Why Our Holdfasts are Different

I like to think of our holdfasts as a “course correction” for this form of tool. During the last 25 years, holdfasts (when you could find them) became lighter, shorter and shrank in diameter. Other makers made them look quite nice, with crisp arrises and smooth pads.

The Crucible holdfast is a thing from an earlier time. It’s heavy, thick and with a coarse surface finish. We know it’s jarring to the eye and the modern mind. And that’s why I sat down yesterday and made this video. It was supposed to be about 2 minutes but ended up at 10. Apologies for that.

— Christopher Schwarz

 

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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8 Responses to Why Our Holdfasts are Different

  1. steverennells says:

    I watched the video and was so convinced by the presentation that I should have and use one of these I clicked the link to the store… sold out. 🙂

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  2. walkerg says:

    I’ve used these holdfasts at my bench for a couple of years. Very pleased with how they perform. Have to say they took a little while to get used to (in a good way). They grip more aggressively than other holdfasts, so I learned that for most tasks, a light tap of the mallet is all it takes. But for those times when you need to cinch down the titanic, a heavy rap will get the job down. Thanks for making these available.

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  3. James Bailey says:

    I love my Crucible Holdfasts. Yes, they cost a bit more but that is a small one time expense vs the recurring value I get from them. Excellent at holding small stock, large stock and everything in between.

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  4. johncashman73 says:

    Heh heh. Shrinkage table.

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  5. Daniel Williamson says:

    You mentioned the fact that you don’t recommend doing anything to the pad of the holdfast, but instead suggest using a sacrificial scrap. I don’t own yours yet, but on my Gamercy holdfasts, I’ve always adhered a leather piece onto the pad with rubber cement and have loved not always having to have a scrap around cluttering up my always already cluttered bench.

    Can you share why you wouldn’t recommend that same approach to yours? It’s bloody convenient for me with what I have, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a set of yours someday. Thanks!

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    • When ours are struck hard, they will dent the wood – no matter what sort of leather pad you have (in my experience).

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      • Daniel Williamson says:

        Got it. Wasn’t trying to be contrary, just wondering. Got my lump hammer in from the last batch. Gotta say you guys don’t suck at making tools.

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