View Full Version : Nice moxon on the cheap- using dumbell handles

Dennis McCullen
07-12-2018, 5:51 PM
I just completed my first moxon vise after a few projects that were designated as "practice" for hand cut dovetails. My bench is rather tall to begin with but I really wanted to be able to get ends of wide boards/panels up and into a vise. The finished height is 3-1/2" and the width between screws is 24-1/2".
The threaded ends of the dumbell handles were 4" long, so even with a movable jaw that is 2" thick, I still have 2-1/4" of opening.
I removed one of the stop flanges from each handle and used the other inside the rear lamination. The fixed jaw is made of three pieces of pine at 3-1/2" (call them A) and two pieces that are 1-1/2" (Call them B) . Two pieces of A are glued together and the next day two pieces of B are added. There are dadoes cut into B where the 1" Acme thread passes through. The last piece of A is drilled out for the barbell shaft (1") and the flange is countersunk 1-3/8" diameter about 3/8" deep into it so the last "layer" can match up easily with the 3-1/2" height.

The star knobs are easy and quick to spin on the Acme threaded rods. I lined the outer (movable jaw) with leather and I spent a total of $17 for the dumbells and two 1" washers for the front knobs. I had the leather, pine and the "mahogany" material on hand.

Mike Weaver
07-12-2018, 11:08 PM
Nice job! I hope you enjoy using it!!


Mike Wilkins
07-13-2018, 10:21 AM
You must be the same guy who posted this idea in one of the woodworking magazines. Now you got me looking around the local Habitat resale stores for something similar.

Robin Dobbie
07-13-2018, 3:57 PM
Now you got me looking around the local Habitat resale stores for something similar.

$6 each at walmart, looks like.

Dennis McCullen
07-16-2018, 11:05 PM
Thanks Mike. I may have seen the idea in a woodworking mag but also found a guy who had used parts of a 3-pc barbell. The idea was the same - Nice large knobs already made spin freely (quickly) for opening and closing on the 1 inch shaft. I decided that the 4-inch thread would be enough to give me a vise opening of 2+ in. And Robin, I did order the pair of dumbbell handles from Wally World for $15 after realizing that I wanted to go ahead with the project rather than hunt for the dumbbell handles. I do enjoy the hunt and very often get lucky at a thrift store when ideas have been relegated to the back burner. BTW, this was engineered on the fly and one could possibly increase the opening capacity to 3 inches by leaving more of the handle without threads exposed out front since the 2-inch thick movable jaw can ride on the unthreaded handle. It is only the knobs that need threads and not the movable jaw.