A Visit From the Ghost of Joseph Moxon
Sometimes I am so dense that it’s a wonder that my parents ever allowed me to stop attending a Saturday school program for slow kids (true story).
Sometimes when I encounter a new or unusual form of workbench it takes me a while to fully and totally grasp it. Such is the case with Joseph Moxon’s bench shown in plate 4 of “Mechanick Exercises,” the first English-language book on woodworking.
Until last night I thought it was basically like the French bench shown in AndrÃ?Â© FÃ?Â©libien book on woodworking (where Moxon got most of his drawings), with a couple English enhancements.
But last night the scales fell from my eyes and I see the genius behind it. And believe me, it is pure genius and solves a lot of workholding problems that all of us struggle with when building casework.
This morning I got up early and started work.
First up: I’m installing a threaded wooden screw in my crochet. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time ever since I read Peter Follansbee’s experiences with this device. We have a tap and a screw box (remarkably, the cutter is sharp). That should be done this weekend.
Moxon’s screw through the crochet. Hard to see, I know.
Then I’m going to temporarily remove the leg vise from my pine bench and customize it Moxon-style.
Then next week, somehow between trips and meetings and completing the August issue, I’m going to build Moxon’s “double screw.”
And once I do that, explaining the bench to you will be easy. Stay tuned.
– Christopher Schwarz
P.S. If you have an e-mail in to me and I haven’t responded, I apologize. I’m traveling until the end of May. Then I hope to get caught up on answering questions.