Using bench dogs to clamp this workpiece keeps it secure
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
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.