Dog holes: how close to front of bench?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 06-18-2012 03:57 PM 5081 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2710 days

06-18-2012 03:57 PM

I’m thinking about installing a Veritas Quick-Release Sliding Tail Vise some day to the Roubo bench I’m building.

The instructions say the bench dog holes should be drilled 1” (on center) from the front edge of the bench. That leaves only 5/8” of wood between the edge of the bench and the edge of the holes. Doesn’t that seem rather small?

In a related question, if the type of vice doesn’t matter, how close to the front of the bench would you place your dog holes?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

9 replies so far

View SamuelP's profile


793 posts in 2673 days

#1 posted 06-18-2012 04:09 PM

If the vise has a pop-up dog, make sure they align with it.

-- -Sam - FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2720 days

#2 posted 06-18-2012 04:11 PM

The question is, is how close do you think you need them. What is the narrowist piece you think you want to hold? I would think 2” would be the narrowist. But why worry about how narrow you can go when you can clamp narrow pieces in the vice or between the dogs with a cull. If it were my bench I’d do, from the vice, 6”, 6”, 6”, then 12” all the way to the end of the bench.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2978 days

#3 posted 06-18-2012 04:48 PM

It seems small to me. I’d leave at least a couple of inches. I think on my Roubo bench it’s about 3 inches to the edges for the doghole row.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2663 days

#4 posted 06-18-2012 05:13 PM

I did square dogs in mine, so the distance from the front was one board thickness which was about 1 5/8”. I haven’t run into problems with it being too far from the front of the bench..yet.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2645 days

#5 posted 06-18-2012 06:16 PM

Mine are farther back than most, from what I’ve read and seen, because I wanted to center wider boards between dogs and have the stuff fully supported when working the faces. It is a problem with moulding planes, having the dogs further back, but only hit the problem once while trying to work with a combo plane.

All that said, I’d still probably center holes 2 1/2” to 3” back from the front edge. Not reaching into the bench, support for stuff being worked, support for sticking board / moulding work. FWIW…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)


31397 posts in 2893 days

#6 posted 06-18-2012 06:35 PM

I mounted my vise corner in line with the corner of the bench (two vices, one front, one end). I put my dog holes in line with the popup dog on each vise. Whether this is correct or not I don’t know but it sure works out for me and that’s all that concerns me.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2514 days

#7 posted 06-18-2012 06:35 PM

You aren’t pulling from the dog hole, you are pushing into the dog hole so the 5/8” – 3/4” will be fine.

If you were pulling I would think 3 or 4 inches would be minimum but since you are pushing, the top edge of the dog is going to be the pivot and the bottom edge is going to be the stationary edge. The vice pushing against it will be the movable edge so 5/8” will work just fine.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Lane's profile


39 posts in 3747 days

#8 posted 06-18-2012 06:50 PM

It’s going to depend on how thick the slab is that you mount on that vise. You could use a 3” slab and have 1 1/8” between the front and the edge of the hole. Either way, the main clamping stress is going the long dimension of your bench anyway, so you’ll have the (roughly) 6” of wood from one dog hole to the next providing support.

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 2577 days

#9 posted 06-18-2012 08:38 PM

Mine are the 1” in on center. Keep in mind only the very end of the round hole is that close. There are no structural problems at all with them there. Works great for fenced planes being that close. Also, the grip like hell even when planing across the grain wide pieces if you use the veritas dogs or any other with a good bite to them. Wouldn’t consider moving them further back.

-- . @NANeanderthal on twitter

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