Hand Tools

Re: Sorta yes....
Response To:
Re: Sorta yes.... ()

Wiley Horne
Hi Eliot,

Very valuable posts so far, from everyone. I’d like to raise one more consideration….the closing pattern of the vise.

You want to have a tight grip at the top. Or to put it another way, you don’t want the middle, or middle and bottom, closing before the top. For a Moxon vise, if it is used exclusively for dovetailing, it will be forgiving of a wide range of closing patterns. But if you ever want to use this vise to, say, clamp a narrow stick lengthwise at the top to plane or scrape a mold into it, it becomes important that you have strong closure at the top.

Wooden screws. If you make wooden vise screws….well here’s an example. Suppose the major diameter of the threads (outside measure) is 1-1/4”. And the front jaw of the vise is 5” top to bottom. And perhaps you center the hole, so that you roughly have 1-7/8” of jaw above and below the screw. The question will arise: What size blank to start with, as you get ready to turn the screw section? A 3-1/4” square blank, say, would give you 1” of shoulder all round behind the screw to drive the vise jaw forward. This would give you a more solid closure at the top on narrow sticks, compared to starting with 2-1/4” say, and having 1/2” shoulders (with 1-3/8” of jaw extending above the shoulder).

Metal screws. These will have their own face plate (and perhaps garter). In this case, you might think about planing a very slight hollow running lengthwise in the middle of the inside face of the front jaw—enough so that the jaw will always have positive grip at top and bottom, even of the wood moves a bit over time.

The above is not a how-to. It is only to stimulate your thought on how you want the vise to work for each purpose you may have.


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