Moxon vice

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22 Jun 2021
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Hi all,
I made myself a Moxon vice to make dovetailing easier. My workbench only has an end vice which makes things a bit awkward and would be difficult with the 300mm wide boards I'm going to be using for a shelving/bookcase project.
I went for a two tone look, partly for the cool appearance but also for a practical reason.
The red/brown wood is Jatoba. This is strong and stiff but also pretty hard. So the inside part of the vice is Tulipwood (yellow Poplar), which is much softer. As the tulipwood is softer than most of the timber I use, I should not damage my work should I overtighten. I also lined the inside of the outer jaw with reclaimed leather (suede side out) for additional grip.
The two stabilisers on the back jaw are attached by sliding dovetail and allow the vice to be clamped to the bench with holdfasts as well as the G-clamps.
Okay, the brass plates are a bit unnecessary, but I think they add a bit of class. Yes, I could have been more accurate with the rebate for the brass plate on the lefthand side. This is my first time working with Jatoba and probably my last. Sure it looks great but it exudes resin when unfinished, it's sticky, leaves a residue on tools and blunts them easily. I was going to make a decorative box from the stuff but I think this utilitarian use is more appropriate to its particular properties. If it starts exuding resin again, I can just sand it down and re-finish.
I bought the two "Moxon Screws" from Workshop Heaven. They are not cheap but the screw thread is "single start Acme", the wheels are well finished and they spin freely. I was a bit disappointed with the flange at the back for securing the threaded bars to the rear jaw of the vice. The screw holes are very close to the edge of the flange but also very close to the threaded rod. The holes in the flange were not well countersunk. Due to the holes being too close, the pilot holes for the securing screws had to be angled outwards to avoid the screws blowing out in to the hole drilled for the threaded bar. Simply making the flange 10 to 15mm wider would have alleviated this problem and probably the countersinking would have been done more accurately. Overall though, a good choice if you're in the market for a good Moxon vice kit.
Hopefully, dovetailing will become even more fun :)

PS; Yes, I know the shelves under my bench need sorting out!


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The greatest thing about a moxon is it is so kind to you'r back. I only got around to making one last year but should have done it a lot sooner. After making a saw sharpening vice I realized that working upright was pretty good so the moxon soon followed.