Vise Advice
#11
  
After 23 years as a hobbyist woodworker, I have finally reached that stage in life (over 40) where I am ready to dip my toes into the hand tool pool. I just wrote a check for the GDP of a small third-world country to Lie Nielsen for some planes, a marking gauge, and some saws. I already have the ultimate set of bench chisel (Aldi), but I am looking at Blue Spruce for some dedicated pairing chisels and a set of skews. What I don't have is a vise, or a workbench readily compatible with most of them.

I am looking at the Bench Crafted Moxon and the Lie Nielsen chain drive Moxon. Leaning towards the LN just because it has a bit more width capacity between the jaws. Looking at the Moxons mostly because I can clamp them on to my existing bench, which has no dogs or apron compatible with a tail or face vise. Don't have the space for another dedicated bench, and I am not ready to write my old one off, because it is big, heavy, and has served my purposes until now. The only vises I currently own are a mid-sized mechanics vise and a drill press vise. So the question I put before you learned and esteemed gentlemen of the hand tool persuasion is can a Moxon style vise serve as a primary vise for things like sawing, smoothing, and jointing shortish boards? Or are there better surface vise options for these purposes? Any thoughts between the LN or the Bench Crafted?

For reference, here are some pictures of my workbench when I painted it and added doors a few years back. No clearance under the table top, and the apron is considerably taller than the top, which is composed of two layers of MDF, a 1/2" CDX sheet, and the Masonite door skin top:




Math is tough. Let's go shopping!
Reply
#12
  Re: Vise Advice by JohnnyEgo (After 23 years as a ...)
I like those casters hidden under it. As it sits, your bench will make a good glue-up bench when you advance in handtools and need more appropriate bits. In the interim, you can do some tweaks to the face at the legs and install a BC leg vise. One crank is always easier and faster than fiddling with two; or the headache of big "elbows" protruding above the surface and into your work space. 

Don't forget Sellers and his Record vises. Those are innocuous, compact, easy to use, and quick. Watch him do it all on those things; and the color is an added touch.
Reply
#13
  Re: Vise Advice by JohnnyEgo (After 23 years as a ...)
Before you go too much further, I'm going to suggest that you read a few of the workbench books so you will have a better idea of where you need to get for handtool use. In the meantime, also look at the non-vice workholding methods that you may be able to use with your existing bench. I suspect you will need to drill holes in the top in at least a couple places. A clamp on Moxon, some stops, a bench hook or two, maybe a shooting board and a sawbench will get you started. Note that a Moxon is not a general purpose vice. Its purpose is to allow you to work on end grain at a more comfortable height than your benchtop.

The danger in all this is that you will blame your hand tools for the frustrations caused by the lack of a proper handtool bench. A good, solid heavy bench is the fundamental foundation for hand tool use.
Thanks,  Curt
-----------------
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
      -- Soren Kierkegaard
Reply
#14
  Re: Vise Advice by JohnnyEgo (After 23 years as a ...)
Thanks for the tip, hbmcc. I was not terribly familiar with Sellers before today, but after a couple hours on his site, I am a lot better educated. I may be able to adapt my table to the record-style vise, and it is a cheap enough experiment to try either way.

I've got no hesitation at all drilling holes in my top. I often screw or bolt stuff directly to the top, and when it gets ugly I just replace the sacrificial layer. It is very much not designed around anything like proper principals for hand tools or anything else, but the one thing it's got is that it is heavy, flat, and very stable. Weighs well over 400 pounds. While it does have casters, I used a Johnson bar to jack it up and level it off with feet that take it up completely off the wheels. I could hit it with a sledge hammer and it wouldn't budge. I have no doubt a dedicated handtool bench would be a better solution, but until I launch some children, I don't have the space for two benches at the moment.

