My husband doesn’t love wood working, he actually prefers metal, welding and engines when it comes down to it. Normally he doesn’t show much enthusiasm when I get new tools, these were an exception. He thought holdfasts were pretty amazing. He actually sat and played with them for a while to see how well they worked ;0)
Traditionally holdfasts were made by your local blacksmith and he would fashion them however you wanted. I’ve met a few people who do blacksmithing as a hobby, but wasn’t living near any of them when I needed these. After shopping around and reading disappointing reviews on Amazon and Rockler I finally stumbled on something that sounded like what I wanted. Tools for Working Wood sells quite a few high quality tools that are geared toward the traditional wood worker.
I’ve been using these for over a year now and they still do their job just as they should. Being made of rolled wire instead of cast metal makes them a little more flexible and less likely to break when hit with a hammer.
The top of my workbench is about 4″ thick and at first I was having trouble getting the holdfast to stay until I drilled all of my holes bigger. They just needed a little more room to create enough leverage to work. They say you need a 3/4″ hole, mine didn’t work right until I drilled 7/8″ holes.
I love how easy these are to use! Just whack them on the top to set them, and hit them from the side to release. After using them for about a year, I think I need at least 1 more if not another pair. There have been enough situations when I’ve needed an extra “hand.”
If you don’t already have a good workbench, what are waiting for? Get your workbench built so you can experience the ease of holding things in place the old fashioned way!
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