How To Install Bench Dogs

Although there isn’t a set size for bench dogs, I’ve seen that 3/4″ or 1″ is the most typical size for round dogs.

I’d drilled a 3/4 “That is the size of dowel I will need to fit through the holes in my workbench.

Any thin piece of steel can be utilized as the metal strip for the dogs’ spring. Thin scraps of steel from the metal brooms used by the street sweepers may have been visible to those with acute eyes along the street. These are excellent for our use. You can always purchase 1/8 of these if you can’t locate them on the street “Section off some wide steel fish tape.

Can bench dogs be used with plywood?

The workbench for a woodworker is more than just a surface; when constructed properly, it includes a complete clamping system to hold the boards you are working on. The majority of workbenches come with two vises: an end vise and a side vice, which may be a leg vise. The quality of the workbench itself will determine the actual size and capacity of these vises.

Vises for woodworking are always mounted flush with the top of the bench so that bench dogs can be used in addition to the vise. But what are these exactly? “dogs?

A clamp end known as a bench dog is fitted into a hole in the top of the workbench. It is utilized along with a tab known as the vise’s dog that glides up and down out of the vise. While bench dogs are available separately, that dog comes with the vise. Bench dogs can be purchased or made yourself.

However, certain woodworking vises—particularly those with wooden jaws and metal hardware—do not come with built-in bench dogs. In those situations, the vise’s wood jaw has a hole that corresponds to the holes in the workbench top, allowing the installation of the same kind of bench dogs into the vice as well as the bench top.

Bench dogs vary widely in quality. Commercial ones are constructed of steel, aluminum, or plastic. Naturally, the material has an impact on the dog’s overall strength and the clamping force that may be applied to the wood. Typically, they have a spherical stem with an upper section that is squared off or about 2 1/2 length. The square upper portion serves as the clamping part that holds the wood while the stem is inserted into a hole in the workbench’s surface. In order to avoid damaging the workpiece being clamped, the majority have a smooth face or one with little texture.

Bench dogs are put into 3/4- or 1-inch holes in the workbench’s surface or the front “Depending on how they are required at the time, apron edges. They are not a permanent fixture on the bench; rather, they are moved around as needed to suit the circumstances, depending on their location. For the bench dogs to function, it is crucial that the holes in the workbench and the size of the bench dogs are the same.

The fact that woodworking bench tops are so thick is mostly attributable to these bench dogs. The top’s thickness creates a large hole for the dog to sit in. This makes sure that when the vise is tightened and pressure is applied to the dog, it won’t tip and wallow out the hole. Even if the bench were only an inch thick, the bench dog would ultimately ruin the hole and make it worthless.

How far should dog holes be from the edge?

Exists anything similar to a “What is the typical distance between dog holes in a workbench’s top? I’m expanding my bench and realizing that I have no idea what a reasonable spacing would be. I’m interested in learning both the distance in from the workbench’s edge and the “from the vise to the opposite end of the workstation, in track spacing. I searched both this site and Google, but I didn’t find anything useful. There are several images available, but no measurements. According to the scale of the images, it appears that the first row of holes is placed approximately 3–4 in from the edge (and a second row is placed further 6–8 in from that), with a spacing of around 6 between each hole.

Could someone, especially if it works well, take a quick look at their own workstation and tell me the spacing?

The dog holes in the bench are what size?

Parf dogs, so named after its creator (Peter Parfitt), allow you to set up precise, repetitive cuts using the grid of the Festool MFT 3 multifunction table. A 10 mm (just over 3/8 inch) tall tiny dog and a 70 mm (2-3/4 inch) tall Parf dog are the two sizes available for the dogs. To reach the required total length, the 17 mm long segment of post that is missing from the table must be added to the previously provided measurements. You may simply achieve parallel or square cuts on the job by positioning your workpiece with a pair of tiny dogs and placing the fence on top of it with a pair of Parf dogs.

Parfitt and Veritas collaborated to enhance his design and increase its applicability. The Veritas versions, which are made of stainless steel and have a 19.90 mm post diameter, fit perfectly in the MFT 3’s 20 mm holes. A thicker boss or collar, 25 mm (just under 1 inch) in diameter and 10 mm (just over 3/8 inch) height, which offers a strong bearing surface and stability in use, supports each size of dog on the surface of the bench. Each dog has a threaded hole (Thread M8) that may be used to secure it from below the table with an MFT accessory clamping knob (not included) or the reasonably priced star-shaped knob we sell separately for added security.

