WoodSkills Issue 02 - Page 50

A 28-in. length was decided on based on the work I perform in my furniture making. I rarely have a need for a wider twin-screw vise. After finalizing the 28-inch length, 3.5 inches from either end are marked for the ACME-threaded screw location. The overall usable vise length remaining will be 20 inches. This is more than sufficient for any work I clamp to the workbench. The length and 5 1/2 -inch width of each vise jaw marked and sawn using a table saw. The front or movable jaw is wider (1/8 in.) to allow for an overhang at leading edge of the workbench. The 1/8 in. overhang facilitates registration of the Moxon vise to workbench.

If modifying the design for your own work methods, determine the width of panels you most often clamp to your workbench. Ensure you give this decision plenty of thought since once cut, the vise jaws cannot be lengthened. Another consideration is the weight of the Moxon vise. By reducing the length of the vise to the size you use most often, the vise is lighter and easier to move around. In my design, these criteria received considerable thought and a 28-inch length was selected.


Running the laminated jaw through a

thickness planer to remove approx. 1/8 in.

A hand plane is then used to reduce the final thickness of the thick wood down to 1.75 inches. Handplaning also provides an exceptionally smooth surface. There is relatively no risk of tearout using a well-tuned and adjusted hand plane such as the No. 7. Alternatively, a large No. 5 Jack plane or No. 6 Fore plane can be used to reduce the thickness of each jaw. I recommend setting the hand plane for light cuts and instead make multiple passes. This is a prudent, risk-free approach leaving a polished, tearout-free surface.

If you decide to forgo this step, use a thickness planer to reduce the lamination thickness to an accurate 1.75 inches without any snipe. With the boards comprising the front and rear jaw reduced to a 1.75- inch thickness, the next step is dimensioning each board to an accurate length and width. In this Moxon vise design, I opted for both jaws to be the same length since I will not have F-clamps attaching the vise to the workbench. Instead, holdfasts clamp the stabilizer block to the workbench. Although you can create a Moxon vise in any length from about 20 inches to 36 inches, my design calls for a length somewhere in the middle.