simple and effective holddowns

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Blog entry by moshel posted 05-27-2009 01:19 PM 2554 reads 9 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been looking for a way to add holddowns to my benchtop for a while. All the plans i saw called for either complex cuts or glueups or special hardware or reaching under the bench.

I ended up with making these, which I find so far VERY satisfying. Actually, they are much better than i thought they would be. The overall cost for the pair is ~5$.

ok, lets do it:

From 270509 hold down

these are the things you need:
1) 2 lengths of threaded rod (i used 8mm). they should be (the thickness of your bench) + (the thickness of the work you aim to hold) + 3-4cm. don’t make them too long, it will make work awkward. you can make another set of longer rods if needed. I used 15cm pieces of rod
2) 2 knobs that fit the rod you used. i used knobs from hafele just because i had some. you can make your own knobs from t-nuts and piece of plywood the niki way.
3) 2 heavy washers
4) two pieces of softwood (I used Douglas fir)
5) some T-nuts that fits 8mm rod

Thats all!

From 270509 hold down

Drill some 10-11 mm holes in your bench all the way through where you want the holddowns to be. I drilled 8 holes. use the threaded rod, the washer, a nut and a spanner to pull the t-nut firmly into the bench on the bottom of the holes. this is how it looks from below.

From 270509 hold down

Assemble the holdowns: knob, washer and piece of wood all on the threaded rod

From 270509 hold down

to use, just drop the holdown into the hole and turn the rod several times so it will catch the t-nut. now adjust the knob.

From 270509 hold down

sometimes when the edges of the piece are fragile, you might want the pressure to come from above. one way to do that is to notch the piece of timber (wide V). I just put another piece of timber on the back.

From 270509 hold down

and they can also be used as a very versatile bench stop (that can have an open section in the middle or slanted sides)

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

9 comments so far

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3948 days

#1 posted 05-27-2009 01:57 PM

thats what I call useing the K>I>S>S principle. I like this idea a lot. Thanks

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View patron's profile


13653 posts in 3847 days

#2 posted 05-27-2009 03:09 PM

wonderfull !
after long and extensive thought and trials ,
in the end
the simplest
are the best !
if only we could
find them first !
thanks !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3868 days

#3 posted 05-27-2009 03:38 PM

Simple and effective.

View tmblweed0429's profile


42 posts in 3817 days

#4 posted 05-27-2009 04:27 PM

Very clever idea. I can’t believe we haven’t seen such a great idea before… I will have to try that on my bench.

-- Trent Tidmore, Grapevine, TX

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4083 days

#5 posted 05-27-2009 05:20 PM

If it works go for it well done

View stefang's profile


16722 posts in 3840 days

#6 posted 05-27-2009 09:14 PM

Great idea. Keep them coming, we (I) need them!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

968 posts in 3900 days

#7 posted 05-27-2009 10:08 PM

smart solution!...thanks for sharing!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 4190 days

#8 posted 05-28-2009 06:49 AM

Thanks all,

its simple, it works, I made it and I can make as many as I like in minutes – I think that workbenchs and hold downs should be simple and that you should not worry all the time that you will scratch your workbench or damage your hold downs – they are tools, not art form

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4194 days

#9 posted 05-30-2009 04:10 PM

Nice idea …thanks for sharing it with us : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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