Chris Schwarz's Blog

Need a Moxon Double-screw Vise?

One of the most-popular projects I made last year was the Moxon Double-screw Vise from the December 2010 issue. It’s popularity was eclipsed only by the Handplane Birdhouse in the August 2010 issue. One guy built 12 of them.

I
have received some complaints about the Moxon Double-screw. Not about
how it works – I think it’s one of the most useful jigs I’ve built.
Instead, people have been griping about having to buy the wood-threading
kit to make the screws and tap the holes.

I bought mine from Highland Hardware. It was $47.99 and works quite well, though some people have reported there are some defective ones floating around out there.

Now
in my book, $47.99 plus some 8/4 poplar or maple is a small price to
pay for the vise. But readers have disagreed and asked me where they can
buy the screws so they don’t have to buy the threading kit.

Well
you have some options. Change the hardware – some people have been
using clamps, veneer press screws or carriage bolts and wingnuts.

Or you can buy one from woodworker Bill Rittner, who makes fantastic replacement totes for Stanley planes. Rittner is selling smaller-scale Moxon Double-screw Vises on eBay for $149, or you can contact him via e-mail at rbent.ct@gmail.com.
Here are the specs: The jaws are 6-1/2″ high. The vise will hold
12-1/8″ between the screws and will secure 3-1/2″-thick stock.

So now you have one more option.

— Christopher Schwarz

25 thoughts on “Need a Moxon Double-screw Vise?

  1. newcanuckworkshop.blogspot.com

    Checked out the Charles Neil video. It doesn’t really address the problems I’ve been having which are 1. tear out tangential to the grain, and 2. mismatch between the tapped hole and threaded rod. I only get 3/4 of the way into a 2" hole before the thread binds. I cut a reasonable depth of thread, so it isn’t binding from interference, which really only leaves a small inconsistency between the thread pitches.

  2. Lee J

    There is another guy on e-bay that sells the completed vise, cmdevansenterprise is his e-bay seller id. He puts one up for auction and others on"buy-it-now". The buy it now is $80.00

  3. openid.aol.com/fr8dogg

    Another real cheap way to get vise screws: buy a weight lifting bar from a flea market or yard sale. Get the ones that have square threads. Make sure you get the nut as well! Saw off the threaded ends, put handles on and voila’. My son left his bar leaning against the side of the house for way too long. One of the threaded ends is now the screw for the wagon vise on my Schwartz/Roubo workbench. Source 2: the screw on those swiveling office chairs. But really, if you just buy some 1/2" or 5/8" all-thread with nuts it will work fine.

  4. John

    For what’s its worth I bought adjustable workbench legs and I occasionally adjust the entire bench height for comfort. The other positive thing about an adjustable bench is I use it for an out feed table and I can exactly adjust the height of the bench to correspond with the saw. It seems to be stable and the bench does not move around when using it at height.
    I am too lazy to go to my shop and get the name of the legs (you put a butcher block top on it – and yes I know that the tops are not dead flat and need to be worked on).
    While surfing trying to find the site of the adjustable bench legs I found another site of a guy that designed a beautiful adjustable bench every woodworker would be proud of and the base could be adapted to more sophisticated vise systems – I just ordered the plans and will decide if I want to build one – after I complete the every lengthening to-do list.
    If interested the site: http://jack-bench.com/
    I have no relation to the site or the inventor but I thought you may be interested.

  5. Alan Ganong

    Threaded rod worked for me and certainly is cheaper than buying a wood threader kit. I based my clamp on the example in Robert Wearing “Woodworker’s Essential Shop Aids & Jigs" (Sterling, 1992) p. 35 A Dovetailing Vice.

    Putting a wood handle on 1/2 inch threaded rod works better than using a wing nut (and this excellent Wearing book tells how to do that as well.)

    http://s640.photobucket.com/albums/uu125/Toolguy/Dovetailing%20clamp/

    Alan

  6. Circa Bellum

    or, you can cheat, like I did, and buy one of those big honking antique clamps, the ones with the two big wood screws to adjust them. You can buy these for around $10-30 depending on how fancy the flea market or yard sale considers itself. Since the clamp already has the threaded parts on the jaws, you can just attach them to the other piece and screw them together…

  7. Graham Hughes

    Mark: this has been addressed in some older material but you may not have realized it because it is so embarassingly simple (and regrettably I am separated from my books at the moment and so cannot give you a direct citation). One sort of modern way to do it is to take a strip of paper as wide as you want your thread pitch and draw a line halfway down it. Then wrap it around the cylinder, paper edge to paper edge, secure it in place, and the lines form the troughs of your screw and the paper edges the peaks (or the other way around if you so desire). Remove wood until done. I think Roy uses a backsaw to establish the trough but it’s basically chisel work. This technique has been used (well, probably not this *exact* technique but something very similar) into antiquity.

    Now, the matching tap to cut the female nuts? That’s hard. If it’s big you can use a weird dowel arrangement due to Hero of Alexandria, or you can saw the nut in half and carve the nut, but it is much more difficult than cutting the male threads directly.

  8. Don Peregoy

    I have one that I made a while back for cutting dovetails. It uses T track and set of Cam Clamps (from Rockler and other places). Hardware under $25. You could also use a threaded insert and a Star Jig Knob, with bolt. Both would work fine but neither would look as cool. There is also the fact that when your finished you can make other nifty things that need a wood-threading kit.

    You may want to incorporate a set of springs to keep the jaws open.

    If you have ever seen the old Shopsmith dovetail jig that’s were my inspiration came from.

  9. Mark

    Since the topic is up for consideration, one thing I haven’t seen addressed anywhere is cutting wooden threads. No, not using a thread box or by thread chasing on a lathe. I’m referring to laying out a larger diameter thread on a wooden rod and cutting, by whatever means seems appropriate such as saws, files, rasps, gouges etc. St. Roy did a show on it some years back and I know it’s discussed in one of his earlier books but my copy is still packed away from our last move, whereabouts unknown. Obviously it’s a somewhat specialized sort of thing to want to do so it’s no surprise that all I could find were some references on how to lay out a thread..nothing on how one might go about cutting it by hand. I’ve promised myself to give this a try later this winter/spring but not before I finish my bench! As for the Moxon vise, I have some nice maple set aside for just this purpose and will be making my own in due course.

  10. Graham Hughes

    Honestly, if you’re not capable of or willing to make one yourself then what are you going to do with the sodding thing when you have it? It took me less than two hours to make mine, one of which was spent fixing the bloody thread box.

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