Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust

Going against the grain

Tag: Woodworking

A Bench Crafted Moxon Vise

While building my tool cabinet, I discovered a major issue with my workbench.  It sits too low for detailed work.  After several nights of dovetailing, I began to develop a back ache.  I needed something that would bring my work closer to my eye.  I needed a Moxon vise.

A Moxon vise is a twin screw accessory vise that sits on top of your workbench.  Joseph Moxon described such a vise in his quintessential “Mechanick Excercises”.  As a result, others started referring to similar devices as “Moxon vises”.  The vice fastens to your benchtop using holdfasts or clamps and is stored below the bench top when not in use.  Since, I’ve been very happy with my Bench Crafted leg vise hardware I decided to give their Moxon vise hardware a shot.  The Bench Crafted Moxon vise hardware consists of two handwheels, two acme screws, four nuts, and a nice piece of suede.  Everything in the kit exudes quality.

The Build

First, I milled up some 8/4 ash for the jaws and stabilizer.  Then, I drilled a counter bore in the fixed jaw.  The counter bore will receive one of the large nuts.  Next, I drilled the hole for the acme screws.  Then, I drilled elongated holes in the moveable jaw and attached a stabilizer to the back of the fixed jaw.  That’s it.  The basic build is very simple.  However, give me enough time and I will overthink everything

Instead of the basic square mortise for the nut, I decided to try a cleaner, hexagonal mortise.  To start, I made my counter bores slightly smaller than the provided nut.  This allowed me to thread a nut onto one of the acme screws and place the nut over the counter bore.  Next, I traced the nut on to the fixed jaw using a marking knife.  Then, I chopped out the corners with a sharp chisel.  I think the results speak for themselves.

Additionally, I decided that I wanted a nice bevel on the front of the movable jaw.  And, what better compliments a stopped bevel than a lamb’s tongue transition?  To create the lamb’s tongue transition, I started by making a template.  Then, I used the template to mark out its location.  From there, I used a carcass saw to sever the grain at the transition.  Then, I simply hogged out the waste with a chisel and mallet.  Finally, I cleaned things up with a rasp and sand paper.  I over cut in a few areas, but I think this turned out well for my first attempt.

I hate contact cement.  So, I searched for an alternative.  During my search, I discovered adhesive cork board.  My local Home Depot carried it.  So, I decided to give it a shot.  I only attached the cork to the inside of the movable jaw, but I think this will be sufficient.  It’s easier to apply than suede and without the noxious fumes of contact cement.  Finally, I applied a few coats of shellac and wax to the outside faces of the vise.  I’m very happy with the results.  The Bench Crafted Moxon vise hardware does not disappoint.

A Hand Tool Cabinet: Interior Doors and Tool Holders

The main cabinet and doors are complete.  That means it’s time to finally move on to tool storage.  But first, I need to make some interior doors.  The interior doors provide additional tool storage.  And, unlike the main door boxes, the interior doors are simple to make.

The interior doors are nothing more than a hard-wood rail and plywood panel.  The hinges mount to the the rail, and additional tool holders mount to the plywood panel.  The plywood panel is rabbeted into a groove in the rail.  It’s dead simple.  However, I did hand cut mortises for the hinges.  This added some complexity, but it looks nice and adds strength.

I mounted all of the interior doors to cleats.  For the door boxes, I made a long thin cleat.  Then, I used a spacer to mounted it to the side of the door box.  Up top, I made a small shelf, and mounted the cleat to the shelf.  Here, the cleat is wide.  This prevents any tools handing on the doors from hitting the side of the case.  Finally, I installed magnets to the case and screws to the door panels to act as a door catch.

With the interior doors complete, I moved on to tool holders.  I made a nice start, but haven’t finished them all yet.  Tools like chisels and squares are easy, while others are a bit more complicated.  For example, my marking gauges are proving a bit more difficult.  Stay tuned to see how I tackle this.

Aside from a few tool holders, the only thing left to built is a plane gallery at the bottom of the main case.

Don’t forget to check out my previous post: Hand Tool Cabinet Doors

For the next post in this series, click here: Finishing Touches

Workshop Complete

It’s done; at least as done as a shop can ever be.

I will blow insulation into the attic space and build some storage units.  Aside from that (and the inescapable shop evolution) It is finished.

Completed Workshop

With the help of my awesome father, I moved everything I had in storage into the new workshop.

Clamp Rack

Now I can start building.  Speaking of building, I built an awesome clamp rack.  This one can hold more clamps than my old one and takes up less wall space.  I got the idea from Brad at Fix This Build That.


I also installed a wood rack and fire extinguisher.  I’m considering adding a second extinguisher on the other side of the shop.  You can never be too careful.

I also made up a custom dust fitting for my Minimax Jointer/Planer.  I used a 4″ Fernco fitting and a 5-to-6 inch reducer.  The Fernco fitting fits snug over the 120mm European port.  The 5″ side of the reducer fits over the Fernco fitting.  I used silicon adhesive and HVAC tape to secure the Fernco to the reducer.

For my first project, I will build a custom router table complete with a Jessem Mast-R lift and dedicated motor.

Thanks to everyone who helped me with this project.  I will have a few follow-up posts that relate to the shop build, so stay tuned.

For the rest of the workshop build, check out the garage workshop build index.

A Taste of Things to Come

Sony a6000

Sony a6000

Video is something completely new to me, but I think it will add a lot of value to my content.  Most of the videos I post, will consist of me attempting something for the first time.  Hopefully, I will be able to save you from a few of the mistakes I am sure to make a long the way.

I spent some time this weekend getting to know my new Sony a6000.  I also spent some time getting to know my video editing software, and where to find royalty free music.  I am a complete newbie, so bear with me.  Fortunately, I’m naturally artistic, so this shouldn’t be too bad.

If there’s anything you like to see, drop me a line in the comments section.  See you soon.

Handtool Basics

I’ve been meaning to spend more time developing my hand tool skills, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to write about the process. I find that the writing process helps me obtain a deeper understanding of the topic being discussed. Hopefully, it will provide insight to someone else along the way.

I plan to start with the basics and progress to more complicated tasks. I will include everything from sharpening and milling to joinery. I will detail my process and include lots of photos. My goal is to blog atleast one post per week regarding the topic. So, follow along and join in. I would love to hear your questions and suggestions.