My Moxon Vice Build Part 1

Its been over a month since I mentioned following the rest of the kids jumping off the bridge making a Moxon vice. I pulled the trigger on this project and have made some progress on the build.

Here are the metal bits I purchased:

The metal bits ended up being much cheaper than I expected, especially when I was able to get 15% off my order. Due to the low price, I ordered two sets of everything as I figured it would make a nice Father’s Day present for my friend Brad. He hates “gifts” so its being justified as a new tool for us to use during guys’ night in the shop.

As most are, my build is a bit different than I have seen before. I glued up some 8/4 hard maple and some 5/4 cherry for the faces. This was to accommodate for square bench dogs that will be used occasionally, and I wanted a bit more surface on the top of the vice. I will also have an extension table of sorts off the back, but I’m still debating if this will be removable or not. Instead of Acme tapping the hand wheels as Benchcrafted does, I drilled about 3/4″ deep in the center of the hub. Then drilled and tapped a set screw to lock it onto the threaded rod. The rod threads were ground off the tip to fit the largest hole we could drill in the cast iron. This was a much cheaper option and was done so the threaded rod don’t stick out on the front of the vice and get in the way as I cut the rod at 12″ instead of the typical 8″. I chose the longer rod length because of the thickness of the faces and I want the vice to hold a wood jointer plane.

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Interesting Challenges

For slopping the square bench dog holes, normally you could just use a miter gauge set at about 2 degrees and cut it on the table saw. This situation is a bit different from the normal bench dog setup. I used some shims/wedges taped onto the face to change the angle and a stacked dado on the table saw. I triple checked which way the slope was before making the cuts, I certainly didn’t want to screw that part up. Cutting in the step/notch for the bench dog was pretty simple with a chisel.

Maintaining alignment of the holes for the threaded rod, bushings and nut was interesting. First things first, and not something I typically check, but make sure your table is perpendicular to the drill spindle. In order to compensate for the less than perfect initial drilling, I ended up putting more slop in the holes than I would have liked, upwards of 1/16th of an inch in most cases. Prior to this, I had extremely tight clearances on the holes, so much so that I had to drive the bushings in during testing.

The last one isn’t really a big deal but it was something extra we had to deal with. The set screws kept loosening in the hand wheels. First step was to create a flat on the threaded rod. When centering the set screwing it seemed to hold a bit better but eventually still loosened up. We even cranked on the set screws to be sure. The next thing we did was to drill a dimple in the flat spot where the set screw left a hefty mark. This made it better, but at least one of them loosened up again. The next thing for us to do will be to put some thread lock on the set screw. If that don’t work we are going to drill all the way through and put in a roll pin.