Hand Tools Archive

Re: Hold downs and augers
Response To:
Re: Hold downs and augers ()

William Duffield
Sometimes, if you can't hit them from behind on top, you can find room to hit them from the front or even on the bottom, underneath the bench. You don't have to hit them as hard, and they release quickly.

I never try to hit them with my hand. That can cause carpel tunnel or other RSI, and we don't pay medical insurance on my mallets. My hands are wearing out too fast already, without subjecting them to further abuse.

If the Gramercy's don't hold, there are four fixes, at least:

- Take of the factory applied rust proof coating with some mineral spirits. Gramercy Toolworks and my shop are both at sea level on the humid U.S. East Coast, so things rust quickly, and people don't like to buy rusty tools even if they work better.

- Let them rust a little to give them a little tooth.

- Use the old 80 grit gouge (that's what the turners call abrasive paper) to give them a little tooth. People don't like to buy things with a scratched surface, so you'll have to do that yourself. A file, a handful of coarse beach sand, a wire brush, or even sharkskin would work instead. After all, they're not made from hardened tool steel. They wouldn't work if they were.

- If your bench top or whatever you pound them into is more than 3" thick, reduce the effective thickness to no more than 3" by drilling a larger relief hole from the underside of the bench. I find that mine hold sufficiently in oak that is only 1-1/4" thick.

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