The two dogs can also serve as the foundation for a wide range of jigs. The little dog can be inserted flush into a bench top or jig piece in addition to being used as a low-profile stop to take use of its M8 threaded through hole as an anchor point. In order to construct a recess for it using a common 25 mm (1 inch) bit, the boss size was chosen. Above its collar, the Parf dog has a diameter of 19.90 mm, which matches its post. By drilling a 20 mm hole for the dog in one end of a long board and using a marking tool in the other, you may create a straightforward beam compass. The marking tool can be swapped out for a router or jigsaw to make an extremely accurate and stable trammel system.

Which is better for workbench tops, MDF or plywood?

If you’re anything like me, the idea of purchasing a workbench offends you. You work with wood. Sell all of your tools on Craigslist if you don’t create your own workbench. Check out this website’s post on DIY workbench for suggestions on how to make your own workbench.

Depending on how you want to use it, several types of wood are suitable for workbench tops. Hardboard, plywood, and MDF are all excellent choices.

  • MDF is smoother, making it simpler to move heavy objects. does not splinter like plywood either.
  • If you like to use glue and solvents and get a little messy, plywood is perfect. You can utilize the old piece as a template or jig because it is inexpensive and simple to replace.
  • A coating on hardboard (also known as HDF) usually makes it a better work surface. To make replacements simple, place a piece on top of plywood.

The bench top will likely be clamped, drilled, and used in other abusive ways, so choosing something replaceable is a good idea.

Which plywood kind is ideal for a workbench top?

Making a workbench out of laminated hardwood, particularly a woodworker’s workbench, can easily cost more than $1,000. This is due to the ease with which one may be constructed using 100 board feet of hardwood, laminated together like a butcher’s block. While that would make a fantastic workbench, unless you’re a skilled woodworker, it’s difficult to justify the price.

Plywood offers a flat, smooth surface that won’t warp or flex. The workbench you design won’t change from one use to the next since it is dimensionally stable. Depending on how you design it, it can be made as sturdy as you need it to be and can support however much weight is required.

But cost is the main benefit of using plywood while building. Depending on the specific material you choose, you can purchase enough sanded softwood plywood or MDF (medium density fiberboard) to build a pretty acceptable woodworking workstation for $100 to $200. For less than $100, you can construct a multipurpose workbench, which often has a thinner top.

What’s the Best Plywood Product for a Workbench Top?

Literally any piece of plywood that you can find can be used to create a workbench top. However, there are other plywood types that offer features you don’t actually need and would be a waste of money. On the opposite end of the scale, there are plywood goods that actually won’t make a suitable workbench top because they aren’t robust enough, such particle board and OSB (also known as waferboard).

Sanded softwood plywood, marine grade plywood, Appleply, Baltic Birch, MDF, or phenolic board are the best plywood products to utilize for the majority of workbenches.

Stick with softwood plywood and use either MDF or tempered hardboard for the top layer if you want to make your workbench as affordably as you can. However, I would choose marine grade plywood or MDF if you’re making a woodworker’s workbench and you’re worried about gaps in the board, which could interfere with vices and bench dogs.

The ideal wood for a workbench top is

For general use, vanity workbenches are designed. They must be prepared for a wide range of potential projects to be completed on their top, from model painting to constructing furniture.

This indicates that the ability of this type of workbench to withstand damage is particularly crucial. It requires a sturdy piece of wood that won’t shatter the first time you unintentionally bang a hammer into the center, completely missing the target.

Hard maple and hickory are two exceptional hardwoods for this use. Both are quite resilient and are not likely to give in to pressure. They are also fairly hefty, so it won’t be difficult to make sure your bench is sturdy enough not to shift.

Hardwoods on vanity workbenches have two main drawbacks: they are pricey and difficult to deal with. Pinewood is certainly something to consider if you want something that is a little simpler to fasten with screws or nails.

