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Mods for the Moxon

I am a big fan of the Benchcrafted hardware, and this includes the Moxon screws, and a big fan of anything that comes out of the Tools For Working Wood stable. Both companies are offering Moxon dovetail vise designs that include an integrated table behind the chop. The Moxon is such a simple and easy to build tool that I believe you cannot go wrong whatever you do - buy or build your own. When it comes to design, however, I have some ideas that conflict with these ...
I have cut a LOT of dovetails in the past 6 months especially, and this has provided the opportunity to clarify some ideas about the Moxon. Here are a couple of design considerations.
First off, I think it is a big mistake bevelling the Moxon chop. I struggle to see the reasoning in doing so. It is a bad move.
I think that it is to make space to hold the saw more vertically (so as to follow two lines at once). But if you need to do this it says that your board is probably too low in the vise, or the vise is too low for your bench.
The flat edge of the front chop is a valuable guide when clearing out waste with a chisel. If you bevel it, you will lose the reference surface.

I use my chop this way ..

Lift the height of a board when sawing. It should not vibrate if thick enough ..

Nice clean, level floors ..

Secondly, I think that you may add a problem if you add a bench behind the Moxon vise, as popularised in the BC plan. 
In addition to sawing, the Moxon is used for transferring the tails to the pin board. To avoid slicing up the chop with a marking knife, the pin board needs to be raised up at least 1/2" above the chop. A bench behind the chop will place the boards in line with the top of the chop. Eventually it will be goodbye chop ...

To make raising the board easier and secure, the tail board needs to be supported at this height. One of the fixtures I introduced some while ago was the "I-beam", which has sandpaper as non-slip on both sides...

To set the pin board at the ideal height, one needs a suitable spacer (of, say, 1/2") ...

I got tired of putting the spacer in a safe place, so I attached it with hingers ..

It folds out of the way when not in use ...

Regards from Perth


April 2012