The first thing you should make because it is the most important tool in the workshop is a decent workbench. Some of us have tried to work on a wobbly Workmate, the ground, or even the dining room table, only to find out quite quickly, what poor substitutes they are for the real thing.
Good work demands a bench that is rock solid, the right height and doesn’t get in the way of what you’re trying to do.
This sturdy little workbench is designed to give you a solid, portable, easily stowed away work surface with the functionality of a full-sized bench. You can clamp it to any work surface of a suitable height, with G or F cramps.
The Moxon vice* is big enough to hold modestly sized pieces for sawing, chiselling, and planing. The bench itself is compact but can support activities like chopping out mortices.
The bench has been designed with inner-city woodworkers in mind, being small enough to stow under the bed or tuck into a corner. For those lucky enough to own a full-size bench, this little one makes a worthwhile addition to your existing set-up by raising the work to a comfortable height which in turn helps to prevent back and neck pain.
Maximum dimensions: 600 mm x 500 mm x 200 mm
The Moxon Vice
Joseph Moxon describes a vice with two screws in his 17th c. book The Art of Joinery. Unlike the more common Record type of vice with its single screw running through the middle, the twin-screw or Moxon vice has a space. This gap makes it suitable for clamping wide boards when sawing out dovetails. The single screw of the Record vice limits the width of the boards it can hold comfortably, and as a result, it is better suited to narrow boards.
The Moxon vice is a fairly basic bit of kit. It consists of a thick piece of wood for the front jaw, two threaded rods attached to heavy cast iron handles.
These kits can be purchased from our usual suppliers ( see below ) or you could make your own.
Make Your Own Moxon Vice Hardware
Most of these parts are available on eBay or from an engineering supplies company.
2 x 1.25kg plate weights – 1″ centres
2 x 240mm lengths of 22mm threaded rod – unusually we have chosen to use a left-handed and a right-handed thread.
4 x 22mm nuts – 2 left handed and 2 right handed
4 large heavy-duty 22mm ID washers
2 custom made threaded inserts – 1 left-handed and 1 right-handed
JB Weld original epoxy resin – we glue the inserts into the centres of the plate weights.