Moxon kit instructions

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  • Copyright 2015 Texas Heritage Woodworks Page 1

    Moxon Vise Hardware Kit

    Thank you for your purchase of our Moxon Vise Hardware kit! We devised this kit with one goal in mind, to provide a quality work holding kit that is easy your budget.

    Visit to find more detailed info regarding the Moxon Vise and its use, including our magazine article for Furniture & Cabinetmaking that has a full pictorial of the original build


  • Copyright 2015 Texas Heritage Woodworks Page 2

    Moxon Vise Hardware Components

    Your new Moxon Vise Hardware kit consists of

    - (2) Acme thread post assemblies - (2) Wing nut assemblies - (2) Extra thick washers - (4) #8 screws - (1) 18 x 6 piece of leather

    The metal components come unfinished and have a light coat of oil on them to prevent corrosion. A corrosion inhibitor has also been added to the package for further protection. There are a few options for finishing the metal hardware. The simplest is to just leave them as is. Occasionally refreshing the oil finish, or adding light coats of paste wax will keep the metal components rust free. If a different finish is desired, the hardware needs to be thoroughly cleaned to remove any oil residue prior to finishing. A coat of beeswax or paraffin wax can be added to the screws occasionally to make everything work smoothly.

    Choose material that is free of knots and voids. Quartersawn or Riftsawn material will work best, but any straight grained hardwood will make a fine vise. The front moveable jaw and the fixed rear jaw should be 1.5 thick and 6 wide. Determine the distance you would like between the screws (the leather provided with the kit can accommodate up to 18 between screws), and then add 6. This should be the length of the front jaw. Add another 6 for the rear jaw. (with 18 between screws, the front jaw will be 24 long and the rear jaw 30)

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    Mark a centerline along the length of each jaw and clamp them together, aligning the marks. Once you determine the width between the screws, mark and then drill two holes through the jaws using a 5/8" bit. Each hole should be 2.75 from the end of the front jaw.

    The holes need to be centered vertically in the jaws. This is important so that the wing nuts do not interfere with operations above the vise.

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    The vise screw posts have been welded to a flat mounting plate. The plate sits in a shallow mortise on the backside of the rear jaw. To mark for the mortise, insert the rods into the fixed rear jaw from the back. It may help to countersink the holes first to provide clearance for the weld.

    Use a square to align the mounting plates, placing them vertically as shown below. Use a marking knife or sharp pencil to scribe around the mounting plate to mark the location of the mortise.

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    Next, use a chisel and router plane (or whatever methods you prefer) to remove material from the mortise until the mounting plate is flush with the jaw when the rod is fully seated.

    I use the chisel to deepen my scribe lines, and then sneak up on the proper depth with my router plane. You may need to use the countersink once again for clearance after the mortise is cut.

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    Once the mounting plate is flush, flip the jaw over and check the rods with a square. The rods must be square on all planes to keep the vise operating smoothly. If they need to be adjusted, you can remove a little material from the bottom of the mounting plate mortise where needed until a square post is achieved.

    With the mounting plates flush and the threaded posts square, mark and drill for the mounting screws. Use a 1/8" drill bit for the pilot hole, or an appropriately sized gimlet. Using a bit of wax or soap on the threads will make the install go a bit more smoothly.

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    Use a fine toothed rasp to very slightly enlarge the holes on the front jaw. You want the jaw to slide freely on the threaded rods without binding. A dowel rod with sandpaper attached works in a pinch as well. Be careful not to remove too much material, you want smooth operation, not sloppy.

    The outer edges of the rear jaw provide the means to secure the vise to your bench top. There are two methods that are quick and easy. A set of clamps can be used on each end of the vise to clamp it to the bench top, or holdfasts can be used in conjunction with dog holes to securely hold it down. Both methods work equally well in securing the vise. I prefer using holdfasts as they are situated to the rear of the vise and will be out of the way during use. Cutting away the upper corners of the rear jaw allow your clamps or holdfasts to sit below the top of the vise. This keeps them out of the way as you work. The cutaways can be as decorative or utilitarian as youd like.

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    Now is the time to adhere the leather to the moveable front jaw. The leather can be applied with the smooth or rough side facing the work. I prefer the rough side out. Glue the leather to the vise using contact cement, wood glue, or hide glue. Apply a liberal amount of glue to the vise jaw and the leather. Get the leather into position on the jaw and place the jaw onto the screws. Using the wing nuts, clamp the jaws together and leave them until the glue has set. To trim any excess leather, use a sharp chisel or knife.

    Finishing and Use

    Your vise is now ready for use! You can choose to leave the wood unfinished if you choose, I reccomend a few coats of oil followed by a coat of paste wax. When using wax, make sure you dont get any on the inner faces of the jaws. You dont want to compromise grip strength.

    When using the vise, align the face of the fixed rear jaw to the front of your bench. Its easy enough to determine when the two surfaces are flush by using your fingers as a gauge. Use clamps or holdfasts to secure it tightly to the bench surface. Open the jaw to accommodate your work. Insert the work into the vise and press the moveable front jaw against the wood. Spin one of the wing nuts until it lightly makes contact with the jaw, then spin the other one in as well. Once both have made contact with the jaw, your work is fairly secure. Just give each wing nut a small turn and your work is rock solid!

    If you have any questions regarding the construction of this vise or its use, please email me at [email protected]