Tool Test: Benchcrafted Double-screw ‘Moxon’ Vise

By Megan Fitzpatrick
Page: 18

From the November 2011 issue #193
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In the December 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (#187), Christopher Schwarz wrote about building the all-wood double-screw vise from Joseph Moxon’s “Mechanick Exercises” (1678).
This vise is a back’s best friend; clamp it on the edge of your bench, and use it to raise your work to a comfortable height for working on the edges.

Now Benchcrafted has developed 21st-century hardware that makes the double-screw vise more functional and eliminates the need to fuss with a thread box and tap (they can be fussy). Plus it looks cool and it works like a dream.

While the 8″ cast iron handwheels and polished 3⁄4″ x 8 threads-per-inch acme threads impart a high-tech look, they also function differently from our all-wood version. Here, the screws are locked with nuts into mortises in the back chop and the wheels move in and out on the screws. The moveable front jaw (which is lined with suede to protect your workpiece) doesn’t weigh down the movement as it does on our wooden screw version.

But what I appreciate most is that the narrow screws allow room to elongate the through-holes in the front chop side to side, so you can skew the chop to hold tapered work in place with ease. Or, use this functionality to set one wheel for the thickness of your workpiece then spin the other wheel in and out to clamp and release your work. One spin is all it takes to lock your work tightly in place.

VIDEO: See the vise in action.

From the November 2011 issue #193
Buy this issue now