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Holdfasts without the hold.

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1275gt

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Hello,
I've got a pair of Simon James holdfasts and they don't really hold too well and I'm trying to troubleshoot them or my bench.

When I first got them they held alright with a good wack but I was still able move the piece so can't use then to hold down battens when surfacing a board.
Holdfasts are 2 months old with very light use.
Bench top is made from Quebec yellow pine and is 1.5" thick, stuck a 1" block underneath and didn't help much.
The tops of the holes are slightly deformed so I was thinking of reaming out the holes to 1" plugging them with an oak dowel then redrilling also maybe swapping the block out underneath for oak too.

Please let me know you thoughts and what you think of the oak dowel idea.

Thanks in advance
 

Cabinetman

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Hi, not used his but that shouldn’t be a problem, what diameter bar are they and what diameter holes are you using pls?
It is probably a simple little thing though that’s causing the problem, you need to get some 80 grit sandpaper and roughen the shafts— this MUST be done around the shafts not up and down. If you haven’t done this I can almost guarantee it will fix it. Ian
 

1275gt

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Hi, not used his but that shouldn’t be a problem, what diameter bar are they and what diameter holes are you using pls?
It is probably a simple little thing though that’s causing the problem, you need to get some 80 grit sandpaper and roughen the shafts— this MUST be done around the shafts not up and down. If you haven’t done this I can almost guarantee it will fix it. Ian
Hole is 19mm, holdfast bar is about 17.5mm.

I knew about the sand paper but the bars felt rough to the touch so thought they wouldn't need it (should of tried it anyway). didn't know about only going around the shafts though and not up and down.
 

Orraloon

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I have a pine benchtop and some of the most used holes are getting slightly deformed at the top but they still hold OK. The tip about roughing up the shafts would be the first thing to try.
If it does come to drilling and plugging with dowel I would plug the dud holes and drill new holes close by. I am not sure how they would hold in a long grain hole.
Regards
John
 

Wilfage

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Mine didn’t work at all In a 4.5 inch beech roubo until I rubbed them up with some 80grit. Now they grip better than anything.
 

Adam W.

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Quebec yellow pine Pinus strobus is much too soft to withstand any abuse from holdfasts.
 
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1275gt

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Rubbed with 80g and they hold better still not holding enough to withstand the force of planing across a board.
 

Cabinetman

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Depends, but that’s not really what they’re designed for, more to hold wood down whilst you chop with a chisel.
Sounds like you need to make a doesfoot, or fit a planing stop along the length of your bench perhaps. Ian
 

1275gt

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Depends, but that’s not really what they’re designed for, more to hold wood down whilst you chop with a chisel.
Sounds like you need to make a doesfoot, or fit a planing stop along the length of your bench perhaps. Ian
This is the thing I'm using the doesfoot and the act of planing shifts it and pops the foot out.
 

Cabinetman

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Sorry if I’ve misunderstood, the doesfoot should be in compression, perhaps a photo of what you’re doing would help?
Ps perhaps G cramp a length of wood to your bench to plane against
 

xraymtb

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I always thought the does foot got tighter as you planed into it? A dog or stop holding the far end.
 

Droogs

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They aren't meant to be placed directly on the board being planed. have a look at the Pics below to see how to use them for planing. Although being used on a carcass the principle is the same for boards.

1. put a bench dog in a hole and butt the board up against it
2. use a notched stick at the back and put your hold-fast in a hole behind it and place the foot on top of the stick
3. press the stick against the board and at the same time hit the hold-fast to tighten.

1636725334764.png


Images courtesy if Richard Maguires website Holdfasts Woodworking - The Workbench Problem Solver.
 

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1275gt

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Sorry for the delay folks.
I've attached some pictures. So I'm using clamps at the end to secure a batten, then using the holdfast with the doesfoot as I'm pushing traversing with the plane it pops out. I've tried leather under the doesfoot too. Like mentioned above if used for chopping etc the holdfast is quite firm. Just with this set up I'm struggling to get it working properly.

Regards
 

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Droogs

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You need something at the rear left hand side to prevent the board from sliding to the rear of the bench. If you look at my pic you will see a small spacer sticking up to act as a stop. Also the long leg of the doesfoot should run along the back edge not the right hand side of the board.

Instead of a batten think about making a peg that will fit in a dog hole that has a short piece ~3" of saw teeth edged metal that will bite into the board edge to help prevent movement like below

1637587816236.png


hth
 

Cabinetman

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You seem to be having problems with work holding, l suggest you watch this masterclass video, yes it’s a bit long and yes he’s American but actually none the worse for that lol.
A planing stick up the middle of your bench would be ideal.
Definitely worth watching, I’ve been doing this for years and I learnt a few wrinkles.
 
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KevinLycett

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If you think about the direction of the forces you’re generating you can see your clamping set up is all wrong. The forward force of your plane has basically nothing to resit it. Try moving the left hand wood to the front of your timber. Clamp that wood. That’s all you should need. Obviously the wood needs to be thinner than you intend your timber to be!
 

Woodernhift

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I have a pair of Gramercy holdfast which have very smooth shafts. I used a metal punch on these to produce a toothed grip surface. They work really well.
 

TheTiddles

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Sounds like your top is too thin and made from a soft material that will get pushed around. Roughing up the metal may help for a bit but I suspect only for a while before the hole deforms further.

I have a steel one and in 100mm thick iroko it often needs a good whack to get it out
 

Orraloon

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Pine is quite OK for holdfasts and 2 1/2'' is also fine for thickness. The very good video Cabinetman put up shows a pine top just about 2'' thick and thats working fine. My pine top is about 3'' and after nearly 9 years the holdfasts still hold. As I mentioned a couple of the most used holes are showing some deformation but they are still holding very well. Method of use has been pointed out so the only other point I can think of is the surface finish as a high gloss finish may be too slick for good holding.
Regards
John
 
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