Wood hold downs #2: Hold fast wedge and twist

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Blog entry by mafe posted 01-15-2022 03:21 AM 603 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Wood hold downs - step by step build. Part 2 of Wood hold downs series no next part

Hold fast wedge and twist
updating an old idea.

Hi all,

This is almost cheating as it is almost second time I post the hold fast and I have been using it since 2014, with great joy on my bench top bench...

But there’s a reason, I made an update out of frustration today, that really makes a big difference in use, even though it’s as simple as can be and then it also became an update for the hold fasts from this blog series.

I also created a DIY flip stop, that can be made from wood, so no special hardware are needed any more, this I just did, for the joy of it and because that little detail was a pain in my a.. as I want everyone to be able to make the things I do, by removing special hardware and tools.

When I used the hold fast on my bench top bench to cut box joints the other day, I were first annoyed by the fact I could not find the wedge I use to speed up the clamping, later I had dropped it on the floor and could not find it again… That made me think; hmmmmmmmmm why is the wedge not just a part of the hold fast.

Here the updated version.
I made a long wedge and a rabbet in it, like this I just have to adjust to the thickness of the clamped piece and then it can be quickly released, by moving the wedge.

Here how I used the old wedge.
It’s actually mostly when removing waste on box joints or dovetails, that I use the hold fast on the bench top bench.

New version on the bench top bench.
Mr. Wood seems to be so happy about it!

Long wedge, simply put in between the hold fast and wing nut.

The hole in the wedge were made with a router, but you can also just drill two holes and use a chisel to make the hole between them.

Wedge loose.
I made the slope by feel and it works just perfect, so you can use this angle.

Wedge tightened.

Top view.

Simply release the wedge and put it up on the wood, you want to hold.

Adjust wing nut to loose fit.

Push wedge to tighten up.

Here we have it, with the plaster board wall plug thingy, that I have used to hold on the back side, so I were able to use any hole on the table top.

In use.

But it can also be used in my normal hold fast holes, for different kinds of workbench clamping.

Home sweet home.

This is the hardware I used for these hold fasts and that leads us to the second part, that I wanted to make a DIY version of this, for those that can’t get one of these, around the globe.

So some rod, here in beech wood, but any hard wood, with a strong grain will do.
It has to be smaller in diameter, than the hole you want to use it with, I have used 20mm holes, as they fit all my Festool gear.
Here the test piece is only a 15mm rod, cut to app 5cm length pieces.

Drilling a hole in the middle.

Down centre all the way through.



Just the one half.
Then turn it and do same for other half.

Open half way.

Other end.

Put a threaded rod through, a washer and a self locking nut.
Have no idea why I put two washers here… laughs.
Also this is a second 18mm ash version.
This will be able to go through a 20mm hole.

Once flipped, we have a stop.

Do you get the picture now?

From other side.

Made some for my other hold fast / clamp types also, this was the ash version.

So I can use then in the bench dog holes, on my workbench also.

Had to put a few extra washers under the knobs.

Yes, you can put a wedge on these too, but since these are not thought for fast clamping on and off, I’ll leave them without for now.

But kind of cool new way I can hold things now.

Plenty of hold fast / clamping options, as they say, you can never have to many clamps, I guess that goes for hold fasts too.

You can read more on the:
Bench top bench here:
Wood hold downs here:

Hope it can be to some inspiration, or to hold on to what you love…

Best thoughts,


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

15 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27240 posts in 4438 days

#1 posted 01-15-2022 03:40 AM

Nice methods, Mads….............Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9309 posts in 1915 days

#2 posted 01-15-2022 03:43 AM

Clever hold-downs. Of many different forms. I like it!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View lew's profile


13486 posts in 5088 days

#3 posted 01-15-2022 04:32 AM

Those wedges make for quick tightening and loosening

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Dutchy's profile


4292 posts in 3501 days

#4 posted 01-15-2022 08:56 AM

View MikeB_UK's profile


834 posts in 2367 days

#5 posted 01-15-2022 11:07 AM

Clever Mads, I like em.

I still need to get around to making something similar, got an idea perculating somewhere in my brain.

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Doug's profile


1278 posts in 4094 days

#6 posted 01-15-2022 01:01 PM

Great idea! These may be just what I need for my bench top bench. Thanks for posting this.

-- Doug

View Eric's profile


2829 posts in 1206 days

#7 posted 01-15-2022 01:42 PM

Thanks for posting Mads, I need to make a few of these down the road. But I think build a bench top bench to get the work just a bit higher to work on.

-- Eric, building the dream

View doubleDD's profile


10913 posts in 3376 days

#8 posted 01-15-2022 02:14 PM

Genius idea of using the wedgie as a quick clamp. I will be making a few of these in the future.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View LarryB's profile


127 posts in 3961 days

#9 posted 01-15-2022 03:15 PM

I’m so glad out of curiosity I clicked on your ‘hold fast’ blog. A couple of these will be my next project. I’m really impressed by the simplistic yet clever approach. Thanks!

View Sylvain's profile


1514 posts in 3832 days

#10 posted 01-15-2022 05:49 PM

Those wedges make for quick tightening and loosening

- lew

that is the enhancement from the previous version.
Even more clever

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn (and that is nice)

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8446 posts in 4686 days

#11 posted 01-15-2022 07:34 PM

I need to do this! Thanks Mads! Love it!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View mafe's profile


13652 posts in 4422 days

#12 posted 01-16-2022 01:35 PM

Hi guys,
(why are there only guys btw…, to few woman on LJ).

Jim J, Thank you Jim, cheers.

Dave P, The curved are the most versatile. Thanks Dave.

lew, Especially on the one for my bench top bench, this will make working so much faster and intuitive.

Dutchy, Thanks.

MikeB_UK, I look forward to see what your brain cook up. Big smile.

Doug, Then it’s time to get into the workshop and make some. Smiles thank you.

Eric, I love my bench top bench, even thinking about making a new in better materials, just for the joy of it. I use it often and it’s always a joy. Thanks.

doubleDD, Thank you, it’s a easy upgrade, so worth doing.

LarryB, Big smile Larry. I love to simplify, to see if we can do the same with less or more easy, so I’m happy you enjoyed that. Look forward to see what you come up with, if you share it. (Let me know).

Sylvain, Yes and also the home made twist hold on the underside, so it can be made made by all. Thank you.

woodshaver Tony C, Big warm smile Tony, so happy if it can inspire, then it is worth taking pictures to share. Besides our online friendships, that I enjoy, thank you.

Best of my thoughts,

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

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8446 posts in 4686 days

#13 posted 01-16-2022 02:35 PM

Interesting that you mentioned “to few Women on this site” Mads!
I just added a new buddy her name is Yonda. She is new to Lumberjocks and she posted this project a few days ago! I agree I would love to see more women on this site!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View mafe's profile


13652 posts in 4422 days

#14 posted 01-16-2022 05:17 PM

Tony, note taken, thank you. ;-)

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

View Eric's profile


2829 posts in 1206 days

#15 posted 01-16-2022 06:10 PM

Mads, I am looking into one of those bench top benches with a Moxon Vise. I dug through my WoodSmith magazines and found the plan. I may adjust the size a little though. Then I can make some of these hold downs. Thank you for sharing.

-- Eric, building the dream

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