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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello there,

I've got a couple of questions on bench dogs and I'd like to pick your brains.

1. I've noticed that the majority of bench dogs fit 3/4" holes. Do you know if there's any reasoning behind it?
2. Is it at all beneficial if the dog is longer than the thickness of the worktop?

The reason is: I've got some 5/8" metal pipes that have got a threaded insert on one end. They'd make perfect benchdogs, and creating custom attachments (be it wooden, rubberized or a long L-bracket with one side routed alongside to create a fence) would be the cherry on top.
 

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I think that the English started using the bench dogs and they made theirs 20mm. When we started making bench dogs we made ours 3/4" or 19mm. You can buy 200mm dogs at a place called "Lee Valley" in Canada and they will ship them to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Don, but I intend to make my own, custom set of dogs and fitting attachments. Hence my first question.

Although, the more I think about it, the more I'm sure that someone, at some point just said "let's make them 20mm", without any deeper thought behind it.
 

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Theo
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I'm a great fan of making something rather than buying, when I can. That size hole may have even been because whoever only had a 3/4" bit. :grin: I don't know, but I would think that having the length a bit more than the top thickness would be preferred - you can always cut one or two the same thickness and see. Wait, now that I think on it a second, I would say yes, longer, if you have short you are limited by the thickness of your work, so I would go for as much as 12" - some is good, more is better, too much is just enough. You have 5/8" pipe, I would say use it. Just some pictures later please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is true, too long is always better than too short. I'm not sure if I understood you correctly (as in, assuming that if the pipe is longer, it can protrude more from the top's surface). I had something else in mind.



I'm quite sure you're more than familiar with this design (although it's only a mockup I just made). The idea is that the the pipe has got a threaded insert, and with this in mind, I can cook up literally any kind of attachment I wish, and just fasten it to the pipe. This being said, I might want to have them longer, as I just realised I could turn them around, use a couple of washers, a threaded rod and turn those into clamps. This is getting more exciting by the minute! Of course, I'll make sure to show them to you, once I'm done.
 

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Hello there,

I've got a couple of questions on bench dogs and I'd like to pick your brains.

1. I've noticed that the majority of bench dogs fit 3/4" holes. Do you know if there's any reasoning behind it?
2. Is it at all beneficial if the dog is longer than the thickness of the worktop?

The reason is: I've got some 5/8" metal pipes that have got a threaded insert on one end. They'd make perfect benchdogs, and creating custom attachments (be it wooden, rubberized or a long L-bracket with one side routed alongside to create a fence) would be the cherry on top.
Don't, and I mean DO NOT make your benchdogs out of metal - at least the bits that stick up above the surface of the bench. You will live to regret it if you do.
 

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Don't, and I mean DO NOT make your benchdogs out of metal - at least the bits that stick up above the surface of the bench. You will live to regret it if you do.
Leaves marks on the material being held I’m assuming?
 

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Theo
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Don't, and I mean DO NOT make your benchdogs out of metal - at least the bits that stick up above the surface of the bench. You will live to regret it if you do.
Why not?
 

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Because you run the risk of hitting metal with a blade, plane iron, etc.

I made some very simple dogs for my bench out of 1/4" plywood and a short piece of 3/4" dowel as in the photo.

You can also see a metal dog from Lee Valley in the back of my picture. That bench dog can be slid down below the surface of the work piece and I can also push it down into the hole so it's out of the way or remove it completely.
 

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I made mine from eucalyptus single piece - very strong & hard but not enough to put a big dent in your cutting edge on the chisel/plane should you happen to clip the benchdogs. Accidents do happen. I never knocked a glass over in 40 years .... and then I knocked over 3 in a couple of months.

Don't fancy spending a couple of hours regrinding and honing a blade if I don't have to. YMMV - obviously.
 

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I think that the English started using the bench dogs and they made theirs 20mm. When we started making bench dogs we made ours 3/4" or 19mm. You can buy 200mm dogs at a place called "Lee Valley" in Canada and they will ship them to you.
Don't think it was the English, it was the Festool company. Their MFT uses 20mm holes, and it's quite a handy work surface. There are various jigs out there to help create perfectly spaced holes if you want to make your own top (Paulk is one such example).

If you're using the dogs as intended on an MFT there's no much chance of hitting them. I mean, sure, anything done wrong can break something, but this is true of any tool. I'd MUCH rather have the accuracy of the machined metal dogs for use as a reference straight edge, or even several angles with the right stepping of dogs.

One downside to a top full of holes is it means little stuff can fall through the holes if you're using the top for something other than making cuts. To that end I found it useful to make some 3D-printed caps that plug into the holes. I use 4 of these and a sheet of butcher paper to give me a clean, disposable and hole-free surface when I need to paint, glue-up or assemble stuff.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2075639

Wouldn't be anything preventing from making the plugs taller for use as a dog, but the metal ones are so much more stable/secure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Don't, and I mean DO NOT make your benchdogs out of metal - at least the bits that stick up above the surface of the bench. You will live to regret it if you do.
I was thinking of using an aluminum L-bracket as a fence, otherwise wood and silicone rubber only (so that it doesn't leave marks). I might cover the aluminum with masking tape, though, to avoid any possible marks.

Would you mind sharing your experience with metal bits? Discoloration? Dents?

EDIT: I was a bit too hasty with my reply and I noticed already that the answer is already there.

Great idea with the caps! And thanks for all your replies :) I'll try to come up with something more tangible this week.
 
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