Planing Cams

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Project by swirt posted 1538 days ago 2321 views 22 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was inspired by Ecocandle’s planing board The cam that functioned both as a stop and a clamp is very clever. I got thinking about using a pair of similar cams to hold smaller pieces for planing.

If you have 3/4” dog holes on your bench already then you should see some potential for having one or a pair of cams to hold pieces for planing. The best part is I can plane a side, grab the part with one hand, flip it over and plane the other side without having to loosen and tighten my vice. It makes for pretty fast work.

These are made with 7/16” plywood (so I can plane to 1/2” without digging them up) and 3/4” oak dowel. After I use these a bit more (to find any shortcomings) I will probably make a pair out of 1/4” plywood or hardboard so that I can use them while planing thinner stock.

Each cam has a stopping arm (that the end of the board runs into) and a clamping arm, that pushed the face against a dog, stop, or the other cam. The only major feature I found in my planning (using cardboard models) is that the pivot point needs to be closer to the stopping arm.

-- Galootish log blog,

15 comments so far

View AaronK's profile


1397 posts in 2096 days

#1 posted 1538 days ago

wow this idea gets even better. I gotta make myself one of these.

View AaronK's profile


1397 posts in 2096 days

#2 posted 1538 days ago

oh yeah – how far apart are your dog holes spaced?

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

604 posts in 1702 days

#3 posted 1538 days ago


-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View swirt's profile


1937 posts in 1604 days

#4 posted 1538 days ago

On my bench, the dog holes are 4” apart along the row, but the rows are 4 1/2” apart due to the vise rails being in the way. There is probably a better formula out there for the optimal spacing for dog holes, but I didn’t find it before I started drilling ;)

Stupidly I made the dog holes 6” apart on my saw benches which means the cams don’t work as well on them (not that I really need them on there….but it would have been nice to have what works on the main bench also work on the saw bench.

-- Galootish log blog,

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 1663 days

#5 posted 1538 days ago

Cool idea. I need some too.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 1698 days

#6 posted 1538 days ago

I have never inspired anyone to do anything. Thanks so much for the compliment. You system seem to be wonderful too.

-- Brian Meeks,

View swirt's profile


1937 posts in 1604 days

#7 posted 1538 days ago

Brian yours is both inspiring and more refined. Mine is more brutish but takes up a lot less space … and I am discovering now that they also can function pretty well as ordinary bench dogs.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1918 days

#8 posted 1537 days ago

Nice job


-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 1572 days

#9 posted 1537 days ago

Too clever! Another idea to add to that LOOOONG list!! Thanks dudes!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14724 posts in 2308 days

#10 posted 1536 days ago

Looks like it should work great.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View DYNO360's profile


147 posts in 1497 days

#11 posted 1489 days ago

GREAT IDEA! Finally someone who knows how to place a plane on a workbench the correct way, on its side.

View Steve's profile


119 posts in 1762 days

#12 posted 1373 days ago

Simplicity at it’s greatest. Definately building these. Thanks guys for another great project to add to the list.

View swirt's profile


1937 posts in 1604 days

#13 posted 1373 days ago

The other cool thing I have found with using these is that if you just use it as a single dog, you can use a single wedge instead of a pair of wedges to clamp something toward another dog.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Dave's profile


11159 posts in 1472 days

#14 posted 1298 days ago

I saw these in something the other day and they looked so handy i drew a small picture on one of my many notepads. And wata ya know, you made a set. Good stuff swirt.:)

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View swirt's profile


1937 posts in 1604 days

#15 posted 1297 days ago

Thanks superdav. They are very handy and so easy to make. I really do need to make both a larger pair and a smaller pair.

-- Galootish log blog,

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