Why a 1” Holdfast Hole?
Posted on 21 September 2016
The No. 1 question we hear about our holdfasts is this: Why did you choose to make a holdfast that needs a 1” hole? Why not 3/4”, which is the standard?The quick answer: history, appearance and performance.
The ubiquitous 3/4” holdfast is a relatively modern creation. If I had to guess, I’d say that it came about after Lee Valley Tools started making 3/4” bench dogs and a 3/4”-diameter hold-down.
I’ve been using larger holdfasts for almost a decade now and have come to prefer them. And I don’t think it’s just an aesthetic choice. Wrought iron has always been expensive, so if a 3/4” (or 1/2”) holdfast worked just as well as a 1” holdfast, my guess is that the 3/4” would have been the historical standard.
While I am most concerned about how my tools work, I do like them to look the part. We designed our holdfast to look like vintage early 20th century examples we had encountered. The holdfast just looks “right” on an historical workbench.
When we set out to design this holdfast, the No. 1 goal was to create a tool that cinched down every time we hit it – no matter how thick (or thin) the benchtop was or how high off the bench the tool’s pad was. Every other consideration was secondary.
I knew that making a 1” holdfast was going to be an uphill battle against public opinion. But this is the holdfast I wanted for my workbench. It’s what I use every day. It never fails me.So even if we don’t sell a single one, I’ll be happy because I have what I need for my work.
— Christopher Schwarz