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About CarlW

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    Boston MA area
  1. For the last four years I've been having success with a ~2' length of relatively fine (short links) welded chain from the hardware store. One end connected to the stump between the anvil's feet on the far side from me, and an 8# sash weight on the near side. It's an easy pick up, it grips well enough to keep the work from jumping around too much, and I don't need to stand on one foot to use it. I'm curious to compare conventional link chain to bicycle or motorcycle drive-chain... the ... uh... mono-directionality could be good, could be bad... hmmm. - Carl
  2. If you do any AC arc welding you can put a few turns of cable around the tool next time you're sticking stuff together. Hmmm... might even work with a bunch of turns of reg'lar ol' 120 VAC power cord (on something that's running).
  3. Another key thing about the bent-bar hold-downs is that they work best when the rod is a relatively close fit in the pritchel hole. The reason the candy cane shape doesn't work well is that the shape doesn't let you drive it tight by directing your force directly down the shank. That's why the right-angle is important. You can also release one of these by tapping it on the "back of the head", it'll usually pop right up.
  4. I've tried a number of hold-down devices. For the last couple years I've been very happy with a chain that is connected to the stump on the far side of the anvil, comes over the face and and has an 8# sash weight on the near side. It doesn't give an utterly rigid grip, but it's enough to keep the work from flying, very fast to use, never lets go, and leaves my hands and feet free. I usually just leave it draped over the step or the horn, depending on where it's least in the way. It made it possible for me to make this hatchet alone using a 12# sledge: Prospect Hill Forge - StillsonHatchet