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I Forge Iron

ideas for a holdfast

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I took a length of chain and attached an old horshoe to one end. I lag bolted the free end of the chain to my anvil stump and throw the chain over the anvil and step on the horshoe to add tension. Now I've bought a larger anvil and will have to make a length adjustment, but no big deal.

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I make my holddown tool out of a piece of coil spring just smaller than the pritchel hole, then I flatten one end, and shape it depending on what its supposed to hold, and bend it. I dont have a pic, and Im trying to think of how I would describer the shape. Maybe like this, kind of:
.. _
_/ |
... |

Yeah, thats about the best I can give you right now.
(ignore the dots, they are just there to get the spacing right.)
Oh, and you may need to do some grinding on the straight part to get it to bind right. Just hit it downwards to hold, then hit it on the back to release.

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Uncle Levi,
I use a length of chain lag bolted to the Stump (anvil base) with a hefty peice of 2" round bar welded to the other end. When placed over the anvil the bar stock is about 4" of the floor. If I were to make another I would use roller chain so that it lays flat. The regular chain tends to roll.


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I just posted a sketch of a hold down that Don Nichols of BAM uses in the Gallery, can't figure out how to attach it to this post, so you'll have to go find it. It's not hard to make, and has the added advantage of having a cutoff plate built right in. I used extensively recently and am just trying to find the spare time to make my own. The picture is under anvil, labeled holddown. If you can't find it, email me and I'll send you a copy.

Whoops, as I scrolled down I think I figured out how to attach it to this post.


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My favorite hold is made from the vicegrips that you see on a drill press. I cut off the mounting bolt and welded on a piece of angle that slides easily down the hardy hole. I drilled a 1/4 hole thru the angle just below where it exits the bottom of the hardy hole. I slide a pin thru this hole to keep the visegrip from rising up the hardy hole. The vicegrip is quick to adjust to get just the right pressure you need for the job.

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