WoodRiver - Small Holdfast
This small holdfast is made from solid ductile iron with a 3-1/2" throat, an overall length of 8-1/4" and a 11/16" round shank. This method of clamping is perfect for projects that need frequent...
Items You May Need
- Small bench holdfast
- 3-1/2" throat
- 11/16" round steel shank
- Overall length 8-1/4"
- Heavy duty ductile iron
So far so good
I've been using these for a few months now, and they have been working well. I lined the pads with cork to prevent marking the workpiece, and also to give it a little more grip. My only complaint with these is that they are fairly stiff, so every so often it takes an extra whack to get them to hold completely. Overall, I'm pleased with them in my 2" thick benchtop. Some other reviews have mentioned using an 11/16 hole instead of 3/4. I don't know if the design has changed (some of those reviews were from 3 or 4 years ago), but mine would not fit in a 11/16 hole. I drilled both sizes in a scrap piece, and the 3/4 inch hole worked for me.
I use this product to hold down boards as I chops mortises or remove the waste from the pins and tails when making dovetails. Anything that needs to be clamped to the bench top can be done easily with this tool. All you need is a 3/4 inch hole and a mallet. Just give it a real good whack and you are set. To remove just smack the back of it with your hand. I did add some leather pads because the foot was leaving marks on the wood.
It's not what I expected!
The catalog description says to use a 3/4 in. hole; now I see that 11/16 (or something smaller) is the recommended size. Too late. Also, the holdfast is a painted casting, not forged, and very rigid--a combination that produces no grip. From Woodcraft, I would have expected consistent instructions and a product that would work 'out of the box.'
So easy to use and so effective!
This holdfast is great to secure pieces especially closer to the center of the bench. It is quicker and easier than using clamps at the edge of the bench. Perfect for holding flat pieces down for edge treatment or boards for end treatment. If you have to move the piece often, this holdfast is easier to ise than the bench vise because you don't have to deal with moving bench dogs. One cation though! The item description says 5/8 inch shank. This is NOT accurate. The shank is 11/16 inch. And as someone else pointed out fits in and works great in an 11/16 hole. I have 5/8 dog holes on my bench and thought that this would fit in those. It does not. I had to drill strategically located 11/16 holes for this. While I can or use it in the dog holes, I still find it very effective and easy to use.
test it on a scrap first
This dog works great in a 11/16 hole. the instructions say to use 3/4. I wish I had tested it before I drilled those 3/4 holes in my bench top.
What can be said about a holdfast!
I use the holdfast to hold parts fast to the work bench. It is fast to clamp a part and equally as fast to unclamp.
It's what you want from a holdfast
These are simple and shouldn't be scrutinized too much. It's simple and does what you want it to. The only downside is that TAIWAN is stamped in the neck, oh well, better than CHINA and not as good as USA. nice and heavy/sturdy. Enjoy.
Holdfast works as hard as I do
acquired an Oak woodworker's bench with 3/4" bench holes. bought the bench dogs and the holdfasts to help set up and work on porjects. Both work better than I could have imagined and they will be in use until I quit doing the work.
Unpack, Drill 3/4'" holes and put to use. Wish I had done this a long time ago!
Works great on a 2" thick top
This holdfast is simple and quick. To improve its performance, glue a piece of leather to the clamp pad so it doesn't mar your workpiece. If it slips, roughen the shaft with 60grit sandpaper. It needs friction to work, so if it slips it is an indication it is too smooth.
I'm probably doing it wrong
I most likely drilled too big of a dog hole (3/4"), but it's a great benchdog, especially used on the side of the bench - plus it looks oldschool cool. I'm not recommending it because I haven't got it to work - I'll probably get a Veritas stay and just have the holdfast as a benchdog.