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OK, I’m going to sound like I have a “man crush” on Joel Moskowitz with this blog entry. But when I think about the simplest inventions in my lifetime that have changed my work, the Gramercy holdfast is pretty much at the top of my list.

For just $35 you can get a pair of holdfasts that will last you forever and a day. They work in benchtops both thin and thick (if your top is crazy thick, watch this video). And they look better the more you beat on them. And the more tarnished and whacked they get, the better they hold.

I have been using these holdfasts for eight years now, ever since Joel began passing around prototypes and applying (successfully) for a patent.

If you don’t have a pair of these holdfasts, get your spouse to rectify that this holiday season. Even if you are power-tool-only woodworker, you will use these to secure your work as you sand it, Domino it or biscuit it.

— Christopher Schwarz

Want to read Day 1 of my gift guide? Click here.
Day 2 is here.
Day 3 is here.
Day 4 is here.

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Showing 8 comments
  • jgman

    I just ordered the holdfasts, I have an antique Christiansen Chicago work bench. Just has the traditional square benchdog holes.

    I don’t want the bench to look like Swiss cheese, any suggestions on the amount of holes and distance apart?


  • mandrake1951

    Bought my first pair after reading about them in PWM . I find it hard to remember how I got along without them.
    Have since purchased a pair from Peter Ross.
    I find no fault with either pair in my three and a half inch thick work bench.
    Keep suggesting tools we might be interested in.

  • xMike

    I bought these on someone’s recommendation (probably yours) several years ago. Yes, they are great, they don’t break at untimely moments and they hold like monkey with a handful of hair.

  • rsentgerath

    Great holdfasts, price cannot be beat.

    The tip with dimpling holdfast is grand, reminds me of the Auriou rasp punching.

    I overbuild my bench to 5 1/2 inches and abhor the cheese moonscape relief bores carve into its underside, just to comply with the 3″ max dogma of the 3/4″ benchdog hole empire.

  • Christopher Hawkins

    Seriously, these are absolutely amazing. Much better and 25% the cost of the Lee Valley hold-downs ($80),41637

  • Jim Maher

    But I only have square benchdog holes . . .

    Oh, wait, didn’t you write once about how and where to add holes for the holdfasts?

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