Holdfasts may be the most efficient way to hold wood to your workbench. Simply insert the hold fasts into 3/4" holes on your bench, place your wood under the "feet" and tap with a mallet. Secure work, no clamps, no marks in the wood.
Our holdfasts aren't the first available, but they may very well be the best-and they are certainly the best looking. Our blacksmith in Tennessee starts with 3/4" round stock and carefully forges it down to 11/16" so it slides easily into standard holes.
Hand forging the pieces gives them some advantages over other designs. The rough texture that forged iron gets helps the shaft hold in the workbench better. By making them a hair smaller than 3/4" these set and release easier than standard designs. We aren't quite sure why that is, but we think the heating of the metal allows it to "give" just enough to make these easier on and off.
Great holdfast, January 11, 2016 By Pat (woodinville, WA)
These are slightly softer than other holdfasts that are available. So they don't require a very hard tap to engage. My workbench top is very thick and the stiffer holdfasts don't always engage, but these never miss.