I was looking for a decent set of holdfasts and found the usual cast ones that have been given a bad rap for being brittle. I tried to order a set of the gramercy holdfasts, but they were on back order and the site would not let me even place the order.
I had been thinking about the basics of woodworking and doing more with less, so I imagined what a carpenter would have done a hundred years ago when there were no other options. He would have gone to his blacksmith. So I did what any carpenter would have done at the turn of the century; I googled blacksmiths in my area. I found a guy about 45 mins away and emailed him my request. He was a pleasure to work with and the following is what he came up with.
Here you can see that the next set i order need to be a little bit longer for thicker stock.
This is also the first dog-hole i have bored into my bench top. I measured about 15 times to ensure it will be aligned with the pop-up on my vise that I will be installing hopefully soon.
I had to rough up the arm with 100 grit to give it some bite in the dog-hole, but they hold very tight and have a good stiff springing action.
My advice: Find a local blacksmith if you like hand tools.
-- -Sam - West Virginia - "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain