Friday, January 27, 2012

Moxon Vise Completed

My vise is quite similar to others you have seen, with one exception on the back.  Construction notes follow.

I had intended to chisel out hexagons in 1"x3"x3" pieces of wood to receive the nuts and keep them from turning but, when I was test fitting the screws, I found it very convenient to be able to spin the nuts in order to open the vise quickly,  The flats on these nuts are so large that I realized I could keep them from turning just by fastening a thin strip underneath them.  That way, as soon as the screw is loosened enough to let them  clear the strip, I can spin the nuts.  It works great.  A very simple solution.

I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get enough torque on the screws, but that's not the case at all.  The vise tightens easily.

Note that you don't want the screws to fit the holes tightly in the horizontal dimension.  You want to be able to skew the vise slightly in order to make it convenient to use.  When you are working on a number of pieces of the same thickness, you leave one screw set and use the other one to insert and remove workpieces.  This works very well and is fast.  I accomplished this with a coarse half-round file.  Mine skews about 1", which seems about right.

This vise far exceeds my expectations and, at a cost of less than $40, is a real bargain.  I urge you to make one for yourself, whatever option you choose for the screws.  In addition to the one I chose, here are some other options:


  1. That looks great! Did you use doug. fir for it? If you did how do you think it will hold up? Thanks

  2. Kelton,

    Yes, vertical grain douglas fir, except for the handles, which are red oak because those were the scraps I had. It is definitely stiff enough; the issue is splitting. That's part of the reason I used those big washers. I buy Bob Rozaieski's argument for making your bench and accessories softer than your work pieces to avoid damage. Once you have the screws, it takes less than an hour to make one of these vices, so not a big deal.

  3. Andy, I like your ideas. Nice vise.