Benchcrafted Moxon Vise )w/ benchtop bench) in Niangon

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Project by Andy Brownell posted 10-25-2011 03:29 PM 11723 views 19 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Coming out of the Woodworking in America conference, I was determined to improve my current bench’s work holding capacity. The Moxon vise re-introduced by Benchcrafted a truly outstanding, yet simple piece of engineering. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to make an easy upgrade.

These can be configured in a bunch of different ways. Points of attachment, overall dimensions and additional work surfaces, to name a few. I elected to make the opening of this the standard dimension, enough for a full 24”+ of width to allow for dovetailing wide panels. I also included a 15” deep and 32” wide benchtop bench for a more functional work space. It really can save your back.

This was made from left over pieces of Niangon from a previous table and bench project. Niangon is a West African species, popular in parts of Europe for boatbuilding and timber frame construction. I finished the surface with a coat of Watco Danish Oil, and followed Benchcrafted’s instructions on seasoning the cast iron handles by coating them with multiple coats of Flax oil and baked in a 500 degree oven for an hour (repeated 5 times). The outer jaw of the vise has a piece of suede attached to the inside, to hold things down snugly.

This is the start of my work surface upgrade initiative that will conclude with the build-out of a Split-top Roubo this winter. This too, will include Benchcrafted hardware throughout.

-- Andy Brownell

11 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25485 posts in 4022 days

#1 posted 10-25-2011 04:05 PM

Nice vice and it has a lot of capacity!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View minitool's profile


7 posts in 3328 days

#2 posted 10-25-2011 05:03 PM

A unique vice. Nicely crafted, Andy!

-- John's miniature woodworking tools

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 3407 days

#3 posted 10-25-2011 05:26 PM

Is that going to be rigid enough to not bow in the middle?

Looks like something I’ve cursed not having for the last couple months.

View Andy Brownell's profile

Andy Brownell

144 posts in 4168 days

#4 posted 10-25-2011 06:26 PM

It uses 1 3/4” stock. If you have a really narrow piece in the middle, you can certainly bow the wood, but it doesn’t need to be that tight. It’s better on larger, flat pieces.

-- Andy Brownell

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4636 days

#5 posted 10-25-2011 07:47 PM

Love it! I’ve been debating doing this versus one with wooden jaws. Why did you make the benchcraft leap vs. wooden jaws? Any complaints or advise? Thanks


-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View Brit's profile


8204 posts in 3759 days

#6 posted 10-25-2011 07:52 PM

Nicely done Andy

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

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3571 days

#7 posted 10-25-2011 08:41 PM

So I am having a moron moment. How does this stay on the bench when sawing dovtails. Is it just plain heavy or is it pinched between dogs? Help me out.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View mafe's profile


12650 posts in 4005 days

#8 posted 10-25-2011 09:29 PM

Really nice.
How do you hold it to the bench?
Did you see the plans the now have for a Shaker bench, quite need also.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 4162 days

#9 posted 10-25-2011 10:25 PM

Very nice. Interesting that Benchcrafted has you season the wheels in the oven. Guess there will be no half baked dovetails coming out of your vise.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Marco Cecala's profile

Marco Cecala

189 posts in 4949 days

#10 posted 10-26-2011 04:40 PM

Great work Andy. My hardware has been in the box for a month awaiting my motivation.

I like the permanent “bench” behind the jaw. I’m not seeing a compromise opposed to a separate riser to move around. What is your experience?

What method are you using to attach to the bench?

View Furnitude's profile


380 posts in 4423 days

#11 posted 11-10-2011 02:14 AM

Andy, This looks really great. I’m jonesing to build one myself. I’m curious about how you joined the pieces to the back. I guess the glue surface is long enough that it wouldn’t really matter. Also, how tall are the jaws and how did you figure out the best height to make them?

-- Mitch, Also blog at

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