Hand Tools

Subject:
Bill and David

Wiley Horne
The thought that what we now call the ‘Moxon vise’—a small portable double-screw that sits on top of the bench—actually dates to Chris Schwarz about 10 years ago has me really curious. Curious on 2 accounts:

1. The actual Moxon vise c. 1700 is not functional as pictured in his book, though he shows it at benchtop height. There is a mistake or misunderstanding at work. It’s been said Moxon lifted his idea from Felibien, but didn’t know how the double-screw was actually mounted.

2. The double-screw vise has a long history. I was enamored of the first double-screw I saw pictured, which was an engraving in The Workbench Book, of a large double-screw mounted at bench height, and dating from 1595 in Nuremberg, Germany.

Since I have no problem sawing tenons and dovetails on a full-size double-screw at bench height, and since the same setup appears to have been used in Nuremberg in 1595, it makes me wonder if this was a very typical arrangement in the olden tymes.

But in any event, it would be interesting to me to see what workers of the day actually did. Any references? Felibien? Roubo?

Wiley

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