Despite being a softer wood, pine is nonetheless a very durable material. Due to its widespread availability on the Pacific beaches of both America and Asia, it is also relatively affordable.

Because you’re more likely to be able to afford the initial expense and be able to use it after you have it, it makes it the perfect choice for both beginning and budget carpenters. Additionally, it is unquestionably heavy enough to support your workbench. Because of this, pine is a great alternative to hardwoods.

What types of wood should I use for a workbench?

MDF is the ideal material for workstation tops. It is thin, inexpensive, and very robust. Additionally, the wood fibers—from which MDF is made—ensure that the strength is dispersed uniformly. Hardwoods and particular softwoods, however, also make fantastic workbench tops.

Is plywood good for workbench top?

Yes, plywood makes a fantastic material for workstation tops. The top of a workbench made of plywood is sturdy and unlikely to crack. Even better, plywood is inexpensive and widely accessible.

How thick should a workbench be?

Most benches have a thickness of 2.5 to 3.0 inches. Similar to normal workbenches, garage benches can be a little bit thicker. However, keep in mind that adding too much thickness to the workbench top will increase the weight and limit your movement.

Is oak good for a workbench top?

Yes, pieces of oak wood are ideal for a workstation. A sturdy, attractive, and generally accessible general workstation constructed of oak is provided. Keep in mind that it has excellent moisture resistance.

What is the best plywood for a workbench?

Yes, plywood makes a terrific workbench material. Plywood is, for starters, inexpensive and widely accessible. But more crucially, plywood is portable and simple to use. Most importantly, you just need one page to complete the task.

Why are there holes in workbenches?

If you look at a workbench used by a woodworker, you might wonder why the top has holes carved into it at irregular intervals.

These holes, which are known as “dog holes,” are not dispersed at random. Professional woodworkers use dog holes to hold the piece they’re working on. They can also function as a vise when a lot of force or pressure is required. Dog holes are a convenient and straightforward way to store a piece of work without altering the desk or workshop.

Do you have questions regarding dog holes, including how to use them, whether you should have any, and how to add them to your bench? Go on reading! We’ll go through every detail and assist you in determining whether dog holes are right for you.

How to Use Dog Holes

When you don’t have enough space for a vise or when you just need one, dog holes are an excellent alternative. Although dog holes are typically drilled circular rather than square, this is not always the case. Dog holes typically have a 3/4-inch diameter and are positioned 2 to 3 inches apart, depending on the length of your workbench and your particular requirements.

The so-called “bench dogs,” which are frequently constructed of medium-hard woods like mahogany, cherry, and/or walnut, are secured using dog holes. In order to prevent damaging the wood you’re working with, the wood used to make a bench dog must be both sturdy enough to support your work and nevertheless malleable. Metal or plastic can also be used to make bench dogs. They can also be made height-adjustable by including metal and/or wooden springs.

Simply insert a bench dog into a dog hole to put your bench dogs and dog holes to use. After that, set your work up against the bench dog to keep it in place. Holdfasts are another option for added security. Complete the appropriate procedure(s) that demand the usage of the bench dog after the piece is in position against the dog. Once finished, either lift the bench dog out from underneath or press it down to bring it back level with the rest of the table. Keep your bench dogs in storage for later use.

Additionally, dog holes can be used to fasten holdfasts, which serve as a vise to retain wood in one position while you work. In fact, you may secure work as you perform chores by combining bench dogs with holdfasts.

Dog Holes or No Dog Holes?

What’s the best approach to determine whether you need bench dogs and dog holes on your workbench now that you understand how they function?

That truly depends on the kind of task you’re performing and whether a vise is necessary. When necessary, bench dogs let you employ a vise that disassembles and may be stored when not in use. Purchasing bench dogs and dog holes for your space might be more cost-effective if you don’t have a vise.

Alternately, you might not need to use a vise frequently, in which case drilling holes in your bench to create a permanent fix might be too much for you. To determine if dog holes are the appropriate choice for you, look at the following.

Add dog holes if:

  • There isn’t much room in your shop.
  • You lack the funds necessary to purchase a vise.
  • A vise that won’t harm your wood is what you need.
  • Correct changes must be made to your work.

DON’T add dog holes if:

  • You don’t own the bench you’re working on.
  • Avoid cutting or drilling into your workbench.
  • You don’t need to use a vise all that frequently.

