Hard maple jaws,
1 3/4" thick. Overall height: 5 1/2"
The complete vise is supplied with a 36" long fixed jaw, 32" long movable jaw, stabilizer, suede for the movable jaw, and the vise hardware itself. Some assembly is required, which you should be able to accomplish in about half an hour. The Moxon Vise instructions are available for free on our downloads page.
The Moxon vise is also available as hardware only (everything you need to build the full vise except wood including the suede) if you wish to make your own wood components or different vise configurations. You can build a complete Moxon vise in an afternoon. Complete measured drawings and instructions are available on our downloads page.
the Moxon Vise
In 2010, woodworking author Christopher Schwarz built a version of Joseph Moxons double-screw vise described in his 17th c. book The Art of Joinery. Shortly thereafter his vise appeared in the December 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine and many woodworkers found the vise to be quite useful for dovetailing and other close work. Soon after the article appeared we received numerous requests for hardware to make a vise similar to Schwarzs version, but without having to buy a tapping kit and deal with the frustration that many have experienced with these kits.
Joseph Moxon wasnt
the only one to describe this type of vise. Roubo and Felebien also document
a double-screw vise that is held to the top of a bench with clamps or holdfasts
in order to facilitate certain work. Moxon and Roubo both show massively thick
jaws, at about 3". Thicker jaws will deflect less, with less vertical
racking. Because this vise is used primarily as a workholding fixture (not
as a press) and for working the ends of boards, where the entire board spans
the vertical plane of the jaws (thus eliminating vertical racking) and most
woodworkers are accustomed to this form, weve made the jaws 1 3/4
thick using widely available 8/4 stock. These jaws function extremely well,
while keeping the vise light enough that youll actually get it out and
use it! Although our vise isnt an exact copy of Moxons, Roubos
or Schwarz's, the term Moxon vise has been widely adopted.
The Benchcrafted Moxon
vise uses the same precision rolled acme screws as our Tail Vise and Glide
Leg Vise. Like those vises, weve outfitted our Moxon vise with cast
iron hand wheels for rapid, easy adjustment. However, weve changed
things around a bit. Instead of the handwheel rotating the screws and
being restricted by the weight of the movable jaw, weve fixed the
screws to the vise itself (they dont move) and tapped the handwheels,
allowing them to move in and out on the rigid screws. The mass of the
wheels and the polished acme threads allows the hand wheels to spin freely
and do the work of drawing the jaws together effortlessly. Setting one
wheel for the workpiece thickness, the opposite wheel is massive enough
to literally push the jaw to the workpiece and hold it there solidly with
only a quick spin of the wheel. In most cases, that's all thats
necessary to hold the work.
Purchasing the hardware only allows you to build other Moxon-style vises with different configurations. If you build small furniture or boxes for example, you may want to build a vise with less space between screws. This will make the vise easier to mount to your bench and store.
You can also build a "benchtop bench" with our Moxon vise hardware. It's the ideal bench for cutting and marking out dovetail joints with its large rear work surface.
Another option is to build a full-size Moxon into a dedicated joinery bench. If you have room in your shop, this is a great way to use the Moxon vise hardware. The height of the bench should be about 4" below your elbow with your arm bent at 90 degrees. This is a general rule.