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Dog holes, round or square?

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Forum topic by skogie1 posted 11-10-2015 05:17 AM 721 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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skogie1

95 posts in 824 days


11-10-2015 05:17 AM

Building my first solid legit woodworking bench. The top is going to be about 4”-4.25” of beech. I’ve just finished dimensioning the lumber for the top and I can either cut square dog holes before I glue it up, or glue it up then cut round dogs with my router and spade bit. Any thoughts on this? I’m inclined to to do round holes as I can use tapered dowels for dogs I figure; whereas, I’ll have to cut or buy something special for square holes. Also, any thoughts on hole placement for holdfasts? I’ll have a front vise and a tail vise and will put a row of dog holes along the front, but I’m not sure if I want to put a few holes elsewhere in the bench for holdfasts. Any thoughts? As always, thanks in advance to anyone that shares their thoughts.


20 replies so far

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Andre

1021 posts in 1267 days


#1 posted 11-10-2015 06:14 AM

Check the Workbench Smackdown thread, just finished my bench, went with round dogs. Holdfast are over rated, serve a very small purpose.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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Tedstor

1625 posts in 2094 days


#2 posted 11-10-2015 11:33 AM

Round. Far more accessories are available for round holes.

I would hold off on drilling any holes until you need to. If one day you decide you must have a holdfast….you can always drill a hole when/where you need it.

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skogie1

95 posts in 824 days


#3 posted 11-10-2015 02:42 PM

Thanks guys.

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helluvawreck

23135 posts in 2328 days


#4 posted 11-10-2015 02:52 PM

Round holes are easier to do and have lots of things to go with them.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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Bill White

4449 posts in 3421 days


#5 posted 11-10-2015 02:55 PM

Just as a point of difference. I use and like my holdfasts. With a batten, they can hold odd sizes that might not work well with a vice.
I have round holes, and use dogs like those on my WorkMate.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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shipwright

7165 posts in 2259 days


#6 posted 11-10-2015 02:58 PM

I too use my holdfasts a lot, far more than my vices actually. I think it depends on the things you do on your bench. Round holes work as well as square and leave the options open.
.... Just my thoughts.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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bondogaposis

4024 posts in 1812 days


#7 posted 11-10-2015 03:02 PM

My first bench had square dogs. When I built my second bench I decided that I wanted round dog holes because I wanted to add hold fasts. Having used both I can’t think of any advantage that square dogs have over round ones. The round holes are much easier to put in. I love the hold fasts and use them all of the time.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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paratrooper34

891 posts in 2413 days


#8 posted 11-10-2015 03:41 PM



Holdfast are over rated, serve a very small purpose.

- Andre

History showed this is not a true statement. My guess is anyone who has them today find them invaluable, like me.

-- Mike

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ElChe

630 posts in 797 days


#9 posted 11-10-2015 03:45 PM

Never used square dogs as my bench came with round holes. Like round dogs to hold curved material and also as above lots of cool stuff available for round holes. Not sure about most hold fasts in 4” thick bench. My bench is a tad over 2” thick and hold fasts work great. I love hold fasts for chisel work. And also to hold battens. I got mine from TFWW and they are really nice.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6565 posts in 1611 days


#10 posted 11-10-2015 03:50 PM



Holdfast are over rated, serve a very small purpose.

- Andre

Completely disagree. I use them almost as often as I use my face vise. They are awesome.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1142 days


#11 posted 11-10-2015 04:04 PM

Round dog holes are easier to install, can take a variety of aftermarket add ons and can hold irregular shaped pieces better. Square dogs are harder to install, more traditional but have the advantage of not rotating in the hole when you are planing against them.

Either work just fine from my experience but I think if they had access to the number of round dog hole accessories 150 years ago we have today square dogs would have died off long ago.

And holdfasts are one of if not the most useful hold down appliance on your bench. However I rarely use them in the front row of dog holes so they wouldn’t be a reason to go round vs square for those. The holes behind the front row should be round as they are primarily for holdfasts and plane stops.

My last couple benches have had a row of round holes near the front of the bench in line with the end vise and a few round holes spread out in specific spots for hold downs and plane stops.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1740 posts in 600 days


#12 posted 11-10-2015 05:04 PM

First, I’d go with round and I wouldn’t drill any anywhere until I needed them. That way, you know they’re in the right spot and you don’t have a bunch of extra holes in your bench that never get used.

Second… Am I the only one who thinks using a spade bit in a router is a bad idea?

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

624 posts in 1413 days


#13 posted 11-10-2015 05:34 PM



First, I d go with round and I wouldn t drill any anywhere until I needed them. That way, you know they re in the right spot and you don t have a bunch of extra holes in your bench that never get used.

Second… Am I the only one who thinks using a spade bit in a router is a bad idea?

- HokieKen

I assumed that he was referring to the method of making the holes that has been discussed here before. You start with a plunge router with a regular router bit and then use that perfectly vertical hole as a guide when you finish up the through bore with the spade bit.

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HokieKen

1740 posts in 600 days


#14 posted 11-10-2015 05:52 PM


I assumed that he was referring to the method of making the holes that has been discussed here before. You start with a plunge router with a regular router bit and then use that perfectly vertical hole as a guide when you finish up the through bore with the spade bit.

- Kazooman

Ahhh. That sounds much safer. I’m not sure I’d want to try to plunge a spade bit at 25,000 rpms.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1831 days


#15 posted 11-10-2015 05:52 PM

I have round dog holes, and also find myself using holdfasts as much as, if not more than, my vice.

I have two rows that go front-to-back by my front vise for clamping with dogs, and then one row that goes along the length of the bench, with holes spaced out every 6-8” (I took the reach of the holdfast and doubled it). I also have a row of holes going lengthwise near the back, but those are spaced out every 16” or so, and I mainly use them to secure a planning stop when needed. My front vise jaw closes flush with the front apron, so I put 4 holes along the front face of the apron, so I can clamp one end of a long board in the vise, and put a dog in the hole to support the other end. I haven’t encountered a scenario in which I needed additional holes, and I’ve used almost all of them at least once.

Regarding how to make them, I did mine with a brace and bit, and then a very slight chamfer with a bearing-guided router bit. It all went pretty fast (but this was in DF, not beech).

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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