Anvil Holdfast for Hardie Hole




Introduction: Anvil Holdfast for Hardie Hole

Do blacksmithing? Got no friends? Then this is for you. Alright, you may one friend but he doesn't want to hold hot stuff for you while you hit it. Here's how to adapt a drill table clamp to make it quick and easy to firmly clamp metal to the anvil using one hand.


Clamp for a drill table

Length of square steel bar to fit your hardie hole (1'' in my case)


Angle grinder (or hacksaw)


Step 1: Cut!

Cut the bolt off the bottom of the clamp and make sure it's flush with the bottom plate.

Cut a length from the steel bar long enough to completely fill the hardie hole. Ensure the end to be welded is clean enough for a good weld.

Step 2: Weld

Weld the bar to the bottom plate. It doesn't have to be tidy, it just needs to be strong.

Step 3: Check

Make sure it fits flat over the hole. If it doesn't, file or grind your weld until it does.

Step 4: Holdfast!

Clamp that sucker down! Get the adjustment done before your item is hot and you will be able to clamp that sucker fast in less than a second using only only your left hand.

It's hammer time.

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    4 years ago

    Maybe Im not getting something here... doesnt your anvil as shown in the images already have a hole that the unaltered drill press clamp can mount to? Its not clear from the images that that is a through hole but if it isnt you could certainly make it so.
    Whether I find this instructable useful or not doesnt matter, as it does enlightened the uninformed about the vise-grip drill press clamps. It is probably one of the most useful hold down tools you can own. I have a mini mill drill machine and with a few spacers and washers find there is nothing you cant safely clamp down in seconds. I spent the few bucks more and popped for the genuine vise grip version think it was about $28?. Depending on brand maybe the cheapos might be adequate but this is probably one type of tool where cutting corners is unwise. Vise-grips have a unique design, instead of being drop forged like normal pliers they use a high strength steel sheet and form it. (You as a blacksmith know a lot more than I about that) This is probably necessary because of the high leverage forces placed upon its frame by its compound action as well as allow some flex in the frame for many cycles without fatigue cracking but always return to original shape.
    Most of the Chinese vise grip clones I have seen had distorted frames after even limited use, making it difficult to precisely adjust with the tension knob.
    (I have genuine vise grips in the large and small size, as well as the drill press clamp, and needle nose in the straight and bent. The needle nose ones may be the best lifesavers of all of them. My large (10r?) pair must be 20 years old now and despite a lot of abuse still function well.
    I did pick up a weird pair of long reach clones harbor freight had on sale a couple of years ago.
    Cant speak for their durability only used them once so far.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Yes, yes I could have used it screwed in to the small hole. The advantages of the modification for me (and I appreciate that it may not be of use to others) are speed and one handed use. There are times when I want to use the full length of the anvil surface then quickly grip the piece. Speed is essential because heat dies quickly. With this I can drop my clamp in with one (gloved) hand and grip immediately. Equally I can pull it out of my way immediately and carry on.

    I agree, the standard tool is very useful for the pillar drill.