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  1. #1171
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    Hi Greg

    Top outfitting! Everything looks so solid and thought out.

    Therefore ..

    I do have a question about the design of the Moxon bench in the Moxon vise ..



    What purpose does it play? Is it to support the tail board when marking the pins?

    I recall when Jameel posted pictures of his original version. My reaction then was, as now is, this concept is not thought through - the bench will get in the way of marking out. What I mean is, if you clamp the pin board in the vise, and then place the tail board over it to transfer markings, there is the danger of scoring the wood with the marking knife. Eventually the front of the vise will become chewed up.

    By contrast, I raise the boards up about 1/2" above the vise to avoid this occuring.



    Am I missing something here?

    The other question I have is about your incorporation of the Moxon into your bench, is which way you plan to use it: as a double-screw face vise, or as a double-screw above-table vise? Since the whole idea and benefit of the Moxon comes from raising the work to a comfortable height, building it into the front of the bench does not compute for me. This is not a criticism of your set up, since your focus is on flexibility of use, but others who are reading about this vise for the first time may get the wrong (or right?) idea of how it is to be used.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

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  3. #1172
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    Hi Derek, the small bench is only attached with a few Kreg screws and is removeable in less than a minute. It then is a stock-standard Moxon vise.

    The table is there to elevate whatever I am working on. I haven't done dovetails yet but will be doing a few hundred in the next few weeks. Whilst I am not particularly concerned with scoring the vise, if it becomes an issue I'll drop a piece of mdf under the workpiece.

    Finally, the bench-front Moxon does not replace the bench-top Moxon. It can be used in conjunction with the leg vise, can be used as a leg vise in its own right on the other legs or it can be used on the other side of the bench if I want to work there.

    I don't think of it as a Moxon vise really. It is just two screws, a beam and some handles that can be utilized in a variety of ways to clamp things to the bench.

    I'll add some more comments tomorrow, this iPad is a pain to post long replies with.

  4. #1173
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    The table is there to elevate whatever I am working on. I haven't done dovetails yet but will be doing a few hundred in the next few weeks. Whilst I am not particularly concerned with scoring the vise, if it becomes an issue I'll drop a piece of mdf under the workpiece.
    Thanks Greg

    What can you raise that requires the vise to work in association with it?

    The problem is still present if the top of the chop becomes highly scored. Basically you lose a tool.

    Here is Chris Schwarz' Benchcrafted Moxon vise ...



    He has completed a little fancy carving on the front of the chop. The aim of this appears to be to remove any possible interference when sawing (upwards at an angle). Why not just raise the workpiece, I ask? Removing this section of the vise chop removes a most useful reference/fence ...

    Below I use the top of the chop to guide the chisel when cleaning out the waste of this half blind dovetail (and you can see, in spite of raising the workpiece, there is still some scoring).





    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  5. #1174
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    The problem is still present if the top of the chop becomes highly scored. Basically you lose a tool.
    How do scratches prevent the vice from clamping?

    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    Below I use the top of the chop to guide the chisel when cleaning out the waste of this half blind dovetail (and you can see, in spite of raising the workpiece, there is still some scoring).

    Why do you use the front of the vice as a chisel guide (especially if you're concerned about a few scratches)?
    .
    I know you believe you understand what you think I wrote, but I'm not sure you realize that what you just read is not what I meant.


    Regards, Woodwould.

  6. #1175
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    Derek - I'm careful, but not fussy about any of my vise jaws & they all carry various nicks & dings, but so far not to the point of affecting use. I take your point about using a flat, level top as a reference plane, but I have never thought to use that system, myself. It's a perfectly valid & useful idea, of course, we just acquire different work habits, depending on what/how we learnt and since many of us are more or less self-taught, there is bound to be variation in exactly how we go about particular operations.

