How to Use Hold Downs for Blacksmithing

How to Use Hold Downs for Blacksmithing

Occasionally, the blacksmith working alone at his forge, finds himself in dire need of an extra set of hands. Short of calling on a friend, the resourceful smith will find it necessary to devise a means of holding a white hot piece of metal while leaving one hand free to wield his hammer and the other to hold some appropriate tool such as a slitting chisel or punch. This video presents three easy and useful hands free tools and of holding down pieces of heated metal while the smith performs various tasks. The first labor saver is a simple bicycle chain with a step attached so that smith can use one foot to hold the piece in place. The second tool is the mushroom cap hold down which also has an attached step. The third useful item is the spring hold down which when placed in the hardie or pritchel hole can be canted to lock down on the piece to be worked and then loosened with a simple tap of the hammer.

Our thanks to David Robertson at for sharing his knowledge and skills.

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