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Moxon Vise

author-gravatar MrZipper Feb 12, 2020

Three years in the making, I finally finished the Moxon vise for my Nicholson bench. Made from hard maple, about 18" between the threaded rod, with cork on the inside of the chops. Also used bushings on the movable chop instead of elongated holes. Excited to finally have a way to hold work vertically!

#moxonvise #workbench #nicholson #shopprojects

Photo of Moxon Vise

It started back in January 2017, shortly after I finished building my workbench. 4 feet of 8/4 hard maple. First time at a lumber yard, and not paying close enough attention to the stock. I didn't realize it at the time, but the board had a horrible twist in it. This ended up playing a huge role in why it took so long to build.

Photo of Moxon Vise

Edge jointing is fun! Face jointing is awful. No power tools for surfacing in this shop yet, so hand planes it is!

Photo of Moxon Vise

Hours later, got one side flat, and discovered how much was left to get it parallel. Not pictured: the massive twist in the other chop.

Photo of Moxon Vise

Skip ahead three years. Life kept me busy, but not wanting to deal with hand milling was the real dealbreaker. Ended up buying a planer about a year before this photo, and finally got around to flattening one side of the other chop. (I should probably make a jointing jig for it...). With two flat -- and parallel! -- boards, I also milled and glued up a support piece from some scrap left over from other projects done in the meantime.

Photo of Moxon Vise

Now for the fun parts. Trying to support these very heavy boards on the tiny drill press table while keeping them clamped together. Turns out this drill press is massively underpowered for this particular task.

Photo of Moxon Vise

Drilling was a success! Outline traced to chisel out the nut hole.

Photo of Moxon Vise

Not a bad fit!

Photo of Moxon Vise

Forgot to photograph a few steps, but glueing cork to the insides of the chops here. Trying to find the heaviest things in the shop to hold it down. Didn't occur to me that I was also inadvertently glueing the cork to the cardboard below wherever there was squeeze out.

Photo of Moxon Vise

Finally time to add the rest of the hardware. Using 5/8" threaded rod with handles from McMaster-Carr (via J. Katz-Moses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zpg2XiVdYGc). Not pictured: the bushings in the outer chop. Currently compression fit, but I might epoxy them in later if the start wandering.

Photo of Moxon Vise

It works! Couldn't wait to start sawing everything in sight. 

Photo of Moxon Vise

Drilled new dogholes in the workbench to hold it down. Very excited to finally give some dovetails a try! Thanks for viewing!

1 comment

The moxon vise is one of my most used shop jigs. Thanks for sharing, you got a nice vise that will last you a long time!

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