Monday, October 28, 2013

Tuck's Benchtop Moxon

Tuck of Spaghetti, California sent in these pictures and description of his Moxon benchtop joinery vise. Tuck's Moxon came out quite nice. His bench ain't too shabby either.

Here's Tuck's description.
This is a Joinery bench. It is designed as such utilizing the hardware from Benchcrafted for the double-screw vise based on Joseph Moxon. Why a bench on a bench? The behemoth upon which it sits is perfectly-situated for planing and a host of other activities. However, to cut and chop out material at a comfortable height it’s simply too low. It quickly gets uncomfortable hunching over to measure, mark, and make a saw cut. Worse, it doesn’t allow me to comfortably grasp the saw with the delicacy of holding the hand of a toddler; a much-needed technique for myself for smooth sawing. Ditto for chiseling.
I’ve seen some great solutions to this problem. One of the simplest (and best, having tried it) is Jim Tolpin’s clamping support shown here and here. However, there are a lot of other operations that are made easier with a raised platform. Sketching, carving, anything that needs closer examination. Too many to mention.
This version was designed with some consideration. The pinch-points for the support of the bench were specifically sized so that they would be squeezed into place between two dogs. Further, a small pad was added to sit just in front of the dogs, pushing the plane of the fixed jaw surface flush with the front of the bench surface upon which it sits – thereby supporting the work at the front of the stationary bench. Adding work between the jaws is aided here because that work is also pushed into the front of the larger bench’s 4-inch top. When putting the bench in place, a slight tap with the palm lines it up perfectly flush. No holdfasts needed.
Both jaws were lined with suede for gripping and to protect against marring the work – though one alone would’ve been fine there. The movable chop was made thicker – to deal with any possibility of racking – and laminated so that the strength of the grain direction would aid in this endeavor. Its component stock is turned perpendicular. Finally, the benchtop and fixed chop were also laminated for added strength and rigidity. The entire thing was made from leftover parts from the planing bench.


  1. Tuck, well done and obviously lots of thought into the design. The various material holding applications multiply the potential usage and the raised workstation platform adds to the comfortable ergonomics. I'm at the assembly stage for my bench build and have added your Moxon design to my list of projects. Thanks for the excellent and inspiring post and good job on the pictures btw! Nako in Ontario.

  2. I am somewhat tall and having trouble seeing as well as I used to. squatting down and then trying to look up to see through bi-focals is an exercise in frustration. Raising the workpiece up is the correct solution and this design seems very well thought out. I have a new project.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.