Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 5, Issue 4
   March 2011
   Boring Bench-Dog Holes

Bench dogs
Using bench dogs to clamp this workpiece keeps it secure

Bench dogs are used in conjunction with the tail or end vise to secure long or irregular workpieces. They're available in different forms and materials. Plastic and brass are popular, but you can even make your own using short lengths of 3/4'' hardwood dowels capped with a small square of 1/2" to 3/4" plywood to prevent them from sinking into the holes. Bench dogs allow you to hold longer pieces between the dog positioned on the outside vise jaw and the dog positioned in the appropriate bench-dog hole along the workbench. Dog holes can also be aligned from the front to the back of the workbench and used with a face vise.

To bore dog holes on my bench-top surface accurately, I made a simple jig. It's used with a router outfitted with a guide bushing that prevents it from shifting while boring the holes. The jig eases alignment and secures the tool. If you plan to add hardwood pads to the inside faces of your bench-vise jaws, install them before boring the dog holes. The added width of the pads could necessitate shorter spaces between the bench-dog holes.

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