YAWB #1: Dog Hole Placement

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Blog entry by minntc posted 12-08-2009 09:21 PM 4474 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Welcome to yet another workbench project.

The first question I have that I haven’t seen a whole lot of discussion on is placement of bench dog holes. I see a lot of benches that put them 2-4 inches from the front of the bench, but wouldn’t a better placement be in the 4-6 inch range, if not more? Placing them 2” in would probably make it easier to work on smaller stock, but placing them 6” back or more should give you more flexibility for larger stock as well, without making you lean too far for that small stock.

Thanks for your thoughts!

-- -jth | Minneapolis

6 comments so far

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1570 posts in 3763 days

#1 posted 12-08-2009 11:29 PM

The placement of the dog holes along the front edge of the bench should be placed so they line up with a vice on the end of your bench to clamp different lengths of stock.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3846 days

#2 posted 12-08-2009 11:42 PM

never really considered their exact placement, it usually ends up being located based on what type of vise you’ll be installing on the bench.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View minntc's profile


12 posts in 3316 days

#3 posted 12-09-2009 03:27 AM

Sure, inline with the vise I get, but placement of the vise is arbitrary too, for the most part. Especially with something like an end-vice where you’re building your own face, you could put as many dog holes in there as you want, and wherever you want. Personally, I don’t get why folks with an end vice put the dog holes in the outermost portion of the face; I think that’d be harder on the vice than it has to be.

-- -jth | Minneapolis

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1570 posts in 3763 days

#4 posted 12-09-2009 04:05 AM

Maybe a better answer would be, the dog holes should be close to “in line” with the screw on the tail vise to prevent racking.

For me, the dog holes along the front are to clamp long pieces of stock to the front of the bench where it is easiest to work them. I also have dog holes for the front vise.

In this example (although we can’t see the front) there are dog holes on the front and back of the bench so as you say they could be placed anywhere, in the middle too.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View gerrym526's profile


275 posts in 4006 days

#5 posted 12-09-2009 05:38 AM

I recommend rows of dog holes across the entire surface of the bench. See my workshop photos which show my bench and you’ll see them. Got the idea from the Veritas Workbench Plan (from Lee Valley). It gives you unlimited flexibility by using combinations of bench stops, bench dogs, hold downs, etc.. and allows you to use the entire surface of the workbench rather than just the edges. Also works well with a tail vise-mine is a Veritas Twin Screw model.

-- Gerry

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4080 days

#6 posted 12-09-2009 03:23 PM

I agree with Gerry about using them for other stuff too. Extra holes come in handy for hold downs and stops in the middle of the bench.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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