I use StumbleUpon.com to explore the internet for woodworking sites and other things that interest me (technology, conspiracy theories, extreme sports, alien technology, etc…).
A few days ago I stumbled across this:
First I thought: “COOL!”
Then I tought: “Holy Crap that’s expensive!”
And then I inevitably thought: “I can make that.”
After a bit more research I found I was not the only one with this idea; there were several instances of people buying ACME threaded rods and nuts, and making hand wheels and essentially replicating the vise for about $50.
But I thought better of that. I thought, I know of something cheap, with ACME threads and nuts incorporated that I can modify to suit my needs:
But you may be wondering, “what is the purpose of a Moxon vise that is not served by a regular vise?” Supposed you have a 4-foot long board, and you want to sand, cut, plane, or otherwise modify one end of the board. With a regular vise, you would have to put the board horizontally into the vise, and work sideways on the end grain. Because a Moxon vise is open in the middle, the board can be placed vertically in the vice, with the majority of the board below the vise, and the end you want to work on kept securely at a comfortable working height. That’s why you would want a Moxon vise.
I haven’t gotten around to making the vise yet (I just thought of it yesterday), but rather than make you wait to see what I intend to do, I made my Moxon vise in Sketchup.
Step 1: Purchase two (2) 8″ industrial C-Clamps:
Step 2: Cut the majority of the “C” off to make it look like this:
Step 3: Cut slots and drill holes in a 2×4 to hold the “nut” portion of the modified clamp:
Step 4: Drill holes and place washers on a piece of wood to make the face piece (I suspect something stronger than a 2×4 would be good here):
Step 5: Drill corresponding holes in the front of your workbench (which happens to have a 2×4 frame), attach the base piece and thread the clamps into their corresponding “nuts”:
One key difference between my design and Moxon’s, is that my threaded rods are movable, and are threaded into the base to tighten the vise, rather than having them statically mounted into the base and tightening the vise by screwing a threaded hand wheel onto it.
I suspect this allows the tradition Moxon vise to be mounted to the face of a solid wood workbench because the threaded rods do not need to extend beyond the back of the vise. But since by workbench is not solid wood, but rather plywood on a lumber frame, I can extend the threads beyond the vise.
The advantage of my design is that it will not have long threaded rods extending out from my workbench when the vise is closed.
I’m not sure when I’ll get the chance to actually build this vice, but I will build it, and I will write about it when I do.