Moravian Bench X Link

I have received many requests for a leg vise and X Link scissors parallel guide that will work with a Moravian bench. Some of you may be wondering what a Moravian bench is. The Moravians were a settlement of German speaking Protestants in what is now known as Winston-Salem North Carolina. There is a workbench on display at the J. Blum house in the Old Salem Museum and Gardens that was created and used by the Moravian’s. It is characterized by its splayed legs, tusk tenons that hold the stretchers to the legs and most importantly a leg vise mounted to a removable board just to the right of the left leg. The whole bench can be quickly disassembled for easy transportation.

The challenge with fitting a leg vise with an X Link onto the Moravian bench is the relatively short distance you have to fit everything in and still have a decent throat depth on the vise (throat depth is the distance from the bench top to the leg vise clamp shaft). A short throat depth limits the width of a board that may be secured in the vise jaws and still be at a workable height. A typical Moravian bench may have a leg vise mounting board that is only about 18 inches high. I have developed a special leg vise and X Link for the Moravian bench that will allow maximum vise throat depth. The new prototype X Link Moravian is shown in the picture below compared to its big brother the original X Link.

The X Link Moravian is approximately 2 inches shorter than the original X Link. With its shorter length I did some engineering calculations on the loads that need to be handled and found that it can also function properly with less width. I have also created a leg vise mechanism with an integrated front bearing that will allow the X Link to be placed really close to the vise mechanism saving even more space. From the centerline of the clamp shaft to the bottom of the mortise for the X Link only 14-3/8” is needed. I will be writing more about the upcoming testing of this new vise system. If you are interested in a leg vise and X Link for a Moravian bench send me an email and I will put you on the pre-order list for this exciting new vise system.

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