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By bp122
#1312241
Thank you all for your responses.

Looking at the options here, in terms of buying the holdfasts, the Simon James and Sjoberg are reasonably priced. If I can befriend a blacksmith, even better :D
But I do want to try the wooden option and intrigued by the weighted beam.

On the other hand, I have come across a different idea on YT where they run T tracks along the length of the bench and a couple on the width, use hold down clamps. This saves me from having to drill the holdfast holes and buying auger / forstner bits and buying / making holdfasts at all. Although this option will be limiting in how thick a workpiece they can hold, it can be overcome buy getting some longer T bolts.

Has anyone tried this? Not judging, but this happens to be what most American YT woodworkers have - They do love their T tracks!

My workbench top has hit a bit of a snag, where the glued up MDF top was left on uneven spacers so has developed a bow. So will be sorting it out first before I look further into this.
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By bp122
#1312244
Good point, hadn't considered that!
Also, because MDF is cheap, if it gets battered after a while, which will be a long while for my usage, I can replace it.
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By ED65
#1312273
bp122 wrote:On the other hand, I have come across a different idea on YT where they run T tracks along the length of the bench and a couple on the width, use hold down clamps. This saves me from having to drill the holdfast holes and buying auger / forstner bits

Spade bits are perfectly sufficient for drilling dog holes, no need for a much more expensive bit type. Another previous thread for you, holdfasts-t109243.html

Not especially trying to talk you out of T-track as it's another good option, I do suspect however that it may work out more expensive in the long run. And many similar hold-downs can be implemented in dog holes, along with simple peg-type dogs and other things they are conventionally used for. Also much easier and faster to drill a few dog holes than route that channel.

bp122 wrote:...and buying / making holdfasts at all.

I was just about to say there are loads of designs for user-made T-track hold-downs :) Aaaand, you don't need to buy T-bolts if you have a grinder. Any suitable bolt can have two parallels ground in (possibly the top flattened off slightly) to allow it to slide into a T-track.
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By Jacob
#1312283
bp122 wrote:Thank you all for your responses.......
But I do want to try the wooden option and intrigued by the weighted beam.....
It did occur to me that "the weighted beam" could be a "held-down beam" or T track, with clamps or holdfasts.
But I think the way I set it up is far more convenient - it only takes a minute to set up and seconds to release the workpiece, turn it around and put it back, and adjust if necessary. And you don't have to buy clamps, holdfasts or T tracks.

In the end it depends on the job of course
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By bp122
#1312304
samhay wrote:
ED65 wrote:At the cheapest end of the spectrum ones that work, apparently very well, can be made from wood. I thought I had a picture of a couple but they must be on another hard drive. Never mind, the YouTube channel Pask Makes has a vid on making these and I think I spotted them in use in one of his recent vids so they've held up.
/forums/bench-top-with-clamps-pegs-t95141.html


Here you go:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92NiggRJhZA



I watched the video and I'm really impressed how well those things held up.
I'm surprised as to how many things are made using a bandsaw!
I can't throw money at it now and buy one :(
And my skills with a coping saw are terrible.
Any other method to cut curves on wood?
By samhay
#1312310
The wooden ones don't have to be curved. That was done for aesthetics.
That said, you could shape them with a file, sander, spoke shave, chisel, etc, etc.
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By MikeG.
#1312318
ED65 wrote:At the cheapest end of the spectrum ones that work, apparently very well, can be made from wood...........


Here's mine in use:

Image

It's 3 or 4 years old and as good as the day it was made. Works perfectly.
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By bp122
#1312323
bourbon wrote:where are you based? Come and talk to or blacksmith at an event. The Ferrers household


I am based in Buckinghamshire. Not sure how far away the event you mentioned is.
samhay wrote:The wooden ones don't have to be curved. That was done for aesthetics.
That said, you could shape them with a file, sander, spoke shave, chisel, etc, etc.


Rich C wrote:Indeed, pretty sure you could knock them together with a handsaw and have them work just fine.


Just after I posted the question, I came across a few videos on YT about cutting curves the old fashioned way, with a saw, chisel and a card scraper (the last one I have never used)

Besides, as you said, it doesn't need to be curved. I must say, the DIY wooden ones are looking like the most exciting option from a project point of view. I have a 3/4" dowel, not sure it is hard wood, but will try it anyway.
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By MikeJhn
#1312326
Or go really back in time and use a Spokeshave to get the curve.
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By bp122
#1312333
MikeG. wrote:
ED65 wrote:At the cheapest end of the spectrum ones that work, apparently very well, can be made from wood...........


Here's mine in use:

Image

It's 3 or 4 years old and as good as the day it was made. Works perfectly.


That settles it. I am going to try and make one or two and see how it goes.
I have enough hardwood scraps for that anyway!
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By MikeG.
#1312335
If I had round holes rather than square, I think I would be tempted to find a suitably shaped fork of green wood from a woodland. A branch with a fork, say an inch and a half in diameter, would soon whittle down to the right size and shape, taking away the need for a join. I'd then season it. Obviously, ask the woodland owners permission first.
By Rich C
#1312351
I might give them a go, ash seems like an obvious choice for these, the really, anything handy (and hardwood) would suffice.