Another cold winter in Minnesota and my workshop is unfortunately in an external garage with little heating capability. So, much like the previous year, I was unable to do much woodworking over the freezing months of winter. However, I did manage to finish a couple small projects during the few days where it was tolerable to be in the workshop.
The first project was finishing a set of holdfast clamps. I got the design from Paoson’s Woodworking YouTube channel and website. I highly recommend checking it out, he has some great well-designed projects. These set of holdfast clamps work perfect in my custom dog-holes on my homemade workbench. They hold boards tightly to the bench for cutting and planing.
The clamps are made with a 3/4″ solid steel rod that I painstakingly cut with a hacksaw and smoothed with sandpaper. The top is red-oak with a gently curve and the bottom fastener is also red oak. The mechanism is a bit complex and I’ll refer you to Paoson’s website to check out the details.
As a quick side project, I created a phone holder for a friend of mine. He often uses his phone for video during our gaming sessions and has been propping it up on various objects on his desk over the past year, never getting the angle quite right, or it’d fall out of place with a slight bump. I made this simple holder for him out of spare poplar scraps and special strips of black walnut for that added detail. The mechanism is simple and the finish is amber shellac, left a bit tacky to help grip his phone on the holder.
I also threw together a beautiful emblem for my wall. It show-cases the natural beauty of three woods: walnut, poplar, and red oak. I love how the natural wavy lines in the red oak creates a hazy sun, and the straight walnut bestows a mountain’s sturdiness.