Moxon Vise


From Joseph Moxon’s “The Art of Joinery”

Working on building a Moxon Vise.  The Moxon is named after Joseph Moxon’s double screw vise used in his book “The Art of Joinery.”  There is plenty of historical information online about the vise and I recommend, in particular, the work of Chris Schwarz.  Do a quick search and you’ll get plenty of hits.  One of the main benefits of the modified Moxon vise is the fact it elevates the work to save your back while hand-cutting dovetails and other joinery.  Aside from that, it is super secure and nice looking in the shop (if you’re into that kind of thing).  For mine, I used maple for the handles and Kentucky Coffee for the jaws.  I really love the grain of the Coffee Tree and use it quite a bit.  It’s a nice solid wood and fairly easy to work. 

Here is the basic process for making the handles.

  1. Cut stock to length, width
  2. Set table saw blade at an angle and run each piece through on each corner. This gives the nice octagonal shape.
  3. Drill the holes, centered, in the handles to accommodate the Acme screw. Be sure not to over drill the diameter.

That’s it!  Simple enough.  Of course you can choose to use power tools or traditional hand tools.  For this particular project I chose power tools…shame on me.

Photo Sep 16, 4 25 02 PM

Set table saw blade on angle and cut the corners.

Photo Sep 16, 4 34 30 PM

Two octagonal handles ready for drilling.

Photo Sep 16, 4 45 01 PM

Using a forstner bit to drill for the screw.

Photo Sep 16, 4 50 43 PM

Good uniform holes.

Photo Sep 16, 5 10 49 PM

Ready to roll on working the jaws.  Love that grain.

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