Holdfast to notched batons

My holdfasts arrived last week and I was probably a little more excited about two metal candy cane looking things than I should have been.  And, seeing how notched battens are all the rage now, it was time to do some bandwagon jumping.

I’m currently working on a table leaf (same one as I previously mentioned) and the three boards I have are the biggest I’ve planed.  I had a stop at the end of the bench but securing the long side of the board for cross grain planing was slightly more tricky.  I have a long walnut scrap that I clamped at each end of the bench but it kept flexing and the board was moving.


This is an action shot. Notice the walnut strip in the back.

The holdfasts were ordered (from Gramercy) and arrived four or five days later.  And the hype was lived up to for the holdfasts; I love them.  On a side note, my bench top is 1.5″ thick and the holdfasts still work even though a minimum thickness of 1 3/4″ is recommended.

The holdfasts with some cherry I hope to turn into winding sticks.
While researching ways to hold stock without a tail vice, I came across the notched batten a few months back.  I figured it would be a quick project.  I was mostly right.

First was to dig through my scrap pile to find an appropriate board.  Found a narrow piece of pine that was about the right size but a little thick.



I planed down each side, marked out the notch, and grabbed my saw.

Lubed up saw.
Lubed up saw.

Now, what you won’t see pictured is my first attempt at sawing the notch out.  Apparently it’s been a little while since I did some angled sawing.  It wasn’t pretty.  One of the sides wasn’t perpendicular to the top of board and there were other…problems we shan’t mention.


Laid it out again, scribed the line, sawed, and got a cleaner “V”.

Much better.
Much better.

Next up is a shorter version like Chris Schwarz recently blogged about (here).

I’m still working on the winding sticks and trying to finish up table leaf this week.

Until we meet again.

Eat a peach,



5 thoughts on “Holdfast to notched batons

    1. So far I like it but I haven’t tried any other premium brand saws. I also have the dovetail & rip saw in that size & while I have yet to do intense work, they have all performed well. I have my eye on the Grameracy sash saw but I won’t get it anytime soon. For the price the LV saws are hard to beat.


  1. You know, my understanding of the “notched batten” is that it doesn’t need to have a 90 degree angle: just something that will grab the corner of the board will work just fine. Of course, as a novice the one I made doesn’t work that hot.


    1. Yeah, I think you are right. But my first try at making one was terrible. And I mean terrible. As I get scraps from other projects I plan on making more to experiment with the angle & overall length.


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