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A hold fast is an accessory used on a woodworking workbench to fix a workpiece to the top or side of the bench while it is being worked.
A hold fast is shaped like a shepherd's hook. In use, the shank fits loosely into a hole in the top or side of the bench and the tip of the hook is pressed against the work. The hold fast is set by rapping the top with a mallet, which causes the shaft to wedge against the sides of the hole. It is released by hitting the back side.
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