WoodSkills Issue 02 - Page 47

The Benchcrafted Moxon vise hardware kit includes two cast handwheels, ACME-threaded screws, nuts, washers and a Crubber material to line the inside of the movable jaw. This Crubber (rubber & cork) material provides the friction and grip to keep clamped boards from sliding. The Moxon vise design can be adapted to any hardware if you so choose. I used off the shelf Benchcrafted hardware because it is well-engineered and would save me considerable time in sourcing hardware components. A view above of the solid cast Benchcrafted vise handwheels and instruction pamphlet for hardware installation. In the background are the rough-sawn maple boards originating from my wood pile. The maple boards selected had straight grain characteristics as well as being free of any flaws. I wanted the strongest and straightest boards from which to shape the fixed and movable jaws. The maple boards are wider and longer than the final dimensions. This allows me to process the boards beforehand and select which portion of the boards to trim to final dimensions.

There are a total of five boards to be processed and dimensioned. Although maple is the recommended wood for the Moxon vise build due to its strength, stability and closed-grain characteristics, a good substitute can be any other species of hardwood. Kiln-dried domestic hardwoods such as cherry, birch, oak, ash, elm or beech can be substituted. Two pairs of boards, when laminated together, comprise both the fixed and movable jaw. The fifth board forms a small table and support. Each of the 4/4 boards is a little over 1 inch thick. When two boards are laminated to create a jaw, the rough thickness will be over 2 inches. This leaves plenty of extra wood to trim the boards down to the final 1.75-inch thickness. An alternative approach is to use 8/4 lumber at 2 in. nominal thickness and work with this instead. If you have access to 8/4 or 2-inch nominal thickness hardwood, considerable time is saved since laminating is eliminated. When laminating, I was careful to orient the grain in each board opposite the other. This technique offsets any internal stresses remaining in the wood and maintains stability and straightness. The rough-sawn boards are then thickness planed and jointed.

The Benchcrafted Moxon Vise Kit along with the five boards to build the Moxon vise