Moxon Vises are all the rage

Chris Schwarz re-popularized the Moxon twin-screw vise late last year in his blogging and in Popular Woodworking.

My Moxon

My Moxon - Ash and Walnut

I built one around May of this year, having cut all of the dovetails in the 11 drawers of my tool chest using the leg vise of my Roubo bench.  After a couple days of sawing and chopping, I realized that the Moxon would provide the means to raise the workpiece to a good height, eliminating the need for hunching to saw (and consequently, improving my cutting technique and the resulting quality of my dovetails).  I built mine pretty much the same way as Steve Branam did in July, minus some of the hand drilling.  I made mine from a big hunk of the ash I mentioned in the tool chest and bench stories, a long maple blank turned to size to cut threads on, and a couple of quartered walnut logs to form the handles.  I cut the threads the same way as Steve did, except I did it for the whole 2ft or so of maple blank, then cut it in half.  I tapped the walnut blocks, put some glue on the threads, and screwed the threaded maple into the walnut block, 2-3 inches in.  To be sure to over-do-it, as I’m known to do, I drilled through and pegged the assembly with an ash pin just to be sure it wouldn’t spin out.  I knocked the corners off of the walnut blocks and left them as octagons with softened edges, which I think gives a better grip than round.

Another feature, perhaps different from some of the others’ vises, is that use the rear part of the vise as the hold-down block instead of adding another on the back, and instead of drilling holes for clamps or holdfasts, I just cut a flat about 4″ high onto which the holdfasts can grab.  It will clamp up to about 23 1/2 inch panels which will probably suit my needs for the foreseeable future.

Now there’s been a couple of posts in the last two days regarding, at least in part, the chamfer on the top of the vise. I’m thrilled to say, I’m feeling rather validated that both Chris Schwarz’s newest (I guess he’s made a half dozen or so) moxon vise, and Jameel Abraham’s (of Benchcrafted, among other equally important credentials) vise share, with mine, the chamfered top to accommodate clamping the workpiece low in the vise to reduce vibration while sawing while providing the clearance necessary for tipping the saw up for blind dovetails.  But, while I do have the chamfer, there are two features that I feel, after reading these two guys’ posts, I will need to add to my next one:  a pretty little lamb’s tongue and some Benchcrafted screws.

About Nick

Nick Roulleau is founder, craftsman, designer, joiner, finisher, floor-sweep and all of the other roles at Mansfield Fine Furniture. A woodworker for more than a decade, Nick started the company with the goal of filling the need for heirloom-quality furniture hand-made from premium woods. Every piece is designed to suit the customer's needs and desires, hand-picking each piece of wood, and built one piece at a time, using both modern and centuries-old traditional methods to yield furniture to last for generations.