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Forum topic by dpjeansonne posted 02-24-2013 04:03 PM 1259 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dpjeansonne

70 posts in 1968 days


02-24-2013 04:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: clamp plane joining

I saw a wood workbench design using T tracks embedded into the work surface. It was being used more like an assembly table which seemed just fine.
My question that could T tracks replace bench dogs where it holds stop blocks against an end screw or is T tracks not sturdy enough for holding boards in place for planning, chiseling, etc.?
Does anyone have any experience?

-- Cajun Don, Louisiana


10 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2403 days


#1 posted 02-24-2013 04:27 PM

mechanically t-tracks should do just fine given that they are secured to the workbench over a long stretch with multiple screws.

that said, benchdogs are simply darn cheap – and simple to operate, you pop one in, you pop it out, done deal. no need to slide jigs up down the track, no need to screw/unscrew knobs, no adjustments required etc… just simple stop mechanism that relies on the vise to do the clamping. That simplicity and their traditional look is what I believe makes them so great.

that said, if you want t-tracks, use t-tracks.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Stuey's profile

Stuey

43 posts in 1711 days


#2 posted 02-24-2013 04:42 PM

As long as they’re screwed down every couple of inches they should be sturdy enough.

I would think that T-tracks are better when bench tops are not large enough for dogs. Plus they’re more versatile for hold-down clamp and jig placement.

-- http://toolguyd.com

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

670 posts in 1285 days


#3 posted 02-24-2013 11:05 PM

T-track would be a PITA when it comes time to flatten the top. You’d have to remove the track, flatten, deepen the groove and then reinstall.

Other than that, it would probably work just fine.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View dpjeansonne's profile

dpjeansonne

70 posts in 1968 days


#4 posted 02-25-2013 12:48 AM

My thought was in making a bench from the start. I thought it would be easier to install a track than to cut or drill all the holes for benchdogs. Also the ability to use a variety of jigs and hold-down would be a plus.
Maybe it is a toss-up????

-- Cajun Don, Louisiana

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1706 days


#5 posted 02-25-2013 12:56 AM

dpjeansonne, the only way a bench is going to work for you is if you build it to suit YOUR needs. Sure, T-track on workbench tops is unconventional, but if you have a need for that, I say go with it. You could use it in lieu of bench dogs for holding tasks when planing and such. I agree, as mentioned above, if you are going to use the T-tracks to handle bench dog tasks, it has to be securely anchored.

And in the long run, if you find you don’t like that system, the grooves are easily enough filled with strips of wood to match the top.

Good Luck to you!

-- Mike

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2765 posts in 1106 days


#6 posted 02-25-2013 02:22 PM

I thought it would be easier to install a track than to cut or drill all the holes for benchdogs

What’s easier than drilling holes? I see a couple of disadvantages, first if you put too much downward pressure on the T track you could strip out the screws or deform the t-track. I think the pressure that a vise could generate would be too much for the t track. Second it is going to collect saw dust and sliding fixtures up and down the track is going to be inconvenient if it gets plugged w/ shavings and dust.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View dpjeansonne's profile

dpjeansonne

70 posts in 1968 days


#7 posted 02-26-2013 01:42 AM

Bondo
Your points are very well taken.
I think I am leaning to conventional holes and making jigs or hold-downs that fit the holes.

Thanks for everyone’s input. This is why these sites work so great!

-- Cajun Don, Louisiana

View bpalmer60's profile

bpalmer60

11 posts in 1399 days


#8 posted 02-27-2013 02:17 AM

I find that a bench hook really works the best for hand planning and multiple other tasks. Fine Woodworking has several articles and a couple of videos on bench hooks.

Bill,

-- Bill, Missouri, http://billsgarageworkshop.blogspot.com/

View roundguy's profile

roundguy

61 posts in 1439 days


#9 posted 02-27-2013 02:34 AM

Was looking at these last night… Might have to buy some.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=69837&cat=51&ap=1

View dpjeansonne's profile

dpjeansonne

70 posts in 1968 days


#10 posted 02-27-2013 03:47 PM

roundguy
I really like those plane stops on Lee Valley.
Thanks

-- Cajun Don, Louisiana

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