…To Do: Finish my Moxon Vise

Yes it’s true.  I too have a Moxon Vise.  I know, imagine that!

I think smarter folks than me have explained at length how they built their vise, so I won’t get into that. But I will share some of the modifications I’ve made this weekend.

Several years ago I built this moxon- wanna be, after seeing an example of it online.





It did not take me long to realize that these jig handles weren’t going to cut it. Not a complete failure, but depending on the size of the wood, it just didn’t have the grip, as you can imagine.



So I invested in the Benchcraft kit.







The vise is awesome, but I had seen two modifications on Paul-Marcel St-Onge’s site, www.halfinchshy.com, which I really grooved on.  The 1st was the addition of the rear bench, which is also shown on Benchcrafted’ site, and the other is the french cleat he added in order to hang and store the vise when not in use.  Paul-Marcel is a pretty smart guy, if you don’t follow his site, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Gluing up the back bench

Glueing and Screwing the french cleat to the back bench

Vise flipped over for final clamping of rear support.























Stores perfectly right under my bench!  Brilliant space saving in my tiny shop.

Thanks Paul-Marcel.





I am going to add one more small modification.  I use my Gramercy Hold Fasts to secure the Moxon to my bench.  Now that I have added the rear bench, I need to extend the stabalizer on each side, so fastening the holdfast isn’t as clumsy.

Now I have no excuse for practicing my dovetails!

Finish My Moxon Vise…



The To-Do List

I have had so little time in the shop lately and when I have, it seems its for short spurts.  Luckily I did a big shop cleanup, not too long ago, so I don’t spend my time cleaning.

Instead of starting another project, only to chip away at it sporadically I’ve decided to chip away at those little shop projects on the ever expanding To-Do list.  You know the ones where your in the middle of a project and think “someday, I’m going to fix that!”. The ones where you’ve bought the parts, but never get around to installing them.

So here are some of my recent To-Dos:

My Router.

I own a PC 890 with a fixed base and a plunge router. I’ve been very happy with it, but I had taken the motor out and placed it in my router table.  Sound familiar?  So every time I wanted to use the plunge feature I’d have to remove it from the table.  Not a huge deal, but it can be a pain. My router table has been fitted for the 890, so I didn’t want to start from scratch. I searched around and found just the motor for sale on eBay.  Perfect.    So I installed that and was able to tune up my plunge router.  Done.

My Lathe:

I am not turner, but I’ve been trying slowly trying to build my skills and use the lathe for portions of projects.  In the process of that I broke off one of the adjustment handles on the tool rest body.  I bought a bit to try and drill out the screw, with no luck.  In fact, I think I made it worse. I had a plan to find a metal shop that could rethread it for me.  But then it occurred to me that I could replace the base piece for about $30.  Kinda seemed like a no brainer.  So I Installed the new tool rest body and a new tool rest extension arm.  Done.

Lathe Tool Rests:

I bought my lathe used on craigslist and the tool rest was always rather beat up, not to mention it always seem to be too long for the project at hand, so while I was tuning up the lathe I decided to invest in some new tool rests.  I purchased the woodcraft toolrest sytem, it has one rod and you and you can screw on different rest.  I bought a 12″ rest, a 6″ rest for pen turning and a curved rest for when I take up bowl turning (as if I don’t have enough to do!)  Not a lot of set up, but Done!

Micro Jig Splitter:

I’ve had this forever and never seemed to get around to actually installing it.  Pretty stupid to not install something as important as a splitter.



The directions seem a little over complex, even slightly intimidating, but the truth is, it only took me less than an hour and it worked as advertised.  A great innovation.













I naturally was able to use another product from MJ:

The GRRRipper!!!



Starret 12″ Square:

I recently took a hand tool class and compared my old 12″ square with the instructors 12″ Starret.  Wow.  I was really surprised to see how accurate his was and how out of square my hardware store square was.  I had recently purchased the 4″ model and now I could not seem to build anything until I added this to my arsenal.  Luckily, I had an order from woodcraft coming anyway!  Imagine that. Square!  Done.

Today I worked on my Moxon Vise (yes, I too have built a Moxon!).  More on that tomorrow…