Bench Dogs

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Project by Airframer posted 255 days ago 1399 views 5 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have had one of these made since my bench was completed (you can clearly make out the aged one in the pics lol ) and have meant to make a few more ever since but have been putting it off.

Well, tonight I spent a few minutes and knocked out a few more.

These are really simple to make and cost nearly nothing. Just a 3/4” oak dowel and some leather. Leather can be found pretty cheap if you look in the clothing section of any thrift store (really.. go look.. it’s cheap! )

I cut each one to length with my miter saw and then cut the shoulder for the mouth the same way. Then using a chisel I knocked out the waste just like chopping a tenon.

After that just carve a 1/4” groove down the back with a chisel and super glue in a strip of leather that stands proud of the surface. After that using a block plane just shave the leather down till the dog is easy to move up and down the dog holes but stays put when not in motion. Take your time with this part.. it’s easy to go to far with one extra pass of the plane.

The I added some suede to the faces (another thrift shop clothing find) for grip and these are ready to get some work done with.

Thanks for looking!

-- Eric -

9 comments so far

View AnthonyReed's profile


4359 posts in 1037 days

#1 posted 255 days ago

You should try to get something done every once and a while Eric….

-- ~Tony

View Airframer's profile


2270 posts in 550 days

#2 posted 255 days ago

I know right…

-- Eric -

View Biff's profile


126 posts in 611 days

#3 posted 255 days ago

Is the leather just to make it fit snug in the hole? Why the beveled end?

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at

View Airframer's profile


2270 posts in 550 days

#4 posted 255 days ago

Yep the leather acts as a friction brake to keep it from falling out of the hole but also allowing it to move up and down. Basically it replaces the metal strip found on commercially made bench dogs.

Not entirely sure what bevel you are referring to but if you mean the notch on the top of the dogs.. that is just to crate a flat face to hold the work piece with.

-- Eric -

View yuridichesky's profile


313 posts in 561 days

#5 posted 255 days ago

Yeah, right thing to do.

I myself am thinking about felt strip on the side of the shaft (not on the back as yours).

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View Airframer's profile


2270 posts in 550 days

#6 posted 254 days ago

I hadn’t thought about felt strips. I bet they would work if they are thick enough. I have considered moving the leather to the side as you said. I am worried that over time the leather will compress from the clamping force but… then again it is easily replaced so I am not really worried about it.

-- Eric -

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1809 posts in 848 days

#7 posted 254 days ago

@AF—Man, do you EVER sleep? Nice job on the new dogs. I like the leather strip—think I’ll make a few of these. I turned some ¾” dowels on the lathe for my dogs, but I like yours better. Mine are actually a bit too tight anyway.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Airframer's profile


2270 posts in 550 days

#8 posted 254 days ago

Man, do you EVER sleep?

I have a 5 1/2 mo old so… no not really lol..

-- Eric -

View Mosquito's profile


4500 posts in 889 days

#9 posted 254 days ago

Nice work. I like the leather on the dog to help it hold its position. Since my dogs are made the same way, I’ll have to keep that trick in mind, once my dogs start to not hold as well.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist -

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