    I certainly agree that a vise for holding boards for cutting dovetails & suchlike needs to raise the work up as high as possible (without getting to the point that tools can't be brought to bear comfortably), but maybe that's a reflection of advancing years & eyesight that isn't as good as it once was? I sometimes see younger blokes working happily at distances well & truly beyond my 'near point', and in light levels where I can barely make out where the board is, let alone see a fine scribe line! (I once had that sort of vision, too, but it's been a looong time..... )

    I always do a double-take when I see a picture of the Grammercy dovetailing saw with its high grip angle. I would find that handle comfortable only when sawing at bench top level. It makes me think it must be designed by a young fella for use by young fellas! I need to be up close & personal when cutting to a fine line, and that grip would throw my wrist into an uncomfortable angle under such conditions. But it seems to suit lots of people, judging by the oohs & aaahs it gets in print, so we are not all Mr. Magoos like me. WW once suggested it would be useful to have a handle that could be rotated a bit, in order to strike the best grip angle for any particular job. I thought about it for quite a while, but couldn't come up with anything that was practical & not fugly. So I've taken a much better approach, just make a lot of saws with slightly different handles. Groggy has taken a similar line with double-screw vises....

    Cheers,
    IW

  7. #1176
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    [bits snipped for brevity]

    What can you raise that requires the vise to work in association with it?
    Routing comes to mind, lettering, also carving or inlay. The tiny amounts I do don't justify a special setup, just a flexible one. You'll note the sides of the bench are overhangs and can be used to apply clamps to as well. Smaller benchtop benches have been around a long time, they are not a modern idea.

    The problem is still present if the top of the chop becomes highly scored. Basically you lose a tool.

    This is just normal wear and tear in my view. If I need a clean surface I can remove and flip the chop as the holes are the same when reversed. Otherwise the chop can be planed down and a strip be attached to repair it.

    Here is Chris Schwarz' Benchcrafted Moxon vise ...


    He has completed a little fancy carving on the front of the chop. The aim of this appears to be to remove any possible interference when sawing (upwards at an angle). Why not just raise the workpiece, I ask? Removing this section of the vise chop removes a most useful reference/fence ...

    Maybe he is doing dovetails in short pieces for small boxes? Hard to say without some idea of what his design brief was. Still, if he wished he could clamp a guide strip over the top of the chop.

    Below I use the top of the chop to guide the chisel when cleaning out the waste of this half blind dovetail (and you can see, in spite of raising the workpiece, there is still some scoring).

    Perhaps a strip of iron-on melamine would provide an easily replaced sacrificial surface.
    With all these designs there are advantages and disadvantages. I know my designs are flawed for use by others, and others' designs for me. I try to reduce the amount of stuff and jigs by using a common approach and so far it is working for me. The dog holes, bench dogs, hold fasts and moxon screws let me do a variety of clamping methods so I am pretty happy with the setup. The scratches don't particularly bother me; though I avoid them where possible, I don't let them get in the way of what I am trying to achieve.

    Over the coming weeks I need to make some medium sized boxes with a lot of dovetails and I am sure that I will soon discover the shortcomings in my designs. I'll try to document what does and doesn't work.

  8. #1177
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    I always do a double-take when I see a picture of the Grammercy dovetailing saw with its high grip angle.
    Hi Ian

    This whole area - this includes vise design, bench heights, hang angle of saws - is of great interest to me. So please do not confuse my passion ... uh, obsession ... for a critical attitude .... and don't let this get in the way of a great topic for discussion!

    That high angle when dovetailing, referred to by Ian, is a consequence of the tooth angle being too vertical. The LN dovetail saw, for example, has zero slope/rake angle. This makes it very hard to start, especially when the teeth are sharpest. Raising the saw lowers the rake angle and makes it easier to start.

    But now that hang of the handle is all wrong! Yes, Ian?

    The idea of a higher bench for dovetailing is partially for the sawing, and also the ability to see more easily what you are doing (especially when transfering marks). I had a double screw vise on my old bench. It was a revelation when I began using the height of the Moxon-on-the-bench-vise. So much easier. I did not doubt for one moment that Greg planned to use the vise the way Moxon intended, but felt a need to comment as a newbie will spy his beautiful work and may believe that the lower double-screw set up is better as it looks like the finished article.

    When my new bench is operational I shall need to built a new Moxon vise to raise it the 2" that are now missing.

    The other issue that is present with the lowering of benches is the angle of the tote/handle of planes ... especially the LV BU planes. Their upright handles suit high benches, but are likely to lead to fatigue with a lower set up. I'll let you know later, as I have fitted Stanley-type handles to mine.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  9. #1178
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    I am beginning to think all the talk about 'Moxon vises' is not worth it, as people may begin to think of them as a single-trick pony.

