Crucible Tool: Why So Quiet?

Posted on 05 February 2017

While we haven’t posted anything here for the last six weeks, all three of us at Crucible Tool have been swamped with work for our toolmaking company. But the work isn’t the stuff of exciting blog entries.

Raney has been perfecting the manufacturing process for our Improved Pattern Dividers so that they can be manufactured in large quantities by a machine shop. (We will still do the hand finishing, assembly and quality control.)

Getting the CAD/CAM dialed in has been an enormous enterprise for Raney, who has been working nonstop on this project since we launched the company in September. The goal has been to make dividers that require little handwork, where the parts fit together perfectly and they require minimum time in the mill. During the last couple months, Raney has made huge strides in making these tools faster than ever.

And on Friday, he finished his task and we are handing production over to a Midwestern machine shop. In short order we should have more dividers on hand than we know what to do with.

On holdfasts, we have continued to refine the casting pattern to get a tool that is (hate to say it) the best holdfast I’ve ever used. Anyone who has visited our storefront and asked about the holdfasts has gotten an up-close look at how these tools hold like a bulldog.

We’re now entering our second large casting order for holdfasts and are thrilled with the way they look and work.

In the meantime, Raney and I have been working on several new tools for Crucible. We hope to have some prototypes to show at Handworks in May.

So apologies for going a little dark here at the blog for Crucible. John, Raney and I are all working for Crucible on a daily basis, but the results aren’t yet visible to customers. Stay tuned.

— Christopher Schwarz

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6 comments

  • Christopher Schwarz: June 27, 2017

    Chuck,

    I have to be honest: I have no idea how the holdfasts will hold if you wack off any of the shaft. I haven’t tried it.

    As a woodworker, I consider workholding to be a more important feature of a bench that its tool storage. As a result, I’m not a fan of cabinets below the benchtop that interfere with the primary goal of the bench, which is to immobilize pieces of wood so you can work on them.

    Sorry this isn’t a direct answer to your question, but it is the best we can offer.

    All best,

    Chris

  • Chuck Steger: June 27, 2017

    I have been looking all over for a 1" holdfast. I finally found it here! I have a Sjobergs bench with 1" dog holes and have a cabinet under the bench. The distance from the top of the bench (through the dog hole) is 12" where it hits the top of the cabinet. The holdfasts are 17" long. This leaves a 5" difference. My question is, if I order a couple of holdfasts, would I cut 5" off of the shaft? If so, how would this affect the performance? I realize I could use a 5" block of wood over the stock but that would (IMO) defeat the expediency of your holdfasts. Sjobergs makes holdfasts that I own but they screw down on the stock hence my wanting a traditional holdfast (for speed). Also, in Christopher’s video, he states you should use a block of wood on the holdfast tip so you don’t mar your stock. How about gluing leather on the tip? Thank you for your help. Before I spend $300 (for 2 holdfasts) I need to vet these concerns.

  • Christopher Schwarz: February 20, 2017

    Hey Don,

    Holdfasts are in stock – if they were listed as out of stock that was a glitch. Apologies.

    Dividers are coming. We’re working on it every day.

  • NPC: February 17, 2017

    Please-O-please make a bound two foot two fold rule

  • James Maichel: February 11, 2017

    Aloha,

    Just got my holdfast in the mail today! I love the way it looks and I am excited to put it to use. I just have to finish my bench first. I can’t believe I got free shipping to Hawaii. Thank you! I only wish I would have bought a pair instead of just one.

    Anxious for you to get your dividers back in stock and also to see what you have coming in the near future.

    Congratulations and good luck!

  • Don: February 10, 2017

    Chris! When are we going to see more tools? I went to buy dividers and they were sold out! Sold my old Anant holdfast set to by your new hold fast and again sold out! We are clamoring for these!!!

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