Anyone build this vise or one similar?

Sam Knight

Sam Knight
Sam
Corporate Member
I want to add a moxon style type of vise to my workbench to securing wood for cutting dovetails or hand planing stock. I don't really have the funds to buy the expensive benchcrafted moxon vise kit so turned to youtube. :) Jay Bates has several different versions of his bar clamp twin screw vise. My question is, have any of you guys or gals built one of these and if you had a do-over would you do anything different. Feel free to add pictures of your setup. This is the one I'm thinking about making. Looks like it would do the trick. Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance
 

RickR

Rick
Senior User
I built one based on Jay's design about a year ago. Suits my needs just fine. If I did it right, there are a couple of photos attached. As shown in the close-up, I decided to add a metal insert at the top of the pipe on the outer face and a similar one to the lower side of the pipe on the inside. I did this to keep the jaw from 'racking' when I clamped a workpiece that did not extend deep into the opening. I also think this addition will allow me to add a stop above the bench top to work with bench dogs if I ever get around to it. Otherwise the hole diameter need to exactly match the pipe OD which creates other issues. Also, shown in the overall view, is a set of shop made 'feeler gages' that can be used to balance the clamping action when I want to clamp something near one end by inserting the gage into the far end. One downside I found with this type of vise is that the clamp head is always extended several inches past the face even when not in use. I eventually painted the clamps bright orange after walking into it several times; depending on the height this can be extremely uncomfortable.
 

Attachments

marinosr

Richard
Senior User
I think Pop Pop's dumbbell version is even nicer and it won't protrude if you don't affix the end nut to anything. . I'd do that instead. Certainly no need ever to buy Benchcrafted anything haha. They look and work great, but severe diminishing returns.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
The Pop-Pop vise looks easier to build and use than the Bates vise. Here's Pop-Pop's original thread describing the vise and its use. You could arrange to borrow one of his vises for user testing and see how it works. His design is also portable.

I have two vises ready for user testing. If you are interested, please PM me and I will deliver a vise to your shop.

Here's the plan drawn by Dave Richards.

 
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Dave Richards

Dave
Senior User
It would be easy enough with two of the dumbbell screws to build the vise into the bench. Set one spinlock into the bench and pin the other to the front end of the screw.
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
Here is another alternative that I used on my portable workbench using holdfasts. A big plus is freedom from snagging clothing or body parts. It holds pretty well but isn't ideal for dovetailing.

image.jpeg


BTW, the HF brass hammer has worked well for me to set holdfasts without marring them.
 
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creasman

Jim
User
Here's the Moxon vise I made a few years ago. It has a chain drive inside the body that allows adjustment with the single crank. Advantage is I can open and close it with one hand while holding the piece with the other, and I don't have to fiddle with two cranks for varying thicknesses. Disadvantage is it doesn't hold something that is angled and not the same thickness all the way across. I made it portable so I can clamp it to my bench top when in use and remove it when not needed. This also raises the work to a more convenient height (typically cutting dovetails) -- about 7" above the bench.

I have more pics of the steps along the way if interested. The picture showing the chain drive is a test run to get the mechanism right and not the final housing. The rods are 1" with 5TPI, left-hand threads to allow the crank to turn normal (e.g., clockwise to close).
 

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Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
Here's the Moxon vise I made a few years ago. It has a chain drive inside the body that allows adjustment with the single crank. Advantage is I can open and close it with one hand while holding the piece with the other, and I don't have to fiddle with two cranks for varying thicknesses. Disadvantage is it doesn't hold something that is angled and not the same thickness all the way across. I made it portable so I can clamp it to my bench top when in use and remove it when not needed. This also raises the work to a more convenient height (typically cutting dovetails) -- about 7" above the bench.

I have more pics of the steps along the way if interested. The picture showing the chain drive is a test run to get the mechanism right and not the final housing. The rods are 1" with 5TPI, left-hand threads to allow the crank to turn normal (e.g., clockwise to close).
I'd be interested in more pictures of this setup/design. I need a face vise and I'm wondering about adapting this instead of shelling out money or dealing with less clamping surface on a smaller vise.
 

Sam Knight

Sam Knight
Sam
Corporate Member
Here's the Moxon vise I made a few years ago. It has a chain drive inside the body that allows adjustment with the single crank. Advantage is I can open and close it with one hand while holding the piece with the other, and I don't have to fiddle with two cranks for varying thicknesses. Disadvantage is it doesn't hold something that is angled and not the same thickness all the way across. I made it portable so I can clamp it to my bench top when in use and remove it when not needed. This also raises the work to a more convenient height (typically cutting dovetails) -- about 7" above the bench.

I have more pics of the steps along the way if interested. The picture showing the chain drive is a test run to get the mechanism right and not the final housing. The rods are 1" with 5TPI, left-hand threads to allow the crank to turn normal (e.g., clockwise to close).
I'm also curious to see more pics of the build for your vise. Thank you for posting!
 

Dave Richards

Dave
Senior User
Had a little time to kill while waiting for glue to dry so I started on a model of your vise. A little more hardware and then the wooden parts. If you want, I could make a thing from it to go with your hand drawn sketch.
 

creasman

Jim
User
Had a little time to kill while waiting for glue to dry so I started on a model of your vise. A little more hardware and then the wooden parts. If you want, I could make a thing from it to go with your hand drawn sketch.
That looks amazing! Yes, I'm definitely interested in adding this to the plans. I uploaded a newer version earlier today because as I realized what I actually built is slightly different from the sketch in regards to where the sprockets are located on the shafts. The sketch shows them at the back, but I ended up putting them in between the two sets of bearings. You'll see what I mean if you compare the sketch to the photos. Thanks!
 

Dave Richards

Dave
Senior User
That looks amazing! Yes, I'm definitely interested in adding this to the plans. I uploaded a newer version earlier today because as I realized what I actually built is slightly different from the sketch in regards to where the sprockets are located on the shafts. The sketch shows them at the back, but I ended up putting them in between the two sets of bearings. You'll see what I mean if you compare the sketch to the photos. Thanks!
Thank you. I did see and download your newer version. I'll work through the details. Still have a bit to model and I'll get the sprockets and bearings in the right places.
 

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