Dog holes have the advantage that you can add as many or as few as you choose. The bench dogs and holdfasts can be changed after they have been drilled. Even though having holes in your bench might not seem like a useful option, they could be useful. Additionally, you can always replace that specific area of your bench if you decide you no longer need or desire them by plugging them in.

If you’ve made the decision to add dog holes to your bench and are interested in learning how, keep reading! We’ll go over the procedure step by step.

How to Add Dog Holes to your Bench

It may appear to be a difficult process that requires a lot of measuring and intricate calculations to add dog holes to your workbench. Really, once you know what you’re doing, it’s a rather simple process. Although it does require some forethought, it is as easy as drilling straight, clean holes.

Laying Out Your Dog Holes

The arrangement, according to many experts, is essential to completing the dog hole placement operation correctly the first time. You only have one workbench, after all.

This is the time to consider the kinds of duties you’ll be performing. What tasks call for the use of dog holes and, consequently, bench dogs? Although you’ll usually be standing up to use your bench’s entire length most of the time, placing dog holes next to the edge can be handy as well. You’ll have access to your work from at least two sides of your bench if you do it that way.

If you’d like to plan out where you’ll put your dog holes, you can draw a diagram of your bench to scale if you’d like. You might have space for 20 holes, depending on the size of your bench. Or perhaps there’s only space for a small number. You’ll be able to picture placement better with this exercise.

It’s a good idea to pencil-draw the dog holes on the top of your workstation before you start drilling. This makes it easy to picture where the bench dogs will be placed. Once the holes have been marked with pencil, step back and think about where you want to put things. You might even consider applying a bench dog to a current project you’re working on. Do you like where it is? If not, what could be altered to better meet your specific requirements?

Correctly Drilling Your Dog Holes

Now, there are a few things you’ll want to bear in mind before you begin drilling holes. Dog holes must be as parallel to the workbench top as is physically practicable. Using a jig to precisely direct your drill bit or auger into the wood is the best way to get this result.

It’s alright if your dog holes aren’t perfectly angled when they’re drilled. You can drill dog holes with an angle of no more than 2-3 degrees as long as you’re consistent. You might even like drilling them out in this manner! The portion of the hole that faces you should have a larger top than a lower portion. In order to improve stability, you can then wedge bench dogs into the dog holes.

Chamfering the edges of your dog holes is an excellent technique to make them last longer. The hole will work as it should if the edge is rounded. You also won’t run the risk of the dog holes’ edges splitting and deteriorating with time. As a result of not rubbing against the roug edges, this will also preserve the integrity of your bench dogs.

Dog holes should be arranged center to center. The key to accurately estimating the distance between dog holes is to take the radius of each one into consideration. One authority advises centering them 3 inches apart. By placing holes at this distance apart, you can position medium-sized projects next to one another and accommodate holdfasts for larger projects.

Creating a Dog Hole Jig

Your dog hole jig can be as simple or complex as you choose, just like most crafts. Some woodworkers prefer to drill the dog holes without using any other tools than planks to guide their hands. Some people like a little more exact process. Actually, it all relies on your personal style.

Making a jig is really all about accuracy and making sure your holes are as straight as possible. What kind of tool you employ to make the cut will also affect the jig you design. Let’s look at the equipment you might need to make your dog tunnels.

Choose Your Tool

A drill bit is likely one of the first equipment for drilling holes that comes to mind. Using your preferred hand drill, whether it is corded or battery-powered, is a quick and simple way to drill dog holes. But it’s not necessarily the most accurate, either. The perpendicularity of your dog holes will eventually depend on how your bit moves or whether you apply greater pressure in a particular direction.

You can also use an auger bit to drill holes for your dog. Since the screw point serves as a guide to orient the auger bit, you can drill through even the thickest workbenches without hitting the bottom.

For this kind of application, Forstner bits may be the most precise cutting tool available. They have a pointed tip, just as augers, which makes it possible to find the center of your hole. In comparison to using an auger or hand drill, they will continue to drill into your workbench and offer a cleaner, more accurate cut.

Let’s move on to how to properly place your holes using an example of a planing vise now that you are familiar with how to drill holes.