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Drilling dog holes in new bench

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Forum topic by botietruck posted 12-24-2009 04:48 AM 11458 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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botietruck

25 posts in 1780 days


12-24-2009 04:48 AM

I am finishing the top of my first workbench. I am using scrap lumber and materials that I have recently collected. The top consists of a solid core wood door cut down to size and a layer of 3/4” white oak flooring glued, screwed and walnut plugged to both sides of the door material. It is just under 3” thick. Can some of you folks tell me what you used to drill your dog holes? I had a fellow to tell me he used his plunge router with some type of a straight cut bit. I could use my forsner bits, but I’m not sure that would be the best way. Any thoughts/ideas?

Thanks, Bob

-- Bob from Virginia


19 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3384 posts in 1845 days


#1 posted 12-24-2009 09:05 AM

Greetings Bob: The best way I can tell you to drill the holes is with a spade bit. I presume they will be 3/4” standard size holes. If you drill all the way through, the spade bit does the trick. I’ve built 5 benches, and I built a jig to drill dogholes to keep them all lined up. You could use a router and a Forstner bit, but I don’t think I would. The spade bit will do the trick. Once the holes are drilled, put a 45 degree chamfer bit in your router, plunge it in the hole about 1/8”, and go round and round a couple of times . Makes a nice clean chamfered hole. Hop this helps…....... keep on keeping on.

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3769 posts in 2314 days


#2 posted 12-24-2009 04:12 PM

A 3/4” router bit long enough to do dog holes is not cheap. Unless you have other uses for it, I wouldn’t invest that kind of money in a router bit you may only use once.

My benchtop is 3 1/2” thick, built with kiln-dried Douglas Fir. In my experience, spade bits can produce a lot of tear-out so I started each hole with a 3/4” forstner bit, drilling in about a 1/2”. I used a drill guide to make sure I was drilling in at 90-degrees.

I then clamped a 2×4 across the underside of the bench to serve as a backer board and switched to another drill with an Irwin 3/4” auger bit. It made a mess of the backer board when it punched through, but the holes in the benchtop were clean on both sides.

With all of the holes drilled, I chucked a 45-degree chamfer bit, set the depth to just a skosh under 1/8”, and did as Rick suggested.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3384 posts in 1845 days


#3 posted 12-24-2009 05:18 PM

Dane: You are dead-on right on the tear-out with the spade bit, if you use solid or plywood. My bench is 3” thick MDF glued and screwed, and with the doghole jig I made, I had no tear-out at all. I’m like you—the reason I didn’t suggest the router bit was the cost, plus maybe only using it once for this job. I have a 3/4” bit, and very costly. I thought of an auger bit, but I didn’t have that size….. lol. But the chamfer looks good…

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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Pimzedd

450 posts in 2455 days


#4 posted 12-24-2009 06:29 PM

Rick,

Did you really intend to say a router and a forstener bit? Or did you mean a router or a forstner bit? A forstner bit in a router is probably an accident waiting to happen since forstner bits are not designed to spin as fast as most routers run. Of course most forstner bits probably will not chuck up in a router.

Just don’t won’t a newbe to try something that sends them to the emergency room.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View botietruck's profile

botietruck

25 posts in 1780 days


#5 posted 12-24-2009 07:57 PM

Thanks for the input guys!! I think I’ll start the holes with my forstner bit and then work with the spade bit maybe. But not to worry guys, I would not try to use a forstner bit in my router. I do appreciate the concern Bill. You guys are great!

-- Bob from Virginia

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Pimzedd

450 posts in 2455 days


#6 posted 12-24-2009 08:06 PM

Just wanted to make sure that no one reading would misunderstand.

I was in a shop when a guy put an auger bit for a brace and bit in a drill press. He turned it on, bit bent sideways, ripped open his palm.

Safety rule – Always use the correct tool or machine for the job. (One of my 15 general safety rules from my days as a shop teacher.)

Merry Christmas Bob and everyone.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3769 posts in 2314 days


#7 posted 12-25-2009 12:32 AM

I was using the Irwin #49912 Power Drill I-100 Auger Bit

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1763 posts in 2741 days


#8 posted 12-25-2009 12:34 AM

Hi,

I started my holes with a forstner and ended with a spade bit.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3384 posts in 1845 days


#9 posted 12-25-2009 02:03 AM

Greetings pimzedd: Whew——- glad you caught that! NO, I did not mean to use a Forstner in a router. I meant to say(clerical error) he could use a Forstner chucked up in a hand-held drill, or use a 3/4” bit in a router and drill the holes that way. Sorry for the misplay on words. You’re right, don’t want anyone hurt cause of mis-understanding. Thanks for catching that error. I appreciate it…...........Sounds like he’s got it covered, and on the right track.

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Abe Low's profile

Abe Low

111 posts in 2497 days


#10 posted 12-25-2009 07:10 AM

Subject covered—- except it would be great if the holes would be drilled leaning about 2 degrees toward the vice.

-- Abe Low, Fine furniture, Sacramento, CA

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

529 posts in 2132 days


#11 posted 12-25-2009 07:21 AM

The Lee Valley round bench dogs don’t call for any lean, their square ones do though. Any drill bit should be fine, forstner, twist, brad point, etc. I’ve drilled a set on a drill press. You’ll need a buddy or a stand for help.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View JimDantin's profile

JimDantin

16 posts in 1754 days


#12 posted 12-28-2009 01:55 AM

I’m building a bench from LVL – based on the Woodworking Magazine Gluebo. I’m going to try to use a Forstner bit chucked up in my Sherline milling machine. I will remove the head and column from the Sherline’s base and temporarily mount the column to a piece of hardwood, MDF, or aluminum that can be clamped to the workbench. I’ll use some sort of guide rail to help position the rig. The vertical feed and precision alignment should make for a nice set of dog holes.

I haven’t tested this idea yet—I certainly will before actually drilling into the bench top!

Has anyone tried this approach?

-- Jim, Prospect, KY

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JimDantin

16 posts in 1754 days


#13 posted 12-28-2009 02:36 AM

What did you use to do the drilling and hold everything square?

I already have a set of forstner bits—the brad point bit would certainly work well, but why do you think it would did a better job than a forstner?

-- Jim, Prospect, KY

View Taigert's profile

Taigert

593 posts in 2492 days


#14 posted 12-29-2009 08:45 AM

That 3/4” Forstner bit would be some thing else at 25,000 rpm, down right scarry,

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View JimDantin's profile

JimDantin

16 posts in 1754 days


#15 posted 12-29-2009 01:55 PM

No responses on how you guys aligned the dog holes so that they are perpendicular with the bench tops—does EVERYONE just rely on calibrated eyeballs? A plunge router with a 3/4” bit will certainly work, but what else has proven to be practical?

-- Jim, Prospect, KY

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