|Project by BTKS||posted 02-22-2011 05:28 AM||4246 views||6 times favorited||19 comments|
I finally got to mix woodworking and blacksmithing. My brother in law wanted some holdfasts. Turns out I was interested in them after seeing a few used by Roy Underhill on the Woodwrights Shop. I did a little more research. Popular Woodworking had an article The Mystery of Holdfasts, Sep 1, 2005. None of the research would give the needed dimensions. I guessed and chose cold rold steel, 11/16 in dia for use in 3/4 in holes. I went with cold rold hoping it would have more spring action. My BIL’s table top is 2 1/4in thick. I got lucky and all three holdfasts work wonderfully. The flat holdfast with the low profile is a little more difficult to remove but holds the same as the crooked pair.
The circus like mallet is for setting and removing them. I didn’t want to damage the holdfasts or mess up any hammer faces, mainly the hammers!!!!! The mallet is honey locust head, ash handle and attached with a 1 / 7 through dovetail. The wood was pulled out of the firewood pile and in about an hour it was a mallet. The first glue up failed but followed up with gorilla glue and seems okay.
The process for making the holdfasts started with drawing, flattening and setting a rough angle on the pad. The crooked fasts were turned around a pipe with the pipe and rod clamped in a steel bench vise. I quenched the crook then tested. I clamped the test holes, see photo two, to the side of the steel bench reheated the pad and set the final angle with the fast set firmly in the test holes. I decorated the pads with some cross peening then filed the tips to a rounded finish. I decorated with a little cross peening, scuffed the shafts with 120 grit and called it good. Turns out the cold rold is more expensive but I think it was a good gamble.
Turns out, I’m keeping these and the BIL will get to help make his own.
-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)