I snapped this photo while carving on this cherry bowl recently. I’ve used holdfasts for a long while now, but I still marvel at their nimbleness and versatility. With a scrap of rubber belting under the bottom and a couple rubber pads under the holdfasts, the bowl is held solidly. The grip of the rubber really makes a difference, and there are odd scraps and such that can be found all over the place; the white circles in the photo are meant to go between a grab-bar and a tile wall. If you can’t locate any scraps, this stuff at Tractor Supply works well and is super tough.
By the way, if you’ve signed up for my pre-fest bowl carving class in Plymouth, bring a couple holdfasts if you can. Here’s a post about holdfasts I wrote a while back. All you need is a bench of some kind with some holes through it. But what if there are no holes and you aren’t allowed to bore any?
Here’s one idea: try a ratchet strap. These things are pretty ubiquitous now for securing loads. Although, I must admit I’m more impressed by the guys, Like Pret Woodburn, who know how to properly secure a load tightly with rope (a.k.a. “pot wop”). I tried this little experiment below and it really secured the bowl well. Could flip the bowl over and all that, too. I much prefer holdfasts, but in a no-holes situation, it’s another option.
I sometimes use these ratchet straps when crosscutting a log. Most of the time, I just use a chainsaw to cut a log to length or to cut the painted ends off of a stored log. But sometimes I’ll use a one-man crosscut saw that I picked up years ago at a yard sale. Problem is that, with shorter chunks of log, the log just wants to rock and roll with the force of the saw. A band clamp makes the log one with the sawbuck and works great.
Here are some shots of the finished bowl.