    It is simply a twin screw vise that is clamped above the workbench to facilitate work to be done closer to chest level. All I am trying to do is achieve maximum utility from a reasonably expensive investment. I've attached a few more pictures showing the use of the chop as:

    • Pic 1 & 2 - a second leg vise,
    • Pic 3 - on the skirt in use to hold the end of a board being planed,
    • Pic 4 - as a single point clamp for light planing, and
    • Pic 5 - as a sliding leg vise when attached to the deadman. For anyone who wondered why the deadman was a bit thick, this is the reason, it is also thick enough for the holdfasts to be used.


    As mentioned earlier, the table can be quickly removed using Kreg screws, pic 6 shows the attachment method. There are dry-fit dominos engaging the table to the rear chop.

    Looking at the way the dog holes are in use here it should be apparent why square dog holes were not used - they simply would not have worked with the approach I wanted to take.

    If you scratch your brain a bit I am sure there are dozens of other ways to use the Moxon vise components to increase their utility in the shed.

  10. #1179
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    Groggy

    Excuse my ignorance

    but wouldn't much of that clamping be also accomplished with a holdfast
    regards
    Nick
    veni, vidi,
    tornavi
    Without wood it's just ...

  11. #1180
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    Yes it could. It depends on what you are doing and how many operations are needed. Holdfasts can move if you are chopping a mortise or struggling with cranky grain, using the chop as shown is very secure. For most uses you're right; holdfasts do a great job. I am just trying to show some of the options available.

  12. #1181
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    Groggy - that bench of yours is the 8th wonder of the world!

    You have put a prodigous amount of thought into it, and it would have to be one of the most versatile benches I've ever seen, but it would never work for me - I would spend most of my time trying to figure out which of the 33 ways I could hold my bit of wood is the best way, and get even less done in a day than I do now.....

    Cheers,
    IW

  13. #1182
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    Greg

    I have to agree with IanW, it one hell of a bench and deserves to be in the next Workbench book, I absolutley love reading about what next you can do to it!!

    As you know I am in the throws of building my Frank Klausz style bench and all these ideas are just faaantastic because its fueling my thought process.

    I ride the train to and from work everyday and I think I must have read every page of Scott Landis book at least a hundred times. For me the simple benches do everything that fancy one's do but thats the beuty of workbenches there is no right or wrong.

    If it works for you then go for it!

  14. #1183
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    Greg

    I like what you are doing. It is creative and will be productive (I do not doubt the latter for one moment, and I applaud the former). It is, however, not the way I would do it, but this is about personal preferences.

    The question many here will need to answer is whether they like their tools to be Swiss Army Knives, or not.

    For example, the LV LA Jack is a superlative handplane. It excels in so many areas: on a shooting board, as a smoother, short jointer, jack plane, its capacity to use different cutting angles .. Some like to buy it because it is so versatile. They get a dozen different planes in one. After some years of this I wonder if they are still use the plane in this way. Myself, I prefer to keep it for its low angle performance only. I would rather have other planes for the other specialised tasks. I like to keep it simple (well, simple in that the tasks are well defined).

    My bench is also planned to be as simple as can be. I think that I am trying to convince myself that this is so .... I still need a Moxon for dovetails. I still need a system for holding drawers when planing them. We all need to be mindful that bench building is about holding work, and that the answers need to be built into the design at the outset. I have been enjoying reading about your answers. In the end I will probably have something similar to yours, just done differently.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  15. #1184
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    Each to their own Derek. Whether a "Swiss Army Knife", as you put it, or a simple bench that closer resembles a table; if they meet the needs of the owner then they are equally effective, and the owners equally pleased.

  16. #1185
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    I still need a system for holding drawers when planing them.
    Derek
    That issue was what led me to choosing to go with two leg vices on my bench with one fixed on the left leg and one sliding. The drawer can then be held by both vices along two opposite sides of the drawer (by using the parallel guides to advantage) while the connecting side is planed

    It works for me but as both you and Greg have said, this is a case where different folks have different strokes.



    Screwing up in new ways every day
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    Jeremy
    If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly

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