WoodSkills Issue 02 - Page 57

Once the stabilizer block is glued to the bottom of the rear jaw, it is critical to keep all bottom surfaces of the vise flush with each other and square to the jaw faces. I recommend temporarily installing the Moxon vise to the front edge of your workbench using F-clamps or bar clamps. With the vise clamped in place, you can measure the distance from the top of the stabilizer bar to where the holdfasts are inserted. This will be the location of the dog holes necessary in your workbench. I use Gramercy holdfasts in this build and have customized the Moxon vise to work within this constraint.

Another brand of holdfast will have a different size and arm length. The Moxon vise with ACME-threaded screws is attached to the workbench top. After bolting down the screws through the rear six-sided nuts, a square is used to ensure each ACME-threaded screw is perpendicular to the face. A small extension table is also seen. The table extension can be added later after ensuring that clamping to the workbench top is successful. In normal operation, the front jaw is tightened against the rear jaw and the vise is set against the edge of the workbench. Since the front jaw sits below the surface of the workbench top by 1/8 inch, this technique registers the vise to the workbench top.


Top view of Moxon vise without additional table and support at rear

In the photo on the next page, the 1/8-inch overhang of the front jaw is seen. Creating the front jaw 1/8-inch wider, establishes this overhang. The overhang registers the Moxon vise to the workbench top. Once the front jaw is locked to the rear jaw, the Moxon vise is placed against the leading edge of the workbench top and the holdfasts clamped down. This small detail ensures that the Moxon vise is aligned with the workbench edge.

Since the vise is portable, the otherwise lengthy process of registering it with the workbench edge would soon become a chore. Also shown are the opposing grain orientations in both the fixed and movable jaw. Opposing grain orientation was discussed in an earlier step. Opposing grain orientation provides stability and balance. The movement of each laminated board is countered by the opposite board. Later, a rear view of the Moxon vise with table extension added, vertical table support will be shown. All vise components are oriented with grain in the same direction or long-grain to long-grain. This prevents any long-grain to short-grain issues. In this configuration, the rear nuts are accessible if the vise needs to be disassembled.