Crisscross For The Moravian Workbench!


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Seven months ago Jameel Abraham of Benchcrafted sent me a prototype of a shorter version of their Crisscross to see if it could work on the Moravian workbench. I retrofitted it to a bench I had; built to the dimensions given in the video and article. It fit well without any alteration to the structure of the bench. I did have to replace the chop with a thicker one and the back vise mounting piece.

In the time that I have been using it I have fell in love with it!

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The Crisscross 14 kit.

The Crisscross on this bench is installed with the Classic Vise screw that is also available from Benchcrafted. IMG_8139 (1280x961)

This thing has the smoothest operation of any leg vise I have ever used, slick as snot on a doorknob! The holding power is as good as the wooden screws I use. In the configuration I have here the vise opens 9 1/2″ and has 6″ depth between the bench top and the top of the screw.

I have another Moravian bench to finish that will be getting a Crisscross set up. I will do another post in the next week or so detailing the installation. Stay tuned!

-Will Myers




13 thoughts on “Crisscross For The Moravian Workbench!

  1. Hi Will,

    Is there any negatives (other than expense) to using the crisscross vs the original wooden screw and parallel guide?


  2. Hi Will,

    Do you think the criss-cross vice will take away from the spirit of an 18th century bench?



    1. I am still a fan of the wooden screw and parallel guide. The crisscross and steel screw look nice too in my opinion. Ultimately, it would be up to the maker’s visual preference I guess.


  3. Looks great Will! My kit arrives tomorrow. How much thicker is the chop and vise back with the crisscross? I do have both of these pieces dimensioned already, but I think I can just laminate another board to each for the needed thickness.


    1. The back piece is the same thickness as given in the plans, 2 3/4″ or so. The minimum thickness for the chop is 2 1/4″ given in the BC plans. The one in the pictured here is 2 3/4″.


    1. It might fit….not alot of room left on the standard design. Will do some more figuring when I install the next one in a few days, will post here.


  4. Will,

    I’ve just started a new bench with plans on using Lake Erie’s new 2X screw, not ordered yet so I have time to change my mind. My questions are; Will the crisscross work with a wood screw. I guess the real question is is there room for either the standard or the 2X screw. Like you I’m a fanboy of Lake Erie wood screws. The other is, have you used the 2X screw.

    BTW, this bench will be a “standard” sized portable Moravian.




    1. Ken, I need do do some more figuring to see if it will fit the standard bench. If you lowered the long stretchers a couple of inches I am sure it would fit. Have more info in a few days.


  5. Thanks Will,

    I might just build two vise/vise backers, one with the BC metal screw and one with a Lake Erie wood screw. Easy way to see which I like better. Whatever I’d like to hear what you find. I must say this threw me a curve. I was building this bench to try the new 2X screw :-).



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