I think that is the issue. I bored out the dog holes at the bottom a little to try and get that magic angle that holdfast work at. I just think these cheap holdfasts don’t flex enough to hold anything down. I didn’t use oil on the workbench I bought them for or the first moxon I tried them on either. I’ve roughed up the holdfasts with #30 grit and no help there. I’m waiting on the blacksmith crafted ones and will report back. Would like to see your bench with the dumbhead with the shave horse/bowl-horse when you’ve finished it.
How is the move coming along?

I use forged holdfasts. A co-worker made some out of some rebar for me. They’re 5/8 instead of a more standard size, but they work fine, and I’ve got an auger bit that makes holes they like (I think it’s an 11/16), so I’m good.

The low bench will probably be my primary bench until the shop is built, so I may get the shave horse / bowl horse head for it done sooner rather than later. Or I might be spending all my time explaining to the HOA why they need to approve my shop. We’ll see how it goes.

Getting things packed and ready for the movers. I have a lot of crap. There’s a lot to keep track of and nothing is ever as simple as we’d like, but we’re getting closer.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

6390 posts in 2720 days


#6 posted 08-15-2019 03:40 AM

That a darn cool and beefy bench.

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

260 posts in 578 days


#7 posted 08-25-2019 12:05 AM

Quick Update…
This update is about the crap cast iron A.E. 8 inch holdfasts I had bought for my benches. They never had enough flex in them to really bite down and hold any stock when I used them. I tried them out on both moxons I built and the full size work bench also and had the same issue. I’ve been using the Craftsman hold down clamps and inline clamps with good results. I’ve just bought some blacksmith crafted holdfasts and they are fantastic. Excellent holding strength and they work on all of my benches with 3/4 inch dogholes.
Great holdfasts and the same blacksmith has them on amazon too.

Here is a pic of the old cast iron crap ones next to the new blacksmithed ones.

and the new holdfast in action on the moxon.

If you have the cast iron ones and are having problems with them then I highly suggest the blacksmithed ones.
The dogholes on my benches are 3/4 inch and these holdfasts are 5/8th inch diameter.
Jon

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

HomeRefurbers.com