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Why it is NOT a "Moxon" Vise

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Forum topic by Bearcontrare posted 04-10-2021 10:16 PM 455 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bearcontrare

137 posts in 223 days


04-10-2021 10:16 PM

This 1505 drawing by a Nuremberg (Germany) engineer named Loffelholz (His name translates to “Spoon wood”) CLEARLY shows a twin-screw vise on the left front of this workbench. It also depicts an enclosed tail vise, known inexplicably to some as a “Wagon Vise”. Again, this was drawn in the year 1505. Joseph Moxon’s “Mechanick’s Exercises” did not appear until 1703. 198 years later, in a different country altogether. Moxon did NOT invent this vise, he merely depicted what was already in use, as shown:

This style of vise is described by Scott Landis in his “Workbench Book” most accurately as a “twin screw vise”. Funny how these incorrect terms catch on….

-- Barry, in Maryland


6 replies so far

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SMP

3998 posts in 992 days


#1 posted 04-11-2021 01:24 AM

Well first off thats just a twin screw vise. A “moxon-style” vise is typically a separate vise clamped onto the top of the bench.

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Mosquito

11128 posts in 3379 days


#2 posted 04-11-2021 02:36 AM

Kleenex didn’t invent the facial tissue either, but they popularized it which is why almost all facial tissues are referred to as “Kleenex” now. What’s the point?

Schwarz had a blog entry about Roman Workbenches that has the same information you copied here. If you haven’t read “Roman Workbenches”, you should. It has these two snippets:

While I know of a 14th-century Italian drawing of workbenches with screw-driven faces vises, Löffelholz’s bench is, as far as I know, the first workbench that has both a face vise and an end vise.

Did he invent the devices in his codex? Scholars can’t say. Many patricians were also inventors. But other scholars, including Feld-haus suggest Löffelholz collaborated with the artistic blacksmith Hans Ehmann.We may never know. But we do know that Löffelholz wrote the words and likely drew the pictures – they are from the same hand and were entered into the codex during a long period of time.

So while Löffelholz may have documented it in 1505, there is no proof that ties him directly to its invention either. He is no more deserving of credit for the twin screw vise than Moxon is for “The Moxon” vise; Moxon wasn’t even a woodworker.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

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Bearcontrare

137 posts in 223 days


#3 posted 04-11-2021 07:27 PM

Exactly so, Gentlemen! This is why some of us refer to these holding systems as “twin screw” vises.

As noted, the vise as drawn by Moxon was separate from the workbench. Additionally, it has long, cylindrical handles. The vise as drawn by Loffelholz is integral to the bench and has diskoidal handles with areas cut out for one’s fingers.

Name calling aside, this style of vise is very effective for several woodworking operations. It is fun however, to get a rise of some people ovcasionally by questioning how they label it…. (Yeah, maybe a bit naughty, but still fun…..)

Sadly, we will never know who devised the bench drawn by Herr Loffelholz in 1505. We can merely marvel at how advanced it was for its time.

-- Barry, in Maryland

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therealSteveN

7702 posts in 1661 days


#4 posted 04-11-2021 10:03 PM

Seeing that it is 2021, and polling all woodworkers worldwide, and asking them what they call the vise shown below, do you wanna guess what they will call it???? I’d put large $$$$$$ on a bet it would be a “Moxon” style vise to most, but you are free to call it whatever you like, just don’t sit in wonderment if no one knows what you are referring to.

To further prove my point do a search for pictures of what all of us know as a Moxon vise, and you will see a lot of examples of above style of vise. Next do a search for twin screw vise, and you will see a lot of pictures of end or tail vises, with twin screws.

-- Think safe, be safe

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SMP

3998 posts in 992 days


#5 posted 04-11-2021 11:13 PM

I’m gonna make a Loffelholz vise for my NICHOLSON bench.

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Mosquito

11128 posts in 3379 days


#6 posted 04-12-2021 12:02 AM

Besides, who’s to say a Moxon vise isn’t an improvement on the one Löffelholz documented? Almost 200 years later, it’s not inconceivable that someone made a better version. I’d certainly rather have a Moxon than the other recessed twin screw in my workflow, if it were my only face vise (I’d still rather keep my leg vise). Being able to clamp the edge of a board and let the rest go across the front of the workbench would be advantageous.

We don’t call “Cars”, or “Automobiles” or “Motor vehicles” by the “fardier à vapeur” name either, despite the fact that the majority of knowledge points to Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot having created the first documented steam powered road-going vehicle, over 110 years before a gasoline powered vehicle was produced and documented by Benz or Daimler, which was also preceded by an electric road going vehicle.

So yes, we call a Moxon vise a Moxon vise, because it’s a Moxon vise. We call a twin screw vise a twin screw vise, because it’s not a Moxon vise

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

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