Round vs Square bench dogs

Hi everyone.. I'm building a bench. The base is done. The cabinet that fits in the base is done and now its time to get serious on the top. I've jointed and planed 16 stringers to glue together, but what about those bench dog holes.. Round, square or both? The bench will have a full width Veritas twin screw for tail vice and an 18" quick release for the face or shoulder vise. Seeking your advice.. thanks..
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I went with round, for a couple of reasons: A round hole is easier to make. Square holes are often made by cutting dados before glue up, and round ones don't have to be aligned with a joint. A double row of dog holes can more easily capture round or odd- shaped objects. In this case, the face of the dog may best be at an odd angle to the table edge.
These may be minor considerations for some, and some may have overriding reasons to decide the other way. There are some pictures here:
http://bullfire.net/Bench/WP_Bench.html
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Thanks, Ed. Nice job on the bench! Will be glad when I'm finished. Points well taken on using round bench dog holes. Round holes also allow for a variety of hold downs and other benchtop hardware that are designed for round holes. I don't really understand it. I have two books on workbenches. Christopher Schwartz's new book and the other by Lon Schleining. Both preferred square holes in their own benches. Schleining also has two additional rows of round holes running perpendicular across the width of the bench near his face vise. He said he did that because he has a sharpening board and others, maybe a shooting board, designed with pegs to fit in round bench dog holes. There is a some discussion about using wooden bench dogs to prevent potentially damaging a plane iron, but other than that really all they say is they prefer them.. I've actually never used a square bench dog. I suppose its handy to be able push them down and hide them in the notched hole in the bench and push them up when needed. Looks like you could do that though with the bench dogs you made, too. Thanks for sharing.. - Jim
wrote:

I went with round, for a couple of reasons: A round hole is easier to make. Square holes are often made by cutting dados before glue up, and round ones don't have to be aligned with a joint. A double row of dog holes can more easily capture round or odd- shaped objects. In this case, the face of the dog may best be at an odd angle to the table edge.
These may be minor considerations for some, and some may have overriding reasons to decide the other way. There are some pictures here:
http://bullfire.net/Bench/WP_Bench.html
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I went with round, for a couple of reasons: A round hole is easier to make. *****************************************
That was the deciding reason for me, especially since I have a plywood top bench.
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Not only that, it is easy to make more if needed. One arguments for the square ones is they don't "wear". Well, any of my round holes "wear", i will just drill some more!
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ed_h wrote:

The ability to grab work pieces that aren't square without using shims etc. seems like a valuable one to me, I'm glad my bench has round dog holes. I'd add that being able to use the many commercially-available clamps, hold-downs etc. made for 3/4" holes is handy.
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Admittedly, this is a religious argument.
My bench has both. Square- lined up with the tail vise, and round ones in the field for use with holdfasts.
I seldom use the round ones. The argument about holding odd shapes is a red herring. When I have to hold something with oddly shaped ends, I whip up an adapter on the bandsaw in about 60 seconds.
Imagine that you want to hand-plane the face of a piece that has one straight edge and a shallow arc for the other side (pointy ends). With round dogs or square, will have to make an adapter to "hold" the pointy ends between dogs to prevent them from being mashed.
Unless weird 3-point holding scenarios are the rule, rather than the exception, in your method of work, square holes are not a significant a limitation. You can accomplish awful lot with a couple wedges and a clamp.
Square wooden dogs are easy to make and can offer a larger surface area for holding your workpiece (mine are 1" wide).
- my 2 cents.
Steve

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Jim, I used round holes because I could drill round holes myself. I did a row out from each vise, with a 6" spacing. In the future, I may decide to go to 3 inch spacing.
The real advantage I see is over time, the holes get a tad tight with a glue smear or whatever. When I get dedicated, I can ream them out with the same 3/4 inch bit I used to make them. I use my bench for wood shaping, and also glue-ups, finishing, and whatever else is called for. Bullet reloading is also done there! So over time, the holes become a little plugged with stuff or moisture. I think it would be harder to clean out square holes.
Hope this helps.....
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I used round in mine and will probably continue to do so.
Last year though, I came across an archive of an online chat with Frank Klausz and a woodworking club, and he was asked the same question. He was very emphatic about square because an oddly shaped piece can jump out of the clamp. He said something like "My father didn't spend all that time with a chisel carving out square holes in the benchtops for the fun of it! I hope I don't get any more questions about square vs round!" He was not exactly open to debate about that issue.
But so far, round has worked fine for me and my current bench. :-)
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