Holdfast by GRAMERCY TOOLS
Before the arrival of modern screw clamps, it would not have been possible to imagine working wood without holdfasts. Originally hand-forged in iron, they became scarcer and scarcer as woodworking and tools became industrialized, even though they actually are much quicker and easier to use than modern screw clamps.
We have long known about these tools, and we sometimes saw various kinds of them in workshops we visited. Woodworkers would tell us that they inherited them from their relatives, or had a local blacksmith make them one. Our current supplier, Gramercy Tools in the USA started making them again a few years ago. We also found a supplier in the far East, and although we knew that those holdfasts were in cast iron as opposed to forged iron or steel, we thought they would be strong enough to do the job. Wishful thinking! It was of course a disaster, and so we quickly took them off of our site and stopped selling them. Now we are very happy to be able to offer these excellent, forged steel holdfasts.
They are very durable, should never need to be replaced, and it is difficult to believe how fast you can hold down and then release a work piece. A tap with hammer or mallet on the top, and the workpiece is held. A tap on the back of the shaft, and the holdfast releases the piece. With many workpieces, using two holdfasts is recommended - this is especially important with longer boards, where more lateral support is needed because of the leverage can exert too much force for the holdfast.
Designed for 3/4 inch (19 mm) hole
Min. workbench top thickness 1-3/4 inch (45 mm)
Clamping depth max 6-1/2 inch (170 mm)
Maximum clamping 7-1/4 (190 mm) in a 2 inch (50 mm) thick benchtop.
Video (10 MB)
Patented. Made in USA.