Which is not at all that I do not hear what you are saying, Curt, and you are absolutely right. The one mitigating factor is that I have never blamed my tools for any frustration or lack of success in the past; that's all on me, but I am still chipping away regardless. I also picked up two of Christopher Schwartz's books on making workbenches, as well as a bunch of basic hand-tool oriented books that I have read and digested before I decided to start handing out all my income to assorted tool sellers. So as much as one can learn to perform surgery from reading a book, I'm ready to pick up the scalpel and start operating. And among my first operations will be a shooting board and a bench hook.
Math is tough. Let's go shopping!
Reply
#15
  Re: Vise Advice by JohnnyEgo (After 23 years as a ...)
Watch this YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvhn-PAfEW4
Vice less work holding solutions.
Reply
#16
  Re: Vise Advice by JohnnyEgo (After 23 years as a ...)
If you can, do a proper workbench with chain-drive vice and bench dogs. Alternatively one, or a pair of a woodworking vises will do.
Wood is good. 
Reply
#17
  Re: Vise Advice by JohnnyEgo (After 23 years as a ...)
DITTO cputnam .  If you're serious about wanting to enjoy the the gratification of building with hand tools, your current bench situation will thwart those ambitions pretty quickly.  The purpose of the workbench (for hand tool applications) is holding the stock while effort is applied. Building one of your own is the ultimate consummation of your seriousness....and, if my own experience is any measure...it can bring a lifetime of meaningful purpose to your life.  Get a proper bench or stick to Norm Abrams!

good luck,

Don
P.S.  Also, I predict that, if you DO get a bench and use it....your preferences in chisels will soon be altered.  The Blue Spruce, Lie Nielsen or Veritas PM11 chisels are REAL chisels....the Aldi...not so much
Reply
#18
  Re: Vise Advice by JohnnyEgo (After 23 years as a ...)
(04-14-2019, 09:02 AM)AgGEM Wrote: Watch this YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvhn-PAfEW4
Vice less work holding solutions.

That was very useful. Gave me several ideas I can implement fairly easily with what I have now. Very much appreciated.
-
The 'Aldi' chisels reference was sarcasm. I have an odd assortment of Stanley Sweetheart reissues, a single lonely Sorby 3/8th, some Narex(s), the aforementioned Aldis, and a set of Craftsman Butt Chisels from the 90s. They got me by just fine when used to clean up power tool work, but my plan is to consolidate and replace with a set Blue Spruces.
Math is tough. Let's go shopping!
Reply
#19
  Re: Vise Advice by JohnnyEgo (After 23 years as a ...)
 You asked for Any thoughts between the LN or the Bench Crafted?

I make and sell moxon vise hardware for $115 shipped. I also have 24 inch one, made out of walnut, that is completely done. But in all honesty it is cheaper to make your wooden parts than to pay the extra shipping costs. Also that way your vise can be any size you want it to be.

   

If you build your own you can make it more than one size in the same vise. I know you wish to have one you can clamp on but I use my bench only as an example and because I have the pictures at hand. Another thing to consider is I spent a lot of time getting the top of my moxon at the proper height for my elbow swing. Things that come into play are height of the wood under the saw for the way Your elbows wings, Not Mine or anyone else's swing in relation actually cutting the wood.

   

   

   

So I encourage you to take time to to get your height right because it could help determine which vise you decide on.  I know Bench Crafted has prints( drawings) and instructions for making the wooden parts. They are very good and detailed and easy to follow. And from everything that I have experienced or heard about Bench Crafted, you can not go wrong  with anything from him,  but the dimensions given for his vise may not be compatible with your bench height verses elbow swing. It is easier to deal with height changes before a build, rather than I wish I would have done it differently after it is made. 

Tom
Reply
#20
  Re: Vise Advice by JohnnyEgo (After 23 years as a ...)
What do you intend to build?  A stock maker would have different needs from a stick chair builder from a cabinetmaker cranking out Philadelphia highboys or Pennsylvania spice boxes.
Blackhat
Common decency is as rare as common sense. I figure there was only a finite amount of both made and its getting shared out among too many folks.


Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)