Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm Back

I know it's been a couple months since I posted, but I haven't been doing much to write about. The gun rack project has been placed securely in Limbo for the moment, so I took the down time as a chance to do some major cleaning in the shop. 

I have certainly had the itch to actually make some sawdust though. Enter my latest project: the Moxon vise. A Moxon vise is named for Joseph Moxon, an English tradesman and author from the 1600s. In his writings, he described a benchtop vise which would elevate a workpiece to make cutting dovetails or tenons easier. 

Since I don't have a "proper" woodworking bench to work in, my capabilities for holding wood to plane, saw, or do whatever with are limited. The plan is to use the Moxon vise as the clamping workhorse in the shop until such time as I can build my bench. The best part is, it's not going to cost me a dime. 

I have a bunch of lumber from my wife's grandfather, nice air dried stuff (thanks, Grampy). In addition to quite a bit of beautiful cherry- the stuff I used for Stacey's jewelry box- I have a couple of pieces of 8/4 poplar about 5 1/2" wide. Poplar probably isn't ideal for this application due to its softness, but I have it. 

I took one of the boards and cut three pieces to a rough length of about 22". The finished length will be 20", which should accommodate the ability to clamp a board up to 18" between the two screws. I then proceeded to face joint, edge joint, and run each board through the planer to ensure flat, square, and parallel surfaces. Here's what they look like.

The next step was to make the screws to use when clamping a workpiece in the vise. They need to have what is essentially a 1" dowel, which will be threaded, attached to a handle of some sort. I could easily have just bought a 1" hardwood dowel, threaded it, made a handle, and glued them together. Not really my style. Off to the lathe I went. 

The first one came out great. 
The second one...  Well, let's just say that I added a few pieces to the firewood pile. As I said on my Knotheads Facebook page, hopefully the fifth time will be the charm.

As always I would love to hear from you. You can leave a comment here, Look for Knotheads Custom Woodworking on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @cnyredneck, or on Google+.