Around the Shop #17: Self made Bench hold downs

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Blog entry by Don W posted 11-21-2011 08:00 PM 12372 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Rough tenon jig Part 17 of Around the Shop series Part 18: A pine benchtop »

I’ve wanted a few of these ever since I finished my bench. I just always had a hard time justifying the cost. A short while ago I was working on my bench and really could have used these, so they moved up in my to-do list.

They are made out of 5/8” hardened rods. These rods where part of concrete forms many many years ago. I cut the rod with a circular saw with a metal cut off wheel. (I have a horizontal metal bandsaw, but these rods take the teeth off the blades) The part that makes contact with the wood is a piece of flat stock I also had laying around.

Now, I haven’t welded anything in some time, and the only thing I have for a welder is an old mig welder I believe came from Harbor Freight probably 25 years ago. I have converted it to just a wire feed using gas-less flux-core wire after the gas lines started leaking. I can not longer find the right size tips, and the nozzle cone is remade from a piece of cooper pipe with a 5/8 nut drove in it. It still works however, and I could even tell on the second hold down I started getting back into the rhythm.

It took some grinding and re welding a couple of times, but that was expected. A coat of black paint to finish them off, and another addition to my shop complete.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

10 comments so far

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4118 days

#1 posted 11-21-2011 08:10 PM

This blog reminds me to send you the Shopnotes with the shop made dovetail jig… If your welding your own hold fast then the dovetail jig should be a breeze for you. :)

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 3930 days

#2 posted 11-21-2011 08:10 PM

They kind of look like bicycle necks. I like it.


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17529 posts in 3856 days

#3 posted 11-21-2011 08:16 PM

I like, very cool that you did them yourself, too. Congrats!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View mafe's profile


13330 posts in 4327 days

#4 posted 11-21-2011 08:55 PM

Top cool to have made then your self!
Nice stuff.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Brit's profile


8435 posts in 4081 days

#5 posted 11-21-2011 09:36 PM

Very nice Don. Really useful tools.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4353 days

#6 posted 11-22-2011 12:41 AM

way to go Don :-)
just wonder if you have got the right spring in them as the forged have as they were made with both the
carpenter and the smith in collaboration so they fit the single carpenter and the way he worked

thankĀ“s for sharing

View Don W's profile

Don W

20175 posts in 3805 days

#7 posted 11-22-2011 01:07 AM

Dennis, I’ve already used them a bit today. They work really well. I choose the particular rod because its stiff but has some spring. I was cutting some dove tails and could just push them down with my hand and they would hold.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4256 days

#8 posted 11-22-2011 04:33 AM

I got lucky, I went to a yard sale and there was a couple of bench dogs marked at .75 cents! you can believe I snatched them up quick! I went to Woodcraft and they were marked at 14 bucks each!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 4018 days

#9 posted 11-22-2011 01:30 PM

Great work Don. a bit more practice and I can send you my old #4 with the cracked cheeks ?


-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4389 days

#10 posted 11-23-2011 08:19 AM

Pretty cool. now i want to larn how to weld. I got to get my dad to teach me next time I go visit.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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