Sometimes buying a tool on an online auction is a crapshoot, because in my experience sellers have no idea if a tool is really in good shape or not, nor what it is worth.
"Heck! If it would look good screwed to the wall at AppleBee's, then it should be worth it's weight in gold!"
This time, it was French eBay. It turns out there are lots of neat old tools there that you really can't get in Germany, England, or the U.S., where I usually troll for old tools. I couldn't resist a traditional French holdfast.
|Here it is. I knew it would be big, but jeez!|
|For a little perspective, here it is next to a Gramercy holdfast.|
|Detail of the complex working mechanism.|
|If I decide to remove some of the surface rust, it will only be on this spot. It isn't needed anywhere else.|
|Angles on the pads are different. I wonder how it will work?|
The only issue I have so far, is I must drill new holes in my bench to try it out. This enormous hunk of French metal will take a big hole. My Gramercy holdfasts have 3/4" holes on my bench, but it looks like this beheamouth will need a hole at least 1 1/8" in diameter.
|Gramercy holdfast - .719" thick, according to this.|
|French monster - 1.097" thick. This will need a big hole.|
And thank you to Aymeric for the help.