Homemade Bench Dogs?

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Forum topic by Saxon posted 11-21-2011 07:22 PM 14342 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2344 days

11-21-2011 07:22 PM


I just got started in woodworking, and like many of you my first real project is going to be building a workbench. I’ve been lurking on the site for a bit just trying to absorb what I can, but I’ve come across something I have not seen much discussion about. I want to have my bench set up with some bench dogs for securing workpieces for planing, etc. I’ve poked around at Rockler, Woodcraft etc. and I see they sell many types of bench dogs that can get fairly expensive.

I then also look and see that you can get smaller cross-section turning blanks and dowels of some really hard woods for a couple of dollars, if that. Is there any disadvantage to just cutting these up and making bench dogs out of them, assuming you can cut a hole it fits into snugly?

Also, sorry if this is the wrong forum for this question. Look forward to sharing my projects with you all soon!

-- I'm either sleepin', fixin' airplanes or makin' sawdust.

4 replies so far

View SeaWitch's profile


149 posts in 2360 days

#1 posted 11-21-2011 07:40 PM

Here’s a video on making wooden bench dogs.

And here’s some discussion of it on another forum.

I hope this helps,

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2846 days

#2 posted 11-21-2011 07:52 PM

I had the very same thing on my mind when I built my bench.. There was no way I was going to pay 50+ dollars for a bench dog. I ended up making my bench with square dog holes. They were harder to do then round ones but its simple to make a wood bench dog and it holds the wood just fine. You may want to consider that option..

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Don W's profile

Don W

18685 posts in 2533 days

#3 posted 11-21-2011 08:14 PM

Here is a picture of a few I’ve made and use.

I have a few of the longer rods. They go through the holes and sit on the top of the drawers under my bench. You can make the dogs with the shallow top by cutting a hole the size of the dowel (3/4”) and glueing it 2” from the end. When the glue dries, cut the dowel 2” from the other side of the stop, and with a hand saw or band saw, cut slice the stop right down the middle for 2 dogs.

I also just posted this blog this morning. , sort of related.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Brian S's profile

Brian S

108 posts in 2559 days

#4 posted 11-21-2011 11:58 PM

Just wanted to add that I have also made my own bench dogs (they are almost exactly like Don W’s) and they work just fine, and cost pennies.

In fact, there is some advantage to making wooden bench dogs over commercially available choices: namely that since they are wood (and not metal) they won’t damage your tools when you inevitably hit them.

If you find that you don’t like them, or that you want a fancier option, you can always upgrade so long as you make your holes the “regulation size” (for round holes, most bench dog stuff is 3/4”). So make some cheapies, and see if you like them.

Oh, and you don’t really need any fancy woods for your dogs – the stresses they undergo are pretty mild, relatively speaking. Mine are just poplar dowels with white pine caps, and they’ve held up fine for a while, with no real signs of problems. Whatever scrap you have lying around will probably work.

-- Brian

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