Chris Schwarz's Blog

Not Just Another Moxon Vise

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There are lots of great vendors making Moxon-style vises for sale (see a partial list at the end of this entry). But now you can add Nick Dombrowski to that list; and to me, that’s a huge deal.

Nick is the wood-machining genius behind Lake Erie Toolworks, which makes stunning wooden-thread vises. I have installed dozens of his vises on benches and have one on my Roubo. Nick’s wooden screws are the best – better than even the best vintage screws I’ve encountered.

Lake Erie is now taking orders for a Moxon kit that will include the screws and all the wood needed for one of these vises. You’ll need only remove the machine marks from the wood and add any supports or platforms you might desire (I don’t think you need them, honestly). The introductory price is $189.

The kit comes with a tapped back jaw, a front jaw with oblong holes (for clamping tapered stock) and the wooden screws. The vise kit allows clamping a 24”-wide panel between the screws for dovetailing.

I made my first Moxon using wooden screws that I threaded myself and a back jaw that I tapped. Finding a good screwbox has become difficult or expensive. So if you don’t want to go down that path, the Lake Erie is a great way to just be done with it.

I hope to put in an order for one to give it a test drive – not that I need another Moxon vise. But I know readers will have questions about it, and I always like seeing Nick’s work.

Other Moxon vises available (a partial list; if you know of others, add them in the comments)

Benchcrafted
Tools for Working Wood
Texas Heritage
Lie-Nielsen Toolworks
Woodcraft
The Traditional Carpenter

Also, editor Megan Fitzpatrick compiled this list of Moxon-vise resources.

— Christopher Schwarz

7 thoughts on “Not Just Another Moxon Vise

  1. pixieannie

    I’m very new to this. It all started with building my own garden room and progressed to some chisels, a couple of planes and plans to build myself a new workbench. With the help of a good friend and the loan of your book, ‘Workbenches’ that I read in a day. I appear to have the bug. This vice/vise looks very appealing.

  2. Derrick

    The Woodcraft link for that table top vise has got to be a joke yes? That would be a very small moxon with no real room between the screw and alignment rods (?) to fit anything wider than a few inches. Perhaps if you were making the miniature ATC this would work.

  3. Danny H.

    I had so much fun making my own at 1/3 this cost that I wouldn’t even consider purchasing a ready made one ! I made my jaws from scrape lumber and purchased metal hand wheels, acme threaded rods and nuts. I drilled holes thru the center of the wheels to accommodate the rods and welded the nuts over the holes, so there was no thread cutting involved. Vise works perfectly, as is heavy duty. Lined the jaws with leather for extra protection of work pieces.

    1. bjepp

      Some folks can, great! Some folks either can not or don’t want to take the time cutting threads, we have Nick. It is good to have people like Nick who have products like these. Thank you Nick for having your superior product offering.

  4. elithian

    I am wondering how much of a genius you have to be to produce something that has been produced for centuries. All the equipment needed is easy purchased. Now, those guys who made this stuff from logs with hand tools may not have been geniuses but they were sure crafty!

    1. bjepp

      Give Nick his props. The hand crafting guys made these as “one ups” for their personal use as a matter of necessity. Nick has figured out how to productionize the process so money can be made plus give us the opportunity to acquire superior quality wood screw vices. Now that is genius! If you own one of Nick’s vices you know this to be true.

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