workbench dogs

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Forum topic by dpjeansonne posted 02-24-2013 04:03 PM 1452 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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70 posts in 2304 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


8522 posts in 2739 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


43 posts in 2048 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.


View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

920 posts in 1622 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


70 posts in 2304 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


788 posts in 2043 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

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3453 posts in 1442 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

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70 posts in 2304 days

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

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


11 posts in 1735 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, Missouri,

View roundguy's profile


61 posts in 1775 days

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

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

View dpjeansonne's profile


70 posts in 2304 days

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

I really like those plane stops on Lee Valley.

-- Cajun Don, Louisiana

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