Moxon Vise – Part 2

It was a beautiful sunny President’s Day here is San Francisco so we decided to make a family trip to the zoo, unfortunately so did several thousand other people and that plan was changed to a hike through Land’s End which is a hidden gem. Long story short, no progress on anything during the day but I did sneak in an hour working on the Moxon Vise before bed.

After checking the epoxied handles it became clear that the screws and wood were out of alignment so I checked each facet against the bench top and marked which end needed to be shaved down.


This is the first time I have used African Teak so I am not sure if this is normal but this stuff loves to tear out and there are a few places with severe grain direction changes so the oscillating spindle sander got some more use (have I mention how much I love this thing?). I squared up the facets by eye then measured each one to ensure they were all close to the same size; then I made a line along each one with my marking gauge, adjusted the sander top to 45 degrees, and added a nice bevel to each facet.


I then slid the handle threads through front jaw and then threaded them through the nuts held on the rear jaw (these are not attached yet) and tightened the jaws together. I then marked out the edges of the front jaw so I could cut the clamping notches. My Bad Axe carcass saw is filed with a hybrid tooth which should work well for both ripping and cross cutting and while it cross cut the hard maple like it was butter, it bogged down a bit on the rip cut. I laid out the notch to be half of the height of the rear jaw however; the height of my saw plate is slightly less than that meaning I had to finish the cross cut with a backless pull saw. My sawing skills are still developing, the first notch went a bit out of square but the second is dead on, I think I saw better when the line is on the right side of the saw.


The top edge of the front jaw did not line up exactly with the rear jaw so after using the newly cut notches to attached the vise to the bench-top I planned down the front jaw until they met up perfectly. Now I need to attach the back support blocks where the holdfasts will eventually be used to secure it to the bench-top; cut the bevel on the front; attach the nuts to the back; and put some suede between the jaws.


I am very pleased with how the handles came out. I had planned to bore a ½ inch hole through each one for a cross piece but I think I will leave alone for now; I can always add one later if I change my mind. Also, planing the top edge showed the limits of the my sawhorse supported bench-top and the milled legs along the wall are practically begging to be finished.


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