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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.

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.

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.

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
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

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Showing 25 comments
  • oguz

    This was a good post , thanks

  • Chris K

    I made my vise too, I undersized my first screws ~1.45", while they worked there was too much slop in the front jaw. So I remade them and got them about .010 under the 1.5" That was much better. Some squeaking with them that some wax took care of. I had some 8/4 poplar in the rack that was only 4.5" wide so I used that. Here is a shot

    I like the octagon handles…

  • Al Limiero

    I built the twin screw vise.
    I used a Woodcraft Screw box and the metal tap that goes with the box.
    Problems I had were as follows:
    I turned the screw blanks a bit oversize and the diameter was not even along the lenght of the screw (lack of good turning skills). I had to adjust the diameter after I cut the threads, a bit tricky so you don’t destroy the threads.
    I had to adjust the cutter in the screw box to cut a lot deeper than the factory setting.
    I added a garter, and it works well.
    Inserting the screws into the vise they seem to be very loose and sloppy, but when I tighten down on a piece of wood, the loosness seems to disappear and the vise holds the workpiece very well.
    Cutting the threads with the metal tap worked well when a lot of lubricant is used (Linseed oil and/or wax).
    The tap is very hard to turn and should be done very slowly.
    Roy Underhill describes screw cutting and nut making without the benefit of a metal tap in one of his books.
    He also descrines how to forge your own metal tap.
    I can get the title of the book if anyone is interested.
    He also did one of his "Wood Wright Shop" video series on Public TV.
    There is a website that has all the programs in the series can be viewed.
    This was a good project, I love my vise!

  • Garrett Wade sells the thread box tap & die, sizes 1/2" – 3/4" -1" – 1-1/4" – 1-1/2". I’ve found the cutters normally need sharpening between uses.


    You might consider running your tap through your die to make sure they have matching pitches. Any SLIGHT irregularities can be smoothed out this way. Remove the cutting blade from the die first.

  • 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.

  • Dean

    I’m not sure who posted the previous comment “After several days of struggling with the thread box,…”, however, before you give up, please look at the following Charles Neil video on using the thread box. FYI.

  • After several days of struggling with the thread box, I’ve given up on it. Maybe I’m not persistent enough, but time is a rarer commodity than money. I’ve put an order in for a Beall Threading Kit. Given that it’s only double the price, I think I should have sprung for it originally.

  • The need for this project would be moot if you had simply built your bench at the proper height in the first place 🙂

  • 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

  • Chris K


    Have you considered adding a garter to the front jaw so that it comes out when backing out the screws?

    Anyone else Consider it?

    Another Chris


    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.

  • John

    Finally found the site of my adjustable bench legs:

  • 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:
    I have no relation to the site or the inventor but I thought you may be interested.

  • 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.)


  • Brian

    japan woodworker has these in 1 1/4 down to 1/2 $43.70 for dowel threader and tap

  • Tim

    One of the earliest Fine Woodworking magazines had a long article on making all manner of wood thread cutting tools from scratch.

  • Jeff

    They’re sold out at Hyland but still available at WoodCraft for a bit cheaper even:


  • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • I’ve had problems with my thread box as well. The opening was a bit small, and I’ve had to sharpen the bit. I’ll have to touch up the sharpening again, as I’m still getting tearout when the cutter runs tangent to the grain.

  • skirincich

    The Schwarz effect once again. The threading kit is currently out of stock at Highland Hardware. Advertising Genius!!


  • 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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