The whole dog is cherry. Only because it was nice-looking scrap. I would
think anything harder than pine would work acceptably.
The springyness (tension?) of the spring is a function of thickness of the
slat. I just experimented to get what I felt worked well. I was happy with
the results of my second try.
I've got square dogs too. I out a ledge in the top (Bad ascii art):
side view of doghole - the ledge in the top is supposed to catch the pad
that you glue to the face of the dog to prevent it from marking your stock.
Here's what I've found: all of my "nice" dogs (the ones with pads on the
face) seem to wander off when I need them. The dogs I use are just strips of
random stock ripped off of hunks of scrap wood (my holes area fat 3/4 x
3/4, so its easy to find stock). On the spring placement - if you make your
dogs (and holes) square, and don't bother with a pad (I haven't had any
problems not having one) it doesn't matter what side the spring is on - just
turn it around until its the way you want it....
I think so. Just finished my own "intermediate" bench, which it sounds
like you are doing, and have the ledges. Not pretty--I cut the dog
holes with the RAS, and the extra width with a stopped cut of the RAS
to remove most of the material, and a chisel to square up.
In another message, you said "I'm more on the "good, fast,
cheap" side of the scale than ultimate bench with this one." Given
that, consider that your ledge doesn't have to be neat, perfectly
The relevant question is "without the ledge, what are the odds that
the dog will be in any of your dog holes, versus on the floor under
I agree with you, and did them that way. With the spring on the side,
you have good unimpeded mating surfaces on the front and the back,
where force is applied.
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
Don't over-analize it- they're just bits of scrap to hold your
workpiece. I used square dog holes for my bench, and then made the
"dogs" by ripping a piece of 4/4 beech to size and chopping a bunch of
little square dogs out of it on the miter saw. Then I threw all of
them in a cardboard box, and presto- more dogs than I will ever need.
The don't have any springs on them at all, but they still work just
fine. The pressure from the vise keeps everything in place no
I'm not saying that you shouldn't do it the "correct" way, but it's
certainly nothing to get too worked up over. Enjoy your new bench!
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