While visiting North Carolina this week, I visited the shop of blacksmith Peter Ross and saw a few of his dang-amazing full-size Andre Roubo-style holdfasts in the works.
I’ve been using this holdfast every day on my bench at home. It is an incredible piece of iron and a great asset when sawing, mortising or planing on my bench. And, best of all, it makes other holdfasts look like pipe cleaners.
Peter says he’s built about a dozen of these holdfasts since he made mine. And though they take a lot of physical effort to produce, the biggest challenge is in finding the material that is suited for a holdfast of this size.
These holdfasts are more expensive than smaller ones – about $385. But the craftsmanship is outstanding, and they function brilliantly. If you cannot swing the price of a full-on Roubo holdfast, I highly recommend the Joseph Moxon-style ones that Peter makes, which hold better in thick benches than any holdfast I’ve ever used, and they have a low profile. Those are more like $80 each. Read my discussion of them here.
Lost Art Press is pleased to announce that Roy Underhill will be the voice reading our audiobook presentation of “The Joiner & Cabinet Maker,” which will be released later this summer.
Roy and I have spent the day recording the first part of the original 1839 text, and we will work on the remainder of the book this week. The audiobook will be available for download from LostArtPress.com or as a CD set available from us and our retailers.
The tentative price for the book will be $16 for the download and $20 (plus shipping) for the CD.
We’ve been recording the audiobook at Roy’s cottage in Graham, N.C., where we have taken over his office and covered all the walls with quilts and blankets from his house (apologies to Jane, Roy’s wife). Roy is doing somewhat of a dramatic reading of the text, using different voices for the different characters in telling the tale of young Thomas and his journey of apprenticeship in a rural English joiner’s shop.
The only hitch in the recording so far has been controlling some of the hard “P” sounds with the microphone. We fixed that using a wire hanger and a piece of Megan Fitzpatrick’s pantyhose that she donated for the recording.
You can download a short (and somewhat rough) clip from our recording session for free by clicking below.