A Holdfast Rant


This evening I posted a rant at Crucible Tool about our holdfasts. I’m not very good at rants and need to take some lessons from Raney. Still, here is is.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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20 Responses to A Holdfast Rant

  1. johncashman73 says:

    There are Windows 486 machines still operating?


  2. tpobrienjr says:

    I would love to have a pair of those holdfasts. Everything Christopher Schwarz says about them tells me how genuine they are. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with a set made for me by a blacksmith at a living history exhibit, maybe 30 years ago. Mine lack some of the sophistication of the Crucible holdfasts, but I love them anyway. No rant from me, no nitpicking either.


  3. Rachael Boyd says:

    I love the tools that can stand the test of time or look like they have tested time them self’s.


  4. leeboyz86 says:

    I would not be able to justify spending $135 when i can pay much less for a holdfast that is more than adequate for my poor skill level, but I have no doubt your holdfasts are worth every cent you charge. Critics who have not purchased and used your product have no standing to support their opinions.


  5. toolnut says:

    That was a pretty good rant. Not Raney, but his level and quality of ranting is not realistically attainable for mere mortals.


  6. Kevin Mcleod says:

    Can I add another potential barb for your rant – why cant I buy Crucible products from outside the USA ?, I like others, would love to purchase and own the products, but we cannot because we don’t live in the USA. I know the arguments, shipping, customs declarations, tax, etc, but if I’m happy to give you a credit card, wait till its cleared, then wait for it to be shipped, and go and pay the tax at this end, and collect it, then why not sell it to me? (and no doubt all of the others who live outside the USA who want to give you money for your products !)


  7. orion Henderson says:

    Wait, people complain about the price of an item because of the cost of the raw material itself? Woo boy. I guess by that logic I could be a piece of furniture for the cost of the raw lumber?


  8. Chris says:

    I have an honest question, not trying to be a troll. Jjust curious… why cast rather than forged? Forged has less waste and tends to be stronger than cast. Phil Koontz did it that way. Are you casting because of the ease of repetition? Is there another benefit I’m not aware of?



    • Chris,

      Not trollish at all.

      Forging the holdfast (via hammer or die) would double the cost without any improvement in performance. And casting has exactly zero waste. Every piece of flashing or rejected piece goes back into the flask to be used again. Nothing is wasted.

      Part of the price issue relates to mass. Our holdfasts weigh about twice as much as a typical 3/4″ model. That materials cost (and shipping it) is all part of the equation.


  9. adumbiam says:

    I bought a couple and they are sweet…! Considering depreciation, they are almost free…


  10. jayedcoins says:

    People are such weenies. Go buy a Gramercy if you don’t want 1″ dog holes, think the choice of material was wrong, think the angle of the head will mar your work (though, TFWW would tell you to use a dang sacrificial piece anyhow!), or don’t think the tool is worth $135. Vote with your wallet, simple as that.

    This is no knock on Gramercy. There are different ways to skin the proverbial cat and good reasons to purchase either the Gramercy or Crucible holdfast. I’ve bought a handful of things from TFWW and they are great.


  11. So, I will need to get a 3/4″ dowel glue into my dog holes to make them 1″… Sound about right? Time to save the mad money for a couple of month.


  12. Craig Regan says:

    Does the price include shipping? I had to ship some cast iron machine parts cross country and it got expensive. Also, can you order just one, or, do they work better in tandem as a pair?


  13. sugardoc says:

    incuso morbus: chronic illness recognizable by frequent complaints of almost any stimuli. Sufferers are compelled to express their complaints in all social and social media settings. In small groups they are sometimes identifiable by swollen split lips and/or bloody noses.


  14. Lex says:

    And … I’ve made my decision on which holdfast to buy when I buy one.


  15. Charlie Driggs says:


    Let the Internetian (I like that) trolls pat each other’s backs under their favorite bridge piers. Your price and your product either will speak for itself and generate enough revenue to cover the cost, or it won’t. Keep at it, you’re on the right path.

    Charlie Driggs

    Sent from my iPhone



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