Moxon Vise – Part 4 or How I Learned to use a Pilot Hole with a Jennings Auger Bit

My part of the proposal is out the door so I made it home at a reasonable hour and managed to make some progress in the shop. Dino got a light sanding and a light coat of primer followed by black on the handles and tail support piece. This weekend he is getting a full coat of paint so I wanted the black to have sufficient cure time so I could tape them off; most of the evening was spent on the Moxon vise.

I ordered a 12”X24” piece of split leather from Amazon last week and while it is not enough to cover the entirety of the inner jaws, it will be enough for most woodworking (I have not tried but I think the jaws are wide enough for sharpening full size saws). I split the leather lengthwise and laid out where the leather would go on each jaw.


I then smeared liquid hide glue all over these areas (using my gloved hand), laid the leather out on each side, and pressed the pieces in place with the vise itself (with parchment paper in between).


Once that was clamped up, I took one of the clamping notch offcuts and sawed off two squares which were slightly thicker than the Acme nuts. After planning them smooth I split them down the middle which gave me two rectangular blocks the same thickness. These I then clamped on either side of the nut and then clamped to the vise itself creating stop blocks to keep the nut from turning. These blocks will then be capped by a strip of maple which will hold the nut against the rear jaw.

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Unfortunately, I ran out of clamps after the first one so I decided to rough out the strips and use one as a clamp for the second set of blocks. I have some maple left over from the Rocking Dinosaur rockers and one of those strips was a little less than a quarter inch thick and slightly wider than my stop blocks. I grabbed my ¾ inch auger bit and my 8 inch brace and went to work. The feed screw had not even gone half way into the wood before it split along a grain line; since my maple strip was thinner than the length of my auger feed screw I decided to try something different.


First I drilled a pilot hole in the wood using a standard twist bit (it’s the bit that happened to be in the drill). Then I placed a piece of scrap pine under the maple and locked it down hard with a holdfast. The pilot hole was slightly smaller than the feed screw so the base of the screw started to catch on the maple and the tip of the feed screw dug into the pine and pulled the auger bit through the maple. I doubt I am the first person to try this but it sure worked well for drilling large holes in thin material.

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Now that I had my top piece I was able to glue my second set of stop blocks into place. I will trim up both top pieces tonight and glue them into place.


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