Holdfasts

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Holdfasts of a New Design

I need to get busy on my workbench top so I can decide how many of the different work-holding designs to use at my bench. At this time at my home shop, I’m using a pair of Gramercy holdfasts, but earlier this year a couple of companies, namely Lee Valley and Kreg, introduced holdfasts...

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The Holdfast in Your Backyard

We have iron planes and wooden planes. Iron vises and wooden ones. Iron clamps and wooden ones. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that you can have a wooden holdfast. But it does. Carpenter and researcher Jeff Burks passed me this clipping from a 1930 edition of Popular Mechanics, which discusses the “barilette,”...

Gramercy Holdfast

Gramercy Holdfasts-the Real Story

Way back in 2005, I wrote an article for issue #4 of Woodworking Magazine about holdfasts. At the time, very few woodworkers knew what a holdfast was, and the article reviewed available manufactured holdfasts, as well as a few blacksmith made ones. We recently put the original holdfast article online, and included a link...

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Improved Phil Koontz Holdfasts

  It seems I have more holdfasts than internal organs. And yet, when I was dropping something off at Managing Editor Megan Fitzpatrick’s house this week, I was struck by two holdfasts in her bench that were familiar and yet different – like an old friend who had lost weight or gotten implants. The...

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Authentic Holdfasts from Peter Ross

The first time I taught at Roy Underhill’s school in Pittsboro, N.C., Roy made sure that I met Peter Ross, a blacksmith who worked at Colonial Williamsburg for 25 years. We all ate dinner at gas station in Saxapawhaw – probably the best gas station food ever made on this planet. Seriously. Check this...