I have recently acquired a collection of nice brass 3/4" benchdogs and cast holdfasts. Problem is they don't seem to work all that well. Since both of these things have been uses for over 100 years now I'm sure its all my fault. In my mind at least I imagined the thicker the top the stronger the hold for my dogs. That in mind I screwed 3 inches of pine stock (because thats what I had) to the underside of my plywood bench. The dogs don't seem to mind but my quick release vise doesn't like the separation from my bench top and contorts into odd angles when tightened, and sometimes it releases involuntarily. The holdfasts are giving me trouble as well. To get any holding strength I have to pound them quite hard with a metal hammer... heavy wooden mallet does nothing. Even when they do hold it seems to do nothing for side to side motion. I imagine this could be because of the softwood, or I could be using them for the wrong application but I am not at all sure. Any suggestions?