Speaking as a man with a self-diagnosed “workbench sickness,” you’d think I’d be goo-goo-eyed over new workbench accessories. But most of the time that’s not the case. I like to design workbenches that require the fewest number of gadgets to make them work.
I think a couple holdfasts and a simple vise (or two) can work wonders when installed correctly.
So when the new Veritas Surface Clamp showed up in the shop, I was a bit suspicious. It works a bit like a hold-down clamp and a bit like the Stanley 203 bench bracket, which has been venerated, hated but never imitated.
The Veritas Surface Clamp is an ingenious device. It allows you to put a holdfast-like clamp anywhere you can bore a 3/4″-diameter hole that is at least 5/8″ deep. That simple trick lets you apply vertical clamping power in places no holdfast, hold-down or F-style clamp could ever go.
For example, if you built a workbench with a complete set of cabinets below the benchtop, that usually prevents you from clamping things to the bench or from employing a holdfast.