How To Make A Woodworking Bench Dog


A woodworking bench dog is a small, yet important tool used to secure the work piece while the user is cutting and carving it. A common example of a bench dog is a round wooden knob that is inserted into an appropriately sized hole in the surface of a bench and tightened with a threaded shaft. The dog then serves as an anchor point for clamps which keep pieces of wood securely in place during cutting or machining operations. In addition, it is also helpful for preventing injury from sharp tools such as chisels and rasps.

Tools Needed – Describe some common tools needed to make one

To make your own woodworking bench dog, you will need some basic hand and power tools. These include a drill, saw, files and rasps, sandpaper and preferably a router or lathe. You may also need items such as dowel pins for attaching the dogs to the bench surface and screws for tightening them into place. A compass or jig can also be useful when drilling holes for the receiving slot in the bench surface as well as when shaping the cylindrical body of the dog itself. Once you have these tools ready, you can begin assembling your very own bench dogs!

Types of Woodworking Bench Dogs

Woodworking bench dogs are essential tools used to hold workpieces in place while they are machined or shaped with hand tools. There are many different types of woodworking bench dogs available, each offering a unique shape and size for specific tasks.

By far the most common material used for these is steel. Steel is strong, durable, and relatively inexpensive compared to other materials, making it an ideal choice for woodworking bench dogs. Steel bench dogs come in a variety of sizes ranging from large-diameter round heads to narrow flatheads that fit into tight grooves.

Wood can also be used to create woodworking bench dogs and may provide some unique advantages over metal types due to its natural flexibility and strength that can help reduce marring on delicate surfaces. Wooden bench dogs come in various shapes including classical turned types, scalloped edges, stick pins, tapered flats with serrated teeth, threaded pegs, box joints or struck mortise; just about any type needed for various applications in the shop or onsite projects.

Some other materials used to make woodworking bench dogs include plastic and composite resins. These generally cost more than metal but offer an almost unbreakable construction when designed properly. Plastic also provides a larger selection of sizes as they can be created in molds and mass-produced at an affordable cost. They will not rust like steel and remain relatively grippy even when wet or greasy which makes them ideal for outdoor projects such as boatbuilding or outdoor furniture making where moisture might be present during operations.

Materials Needed

When it comes to making a woodworking bench dog, you need to make sure that you choose the right type of wood for the job. The best type of wood for this purpose is one that is dense and hard enough to resist wear and tear from the tool being used. Popular types of hardwoods suitable for creating a woodworking bench dog include oak, maple, beech, cherry, birch, and walnut. Each type has its own unique advantages; for example, oak is incredibly durable and can stand up to heavy use in the workshop, while maple offers excellent strength-to-weight ratios ideal for smaller projects. Beech has a smooth texture that’s good for grip when pushing tools against it while working on intricate pieces of joinery equipment like dovetailed boxes or curved sculptures. Cherry is considered superior thanks to its sheer density, which makes it less likely to wear down in humid climates or with prolonged use; similarly, birch offers an excellent resistance to splitting if excessive force is applied. Finally, walnut is favored by many due to its rich finish that adds considerable beauty when used in decorative applications

What Tools to Start Woodworking

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Gather the materials needed to create a woodworking bench dog. You will need: a block of hardwood (definitely cherry, oak, or another similar type of hardwood), a drill bit and drill with at least 1/2 inch capacity, a hand saw for cutting the woodblock into two parts, a sanding block, and 220-grit sandpaper.

2. Measure and mark the block on all four sides with pencil. Make sure each side is level on both ends before starting any cutting.

3. Cut the block in half lengthwise down the center of your marked lines using the hand saw.

4. On one half of the block, trace an arc shape outlining where you would like to make a hole for the bench dog dowel. Use a compass to guide you along this line if necessary. Mark 2 more arcs that are 90° angles apart from this arc on either side of it so that you will have 3 arcs surrounding your hole when completed (these 3 arcs represent what will become your jaw faces).

5. Cut through all of your marked lines carefully with the saw; do not go past them as this can cause splitting and other problems in further steps due to inaccurate measurements! Sand down all three jaw faces until they appear smooth and even with no ridges left from sawing remaining; use both your sanding block and 220-grit sandpaper for this task.

6 .Drill two holes into each side of the jaw face”for each side will fit one half into each of these holes”and then connect those corresponding holes together by drilling completely through one arc’s thickness at each end (to act as an axle). Test fit your dowel as well as adding some glue before securing it permanently in place with screws or other appropriate fasteners (making sure you leave space for adjustment later).

7 Finally, polish off any excess wood dust or bits left behind after sanding and then apply some protectant such as wax or oil, let dry overnight before using! Now you have completed your very own woodworking bench dog!

Hirsch Woodworking Tools

Finishing Touches

When sanding and finishing the woodworking bench dog, it is important to always wear a dust mask or respirator to protect yourself from sawdust and wood particles. Additionally, use clamps to secure the material when necessary. This will help prevent any accidents due to slipping and moving material. When applying paint or finish coat be sure to keep a window open for ventilation. Do not work in a completely enclosed room with no airflow; this can be hazardous due to the build-up of harmful fumes in the area. One final note is to use protective gloves when applying stains and finishes so that you don’t irritate your skin.

Tips and Tricks

Surface Texture: A woodworking bench dog can be improved visually and functionally by enhancing the texture of the wood. This can be done using a router to create attractive patterns on the surface of the wood. Additionally, sanding down rough spots or edges will also help make it look more appealing. With consistent use, the texture of a well-made bench dog will become even smoother over time.

Clamping Techniques: Clamping is an essential step when assembling a bench dog. Begin by making sure that all pieces are lined up properly and flush with each other before securely clamping them together with larger clamps to hold firmly in place while everything dries or hardens.

Joint Design: When creating your joint design for a bench dog, it is important to consider how well it will hold up under stress and general use over time. Mortise and tenon joints are recommended as they provide superior strength compared to dowel or biscuit joints which may start to loosen over time when placed under pressure or regular usage. Make sure the joint fits into place snugly without gaps before gluing and clamping them tightly together until fully dry.



1. Popular Woodworking Magazine-Woodworking Basics: How to Make a Bench Dog (

2. Better Homes & Gardens – 9 Ways to Work with a Woodworking Bench Dog (

3. Craftsman Tool Wiki ” Introduction to Making Bench Dogs (

4. Ask Wood Man ” What is a Bench Dog? (

5. Rockler Woodworking ” Tips, Tricks and Resource Articles on How To Use Bench Dogs (

Additional Information:

1. Learn How To Make A Magnetic Bench Dog By Kurt Hertzog:

2 .Video series from The Naked Woodworker that covers making bench dogs and other jigs (Free Video):

3 . A Step by Step Guide on This Old House’s website for Creating End Vise Bench Dogs From Scrap Brass Stock :

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