Question about my proposed bench dog design

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Forum topic by Andy Panko posted 01-19-2012 04:19 AM 2852 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Andy Panko

88 posts in 2318 days

01-19-2012 04:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question

I’m going to be building a Roubo-style bench (I just recently started a blog about the project here on lumberjocks), and I’m not sure whether to do round or square dog holes. I know both styles have their merits. And I know that this topic can be debated for years and still not come to a consensus. I like that round holes can allow a wider selection of dogs and related accessories to work in them. But square holes and dogs can hold material, especially right angle material, very well. I don’t want to use metal dogs, since they can potentially destroy a plane blade if you slip off the workpiece and bash the dog with the plane. So I was leaning toward making square wooden dogs. But I had an idea today. I thought about making wooden round dogs with square heads. See picture below. It would basically be a 3/4” dowel, tenoned into a rectangular or square wooden top. It would drop into the dog hole from above, and obviously not fall through. I can make some with low profile tops (for surfacing thinner material), and then 1/2” or 3/4” thick tops for thicker materials. And if I ever need to surface something really thin, I can just use a batten board anyway on the bench anyway. Any one have any thoughts about this design? Good, bad, indifferent? Thanks in advance for your help!

- Andy

-- Andy Panko, Edison NJ,

6 replies so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19620 posts in 2671 days

#1 posted 01-19-2012 04:52 AM

My father’s cheap workbench (something from HD, HF or the likes) came with that same exact design of wooden bench dogs. Worked fine. However I must admit, they got very little use. Neither of us were doing any significant amount of woodworking at the time.

I say go for it. Should the square top not work well enough for you, switch to a round top. If neither of those work, break out a chisel and “square” out them dog holes!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View brtech's profile


1029 posts in 2919 days

#2 posted 01-19-2012 05:22 AM

my older workmate came with 4 of them in a pretty tough plastic. They are somewhat different – only one edge is like yours, the other edges slope down to the surface. round dog hole, square edge. works pretty well.

View cabmaker's profile


1730 posts in 2805 days

#3 posted 01-19-2012 06:26 AM

I have round dog holes and use square topped dogs often.

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2560 days

#4 posted 01-19-2012 06:41 AM

I see no reason why it can’t work…but then again I’ve never actually used bench dogs (though I will someday)

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5856 posts in 3191 days

#5 posted 01-19-2012 06:46 AM

I made several of these dogs just like your drawing several years ago…..I took some 3/4”, 1/2” Maple and cut it about 12-14” long, and about 1 1/2” wide. I figured out how long I wanted each “top” to be (I think they were about 1 1/4” long)...measured out the length, and drew a line across the board till I got about 6-8 of them…I then went to the drill press and used a 3/4” Forstner bit with a backer board, and cut a smooth, clean hole all the way through. I did this all the way down the board till I got what I needed….then cut each square off with a Douzouki (sp) small saw….Slipped them over the dowels, glued them in, sanded them smooth, knocked off the edges a little, and finito…..done….works like a shirt w/ a new pocket…....:)

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

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Andy Panko

88 posts in 2318 days

#6 posted 01-19-2012 01:15 PM

Thanks for all the good comments everyone!

-- Andy Panko, Edison NJ,

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