With 9 handcut dovetailed drawers on the cards, I thought I should invest in a moxon style vice to aid my dovetailing.
After googling around for some idea’s I remembered some cheap “Press Clamps” I had seen at McJings tools and thought they might work well in a vice:
www.mcjing.com.au Press Clamps @ $12 each
I order a pair online with some other goodies, and they turned up in 2 days.
The Press Clamps look pretty good for $12!
Excellent fit and finish.
I drew up a quick sketch, using sketchup based on some scrap f17 hardwood I had lying around
I drilled 28mm holes, which provided a nice press fit for the vice parts. You will need to file/rasp out a little notch where the locking screw sits on the tail portion. Notice how much play there is in the vice….
With the parts pressed in place, I marked the rear plate with a knife and cut a shallow mortice for the plate to fit in flush.
This is then held in place by a second slightly wider piece of f17 that is also used for clamping the press to the benchtop.
Heres a picture showing the clamping beam in place covering the press plates. The entire vice is very easy to take apart if needed.
The complete press works really well. the clamping power is way more than you’ll ever need for dovetailing.
When I tried to move a clamped board I moved the whole bench, which probably weighs in at 200kgs!
There is a little play in the jaws, which I think might actually be a good thing. If it becomes an issue i’ll either add a bushing to the rear hole or re-drill the back peice with a 28mm hole in the rear and say a 20mm hole in the front.
There is about a 45mm range available for clamping tapered objects.
In use you’ll only need to open one end to get a board in/out when the jaws are correctly set.
Overall I am very happy with the way it turned out, I am sure I’ll be using more of these presses for other jigs in the future.
Even if you had to buy the hardwood and not raid your scrap pile, the whole vice would only cost $50-60 to make.