Corporate Member
A bit ago I built a heavy SYP workbench. 5 inches thick. Thought I was being clever.
Got a pair of cheap cast iron holdfasts courtesy of a member after the picnic. Cleaned up the faces, added some pads. Won't hold at all in the thick top. The do in my outfeed, but once or twice in MDF and well...

Now, the only "proper" holdfasts I have seen were like $80 each. Seems a lot. Tip on Rex's series is Gramercy. Two for $40. On order!

Actually, a lot of comments on his jointer bench series make sense. Not building one like that, but pulling out some of the tips.


If those Grammercy holdfasts don’t work then you may have to make the dog hole larger in the underside of the bench. I don’t know how large or deep however.


Board of Directors, President
Staff member
Corporate Member
You will have to increase the size of the hole on the underside some to get them to hold well. They work really well in tops around 1 1/2” to 3” above that they tend to not work as well.

Mike Davis

Corporate Member
I have the Gramercy holdfasts. They work fantastic in my 3 inch thick bench top. You need the right diameter to fit the holes in your bench. For 5/8 shaft you need 3/4 holes. For 7/8 shaft you need 1 inch holes.


Corporate Member
I will probably need to counter bore the bottom. I'll know when they get here. They say around 3 1/2 or so. In hind-sight, I probably should have done a thinner top and added a lower tray of cement ballast to get the weight I wanted. I do need to raise it. Thought I wanted it low as I have vises on my outfeed table high, but turns out I need it higher too.

What is the preferred pad for the shoe? I have some leather left over from a vise.


Senior User
I had bought some Crubber from benchcrafted and had some left over so i used a bit of that for the shoe with no issues

Our Sponsors