dog hole covers?

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Forum topic by luthierwnc posted 03-08-2016 05:59 PM 892 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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146 posts in 1975 days

03-08-2016 05:59 PM

Hi All,

I’m designing a new main bench top that I plan to build with a variety of dogs. The easiest one is two lines of square holes aligned with a full-width tail vise. Those will have dedicated dogs that pop-up from underneath. Almost as easy will be round holes on the other end of the bench to serve a pattern-maker’s vise on one side and a quick-release Record on the other. That part of the bench is cantilevered past the legs with nothing underneath so stuff falling through the holes is no problem.

Finally, there will be some round holes scattered around the top for hold-downs and jigs and a dog if needed. That area of the bench is over about an 8” gap above drawers—both for storing stuff I want to grab fast and clearance for the vise-screws and hold-downs.

If possible, I’d like to plug those holes with something easy to remove so they don’t leak sawdust down on the tools and—especially—so little components don’t disappear. Air conditioner screws and guitar pickup springs invariably find those holes.

If anyone has any great ideas on plugging those holes until they’re needed, I hope you’ll share them. Thanks, Skip

6 replies so far

View Rayne's profile


1108 posts in 1738 days

#1 posted 03-08-2016 11:37 PM

Most dog holes are 3/4”, so why not use 3/4” dowels. Screw in a small scrap underneath to hold it up. When you’re ready to use, just rotate the scrap around and push the dowel through the table. That would be my simple way and to keep the table relatively flush.

View luthierwnc's profile


146 posts in 1975 days

#2 posted 03-09-2016 07:19 PM

Maybe something like this?

A round reversible dog. The protruding end is notched to catch work-pieces. These could be varying heights for mixing and matching. A piece of scrap covers a portion of the bottom of the hole so the flat end of the dog is supported in any position.

Flipped around, the notch slips into the uncovered portion of the bottom of the hole so the flat side of the dog is flush with the surface. I show a screwdriver slot to twist the dog until it seats. Maybe a small hole in the top could make it easier to pull out with a screw than hitting it from under the bench.

Other than the dowel and some screws, the price is right.

I’ll keep messing with this. I’m still assembling the base so the top is probably a week or two away—although I’ll probably rip the laminates this weekend to let them stabilize.. Cheers, sh

View trevor7428's profile


266 posts in 1160 days

#3 posted 03-09-2016 08:32 PM

I have a drawer under my dog holes. I also had the same issue as you. What I did, is putt a 1/4 sheet of plywood that goes underneath dog holes, but above the drawer (1/4 plywood does not effect drawer at all)

So now when saw dust fall into dog holes, it just falls onto plywood. I’m sure you can hook up a shop vac or dust collection if need be.

If you end up doing this, would love to know!

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion

View Rayne's profile


1108 posts in 1738 days

#4 posted 03-09-2016 09:17 PM

Reversible Dog hole would most definitely work as well and be more efficient in the long run. Now if you can do that in some form of Spring loading, then you hit the jackpot. Now that I think about it, John Heisz may have already done that, if I remembered the correct guy.

View laketrout36's profile


200 posts in 2226 days

#5 posted 03-09-2016 09:20 PM

Ray Fiddle has a very good idea. Video on his posting.

View luthierwnc's profile


146 posts in 1975 days

#6 posted 03-09-2016 09:39 PM

Thanks laketrout36, I thought about that but the main job for these guys will be keeping shmutz out of the holes for the occasional hold-down or jig. The latch would be good but it needs a base so I can’t drive a Pony hold-down into very far or bolt something down. I’ll have a row of square dogs on either side for the larger boards.

The pattern-vise (which I seldom used in my old configuration) will be on one side facing in. I plan to use round dogs for it primarily because they can turn to accommodate irregular pieces. That and my trusty Record facing it won’t be over the drawers so stuff can fall to the floor. In the works is a tileboard cover for messy projects. Most of that gets done on the table-saw outfeed table now.

Rayne; I’m leaving a good-sized gap between the top and the first row of drawers that will have a piece of 3/4” plywood on top. It’s for things I need to grab frequently and also for things that poke through the top or the screws on the end-vise. Another thing I haven’t seen often on high-end artisan vises is where to plug your router or work-light.

Thanks guys, sh!

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