Using a Moxon Vise?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 01-21-2019 02:13 AM 849 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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669 posts in 3290 days

01-21-2019 02:13 AM

I’ve seen many articles and videos online about building a Moxon vise, but I’ve never seen an article about using one.

It’s clear that one can slap a board in the vise and cut dovetails, but what else can the Moxon vise be used for?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

5 replies so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16339 posts in 3225 days

#1 posted 01-21-2019 03:31 AM

Good instruction and insight on the double screw vise here.

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

View Holbs's profile


2262 posts in 2636 days

#2 posted 01-21-2019 04:07 AM

the whole point of a moxon vise is to clamp a wide board/panel of 24” or slightly longer for dovetail & tenon cut. Not made to be super clamping tight as a leg vise so you can not beat downwards upon it. Leave you limited to sawing or planing.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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2797 posts in 3490 days

#3 posted 01-21-2019 12:57 PM

I’ve had a moxon vise for several years, made from a Benchcrafted kit. Works great to elevate boards to a comfortable height for sawing, other than that, it doesn’t do much else.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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23 posts in 698 days

#4 posted 01-21-2019 01:47 PM

My only bench vise is a twin screw on the end. A twin screw is just a moxon vise built into the bench instead of put on top. Honestly, it can do just about anything. In my opinion it’s the most versatile type of vise with a leg vise coming in second. About the only thing it doesn’t do well is clamp up really wide and long stuff, which a leg vise will do with an assist from another peg or holdfast. For those items I just clamp them to the side of my bench with holdfasts. A moxon will excel at dovetails obviously in a way that most other vises will feel compromised. Tenons are also very easy. Lots of stuff is dead easy with a moxon. The only downside of a moxon is having to haul it out and put it on your bench, which is why I just built a twin screw into my bench as an end vise.

They are not as strong as a leg vise, but nothing is. And it begs the question: how much clamping pressure does one need? My twin screw will crush bones easily. I’ve never had the need to tighten it down to full pressure.

View olegrump's profile


97 posts in 829 days

#5 posted 01-24-2019 05:28 PM

While I’m not a “Schwarz Fan-Boy”, see if you can find either his article on the “Moxon” vise (although the twin screw vise was known to exist at least 200 years BEFORE Joseph Moxon), or the “Woodwright’s Shop” episode where he demonstrates the many uses of a detached “Moxon” vise. Good information about a very versatile tool.

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