So I need a moxon vise. If you’re asking yourself what’s that and why, you’re not alone. (There are some small pictures of examples attached) Those were the first words out of my wife’s mouth when I explained my purchase of cast iron hand wheels, thread, bolts, spherical washers, and some hardwood. There’s even been the discussion of ‘crubber’ at the dinner table and by out loud contemplation of leather -vs- crubber -vs- cork for the jaw, pinned rod -vs- pinning the wheels to the rod, laminate order, size, clamps, and to build a table off the back or not… So, if you’d like to learn what a moxon vise is and why you may want one, read on. If you already have you own moxon or are building one of your own, I hope you’ll follow along.

Oh, I still haven’t even stated the answer to the question: A double-screw vise held to a workbench top with clamps or holdfasts in order to facilitate certain work. The moxon vise is so name for Joseph Moxon (1627–1691), who was the hydrographer to King Charles II. A man who obviously specialized in the design and printing of maps also was involved in the publishing of books on mathematics, engineering, and woodworking. Moxon’s 17th century book ‘The Art of Joinery’ first described the double-screw vise. It was in that historically significant publication that the Moxon vise was documented.

Stay tuned as I build my own. In my case, I need one to facilitate hand cutting dovetail joints and other joinery where I can get the work up higher and held fast for accuracy. The other great benefit is that I’ll be attempting to build mine as a table top moxon vise table. Doing so will take stress off my lower back and bring the work closer to my aging vision too. I’ll be sure cover the following:

  • Design Features
  • Helpful Video/Articles that I used
  • Material Sourcing
  • The build as it happens
  • A review of lessons learned and any changes I’d make

The next post will get into the research I’ve done, the sourcing, and the preliminary work I’ve done to prepare my lumber and iron. Please comment/ask any questions/suggestions you may have and I’ll be sure to address them as I go.

– Thank you for reading!

S/F, Shannon