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Thread: Please show me your shop-made bench dogs!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Please show me your shop-made bench dogs!

    I drilled 3/4" round holes in my workbench top and vise, mostly because it's easier to drill a round hole than a square one.

    Looking for ideas for making bench dogs out of wood. I thought of using 3/4" dowel, but the dowel I have is a bit undersized. Also, I need ideas for making them not fall through the holes in the workbench.

    Pictures very much appreciated. Thanks!

    Jason

  2. #2
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    Start with a block of wood that's maybe 1"x1"x2". Bore a 3/4" hole into the end of it. Glue a chunk of the dowel into the hole. Now you have a bench dog that is round at the bottom so it fits into your hole, and square at the top so it doesn't dent the workpiece. And the shoulders on the square part prevent the dog from falling through the bench.

  3. #3
    Step #1: Purchase a lathe
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  4. #4
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    That's basically what I did, but it wiggles in the hole quite a bit and leans back when clamping force is applied with the vise. I cut the holes nice and straight using a 3/4" forstner bit, so I'm sure the holes are sized properly.

    Maybe I just need to find better fitting dowel stock??

    Jason


    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    Start with a block of wood that's maybe 1"x1"x2". Bore a 3/4" hole into the end of it. Glue a chunk of the dowel into the hole. Now you have a bench dog that is round at the bottom so it fits into your hole, and square at the top so it doesn't dent the workpiece. And the shoulders on the square part prevent the dog from falling through the bench.

  5. #5
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    I had a chance to talk with Ron Brese of Brese Planes over the weekend at the LN tool event here in Tampa and we got to talking about his bench (that he had with him!) He had square dogs and a dog in every hole... He works with the guys at Benchcrafted and was displaying the vises... OMG were they nice!

    I have used round dogs and the problem with them is that you usually have to have a square block on top of them that gets in the way. The solution is to use a metal dog. the problem then is that it will dent the workpiece. The advantage to a round dog is you can use a holdfast in any dog hole. I want to say you could use the same design that the metal dogs use and simply use a piece of wire as a spring to allow you to adjust your dog height, as long as your benchtop is thick enough. I think I have a FWW somewhere with a couple different dog designs, if I dig it up I will let you know what issue it is and tell you what they said.
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  6. #6
    I have 3/4" round holes on my bench. I use 3/4" dowels for the dogs. I have versions with a section of vinyl tubing to keep them from falling through. I also have ones with Baltic Birch square tops, with the dowel wedged. The BB versions are in several different thicknesses.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2009
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    I would look into just purchasing some cheap plastic Rockler dogs that have a square low profile head to them that keeps them above the benchtop as well as providing a square stop for your material. I use them and like them as they will never scratch my planes if accidently running them over.

  8. #8
    I've just been search for the same thing myself. Only I need to make square dogs for my bench...
    http://roughwood.kennethwoodruff.com...ng-bench-dogs/
    Here is a good site I found. You might not need much of a groove in the dog for the wooden spring. You might be able to use the spring to take up the slack in the hole. I've also heard tell of using popsicle sticks or tongue depressors as wood springs for bench dogs.
    Also check out this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnul7hYbU5w
    Around 4 1/2 minutes in the guy shows how he uses a rubber O-ring to control the height of his bench dogs. You might need to counter bore your holes so the O-ring stays out of the way though. Or it might just fit between the dog and the hole

  9. #9
    Someone here had some round ones that they used bullet catches for, that is where I got the idea for these. My sliding leg vise slides in a groove directly below where my dogs are . I put a little step in the hole to keep the dogs from interfering with the sliding chop.

    For the hole above the legs i did not put the notch in the hole. the bullet catches work quite well.
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  10. #10
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    Watch the old tool sources for a hollow auger. You can adjust these for size, and then trim any square block to round using a brace. These are very handy for quickly making all sorts of dogs to fit round holes. I suppose you could use a drillpress at the slowest setting.

    If you like new tools, you can check out Lee Valley's tenon cutters, which work the same way, but are designed for power tool speeds, and are not adjustable. They also cost quite a bit more than my hollow auger did.

    By the way, if you google "hollow auger" some of the items that are called hollow augers are not. One of the things that is not but is listed as such is a spoke pointer. A spoke pointer works like a pencil sharpener to make an end that starts easily in the hollow auger. It's useful, but not needed.

  11. #11
    I used dowel stock and a bullet catch. Before drilling for the bullet catch, I filed a flat about half way down the dog. It took some trial and error to get the depth right, but they work well.

    I like it much better than a dog with something on top. I can keep them in the holes and just push them up or down when needed.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    St. Peters, MO
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    Anybody thought about just making your own round stock? A 3/8" radius round-over bit and a router table should do the trick, right? Start the cut an inch or so downstream of the start of the stock and end it an inch from the end to leave some square surface for stability. Cut the ends off when you are done.

  13. #13
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    The guys I work with talked me into these from Rockler. Both of them build cabinets and such and have not broken one yet. I just ordered a set....we'll see if they break. But they're cheap and fit a 3/4" hole.

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=10510

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Bowman View Post
    The guys I work with talked me into these from Rockler. Both of them build cabinets and such and have not broken one yet. I just ordered a set....we'll see if they break. But they're cheap and fit a 3/4" hole.

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=10510
    Looks just like the dogs from a Workmate.

  15. #15
    I used 7/8" dowels and left a lip. that was before I started using bullet catches. The mushroomed head is now not necessary and the dogs stay put at any height.
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