15" wide face vice - one centered or two offset dog holes?

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Forum topic by jimmyhopps posted 01-18-2015 03:46 PM 1442 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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217 posts in 1800 days

01-18-2015 03:46 PM

I’m finally ready to add dog holes to my bench. I’m planning the front row to be about 3” from the front of the bench.

When putting them in front of the face vice, should I make 1 row (centered on the face vice) or 2 rows (toward either end of the vice) ?

8 replies so far

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 758 days

#1 posted 01-18-2015 04:13 PM

Hi Jimmyhopps how do you plan on using the face vise? my bench has two rows of holes that match up with holes on either side of the face/front vise. What is funny is that I never use these dogholes. I use my face vise to hold longer boards for hand planing or to hold drawers. If I need to clamp something between dogs I use my shoulder vise. My bench is against a wall so I can’t plane or sand front to back.

My concern about centering one dog hole on the front vise would be racking when you tighten the vise unless somehow you perfectly center the hole to the vise screw (assuming a traditional single screw front vise).

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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217 posts in 1800 days

#2 posted 01-18-2015 04:37 PM

Thanks Tom. No tail vice, but I did purchase a Veritas Wonder Dog to fill the gap. Holes will run along the front of the bench for this. I’m somewhat new to planing so not fully sure what will be my use habits.

Re vice racking, I was thinking that one row centered (or slightly offset to make it above the screw) on the face vice would rack a lot less than if using the holes on either side.

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1314 days

#3 posted 01-18-2015 05:08 PM

My coming-springtime bench-build dog holes layout below for your viewing pleasure. Wood is all dried and accounted for. Bench drawing is to scale, top is 28” x 6’3”. 3/4” dog hole centres will be approx 3” apart across and 1-1/2” from front and back bench top edge.

So my answer is YES to 2 offset AND 1 centered face vise dog holes.

I’ve imagined my planned face vise dog hole layout can accommodate all kinds of smaller-sized wood pieces, based on what I’ve seen from many other benches on this glorious site that is Lumberjocks.

Show us your bench pics when done!

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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217 posts in 1800 days

#4 posted 01-19-2015 02:22 AM

Wow – that’s a lot of dog holes Red. I think i will go fewer.

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217 posts in 1800 days

#5 posted 01-20-2015 04:07 AM

no one else with an opinion here? i can’t believe that.

View RT31's profile


54 posts in 1078 days

#6 posted 01-20-2015 05:28 AM

Why not both? Thats what i would do.

View Buckethead's profile


3140 posts in 1290 days

#7 posted 01-20-2015 12:48 PM

I agree with RT 31

A centered dog hole won’t cause racking.

The double accommodates for face planing on boards nearing 4’ in length, without the need for an anti racking device (aka Widdle stick) which I find need of when using my end/tail vise.

Your end vise may perform differently than mine, but it looks like you have to turn both screws to keep the chop parallel to the end of the bench. For shorter work pieces, the face vise would be easier to set up and adjust.

Also, regarding dog holes: I realize the boards represented redsleds sketch up may not be laid out like they will in your actual build, but if you’re using square dog holes, (a fine choice) I would place them at the edge of each board within the top. It allows for a wide range of cutting techniques where if they are placed in the center of a single board, your options are limited to using a mortiser, or drilling/chiseling, increasing the difficulty factor greatly.

(Your sketchup shows examples of both layouts for dog holes)

Edit: looking at the first post, it seems your benchtop may already be glued up? If so, rendering all my last comment useless. :-)

Anyhoo… Show us some photos!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

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217 posts in 1800 days

#8 posted 01-23-2015 08:10 PM

thanks for the feedback fellas. attached is a photo of the bench. i used a slab door with several 3/4 sheets of ply underneath, then put a hardwood edge around it. the vice face is obviously a laminate maple/mahogany/maple. works great. wish sometimes the table was a little less wide actually (door was 36” wide). though i can’t really stand on the other side of it anyway given various obstructions so not sure if i will get around to that.

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