Benchtop Bench with Moxon Vise

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Project by MacSteveT posted 05-16-2012 03:58 AM 12579 views 32 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a project coming up that will include a lot of dovetails that I plan on doing by hand (just cuz). Having seen several successful Moxon vise projects here on LJ’s, particularly Tinnocker's version from a Fine Woodworking article, I decided to give it a go. Many thanks to Tinnocker – I borrowed several of his ideas including the inset washers, cotter pins for returning the front face when opening the vise, and finally the excellent idea to use standard pipe tee’s for the handles.

The whole project is made from Red Oak, with the exception of the benchtop, which is doubled 3/4” Oak veneered plywood. The vise faces are made from 3/4” boards that I glued together to approximate 2×4s.

The screws are made from 3/4” threaded rod from big box store, and the handle tee’s are 3/4×3/4×1/2 galvanized pipe tee’s. All in, I have about $50 in materials for he project.

A breakdown of the pics:

The first two pics are of the benchtop bench and vise in use.
The third pic is of the rear face of the vise before gluing the boards together, with a drilled / chiseled recess for the 3/4” nut.
The 4th pic is of the up-rights, with tenons – this was my first mortise and tenon project.
The 5th pic is the cotter pin through the threaded rod to trap the vise face when opening.
The 6th pic is of the tee and handle – I drilled a 1/4” hole through the tee and threaded rod, using a 1/4” roll pin to keep everything locked together. The handles are 3/4” Oak dowel, with Walnut caps that I turned on the lathe.

The finished product turned out to be very solid. My only complaint is that my tenon shoulders could have been a bit more flush. Thanks very much for looking!

-- "Do, or do not. There is no try." ~Yoda

6 comments so far

View oweno's profile


18 posts in 2855 days

#1 posted 05-16-2012 04:43 AM

Looks great! how useful has this been to you so far. I am debating building one but can’t decide if it’s worth the time and money. I read the same article in FWW.

View Ken90712's profile


17820 posts in 3800 days

#2 posted 05-16-2012 09:53 AM

Nice job looks really nice and functional. Thx for the link to the plans as well very cool.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View KMT's profile


603 posts in 3274 days

#3 posted 05-16-2012 11:36 AM

Great idea. Should be a useful addition to your shop.

-- - Martin

View SirFatty's profile


547 posts in 2823 days

#4 posted 05-16-2012 12:16 PM

Looks pretty cool, I have a couple questions.

First, what does the threaded rod screw into? Also, what protects the holes in the vice face where the threaded rod goes through it? Do you have a metal insert of some sort?

-- Visit my blog at

View MacSteveT's profile


55 posts in 3305 days

#5 posted 05-17-2012 02:21 AM

Thanks for the comments!

@SirFatty – if you look at the 3rd pic, you can see where the rear face of the vise is made from two boards – I drilled / chiseled a slot to capture the nut for the rods, then glued the two boards together, with the nut securely in the middle. As for the the wood in the holes of the front vise face, the hole is actually a bit larger than the 3/4” rod, and the washers have 3/4” holes, so the rod rests lightly on the washers. I keep a little bit of lithium grease there to prevent friction. It works pretty well.

-- "Do, or do not. There is no try." ~Yoda

View Willardz's profile


59 posts in 2922 days

#6 posted 05-20-2012 02:06 AM

Thinking about adding this to my bench, thanks for sharing

-- I have Carrie, food, shelter, and wood to turn. What else do I need?

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