A couple of years ago, i bought a workbench assembly at Canadian Tire (our
The top working surface has a number of holes bored through it, in each of
which can be fitted the lower end of a cross-sectionally rectangular,
elongated wood stick. When this wood stick is fitted in one of these bores,
it projects vertically upwardly from the surface of the workbench.
What are these for??? I imagine they're used as guiding means of some sort.
I've kindda discarded them cause i didn't see any use for them.... but i've
seen them around on other workbenches than mine, so i imagine they must be
useful to some extent.
thanks for the info
They are called "dog holes". The stick that you place in them is called a
There should be a vise which also has one or more dog holes. A dog placed in
a fixed hole in the bench top used in conjuction with a dog in the vise
become the "jaws" of potentially large vise or clamp above the surfadec of
You should be able to get the idea from the picture on this link
Ahhhhhh...... i see.....
now that you've told me that, i see a million uses for it.... to think that
i've been clamping my workpieces down on my workbench all this time.... it
was annoying me so much and i kept thinking "there's gotta be another
thanks a lot for the info
you can also buy or make accessories, such as hold down clamps that
use the holes..
(Ken Vaughn's site... an education in WW)
one of the most useful things that I've made are cam clamps...
I was trying to build glaceing clamps and wasn't happy with them... I
had cut out 2 or 3 cam-shaped pieces and put 3/4" dowels through them,
and one was laying on the bench... I found that I can use them as
"adjustable" pegs and clamp things in the middle of the bench with
Stephen do you own this bench? It shows that the center wood top is 1 1/8" thick,
that should be 5/4 or 6/4 stock I think, but do you think it matters if the wood is
that thin? It seems to be a good deal compared to the Rockler $400 Sjoberg.
I just bought 8 Lignum Vitae pen blanks to become bench dogs, they'll be fun to make!
No. That was just the first picture I could find with a quick search.
My bench is home made.
the wood is
In the field of the bench, no, I don't think super thick is required. But
more beef is always better.
The materials for my bench (including vise wardware) were less than that,
and it weighs well over 200 lbs.
I'm really a proponent of "build your own". It doesn't mater if you
implement a plywood, tubafor, or a classic european hardwood bench. Just do
it. It's good skill-building excercize for almost anybody.
A complete newbie doesn't need that need the classic bench and probably will
opt for a simpler design. By the time you *need* the classic bench, you'll
have the skills to pull it off.
There are no one right answer in bench building. It varies with the skills
and techniques of the user/builder.
I was much pondering everything, prices, models, reviewing people's
personally made benches all over the 'net, picking up ideas and so forth. My
Grandmother gave me her old maple breakfast table top for the exact purpose
of a woodworking bench, very sweet of her. But I saw that link and thought
it might be easier than building one, perfect size too. Then I read that they are
not producing anything as changes are being made. Then I called them, the
owner answered, I asked some questions on "what is going on", he told me
the company has been sold to [?] in Colorado, they will start producing and
benches should be available by the end of this year.
It is a real structure of a quality hard maple that can't be found as common
like in the days it was new. Layers of wood and under-side boards and a leaf.
You could go into "Levitt's" or "Wick's" and buy it at a common price back
My then uncle swiped the legs for maple guitar neck when he was learning to
be a luthier (now at Fender). It had no more use as the space was taken by a
newly installed kitchen island.
The maple is 5/4? (exactly 1" thick) so I have the idea of ripping the table top
sections into 2" wide boards to be used as standing lamination upon 2x2 DF
planed flat to create about a 3" thick top.
Say the 2x2 are length-wise T&G is 60" or 62" x 20" wide for depth as a base
for a cross-wise laminated maple standing, not T&G... does that sound good
or should I try and put it into a better perspective? Say you are facing the front
of the bench, the maple board laminates are traveling from you to the back
of the bench while glued on top of the T&G 2x2's which travel left and right.
Just my idea. I think it would be a strong enough top. I have the trestle designed
in my head, almost. Sorry for the grueling long reply.
Thanks for the great reply and encouragement, I appreciate it much!
That sound Very cool to me. I like the idea of recycleing family furniture
I worthy cause.
DF = Doug Fir? Idunno'bout that. If I follow correctly, you would have 1"
"veneer" of maple over 2" of DF. That sounds like you are asking for a big
cup as the expansion and contraction rates differ.
90 degrees to the DF Like plywood on steroids? - Terrible idea :-(. The
seasonal movement will split it it.
Here's what I would (and to some degree did):
1 - invest in Landis' "The Workbench Book", about $20 and really fun read.
2- Most of the beating, pounding and stress that wou will put on a bench for
hand work is within 6-8 inches of the front edge. Build up the beef in the
front where you need it.
3- Suppplement you stock with more maple. I purchased "brown maple". It's
maple, but with some heartwood. Same stuff, not as pretty, half the price.
4 - Keep all the wood going left to right. If you do want bread-board ends
(going front to back) you can only lock the end at one point and let the
rest of the joint move with the seasons.
1" thick stock cut to 2" or 3" wide boards laminated as standing up, glued side
I just might do that...
It'll all be 3" thick as a whole top. I can't get too special here...
I asked the exotic woods dealer, he said he's never tried to get it and never
heard of it, seems a shot futile. But there is a lot of wood in the table so a
little extra 5/4 maple wouldn't be too bad or too much, if needed.
I'll have to learn about that joint thing, I'll buy that book.
Then it would all have to be butcher-blocked, end to end. I wouldn't know how to
arrange that unless I used an even-odd pattern like brick laying. That is because of
sizes of the pieces of wood in the table, I can't do an "all-like" gluing pattern that
will show weakness and be weaker like all the leaf pieces aligned up in the middle.
As far as strong seasonal differences in my town, hardly anything. The front door
gets a touch harder to close in rainy weather without any real water touching it
besides that which is in the air. Which is probably your very strong point of
duh! But the trestle will have to DF (previously, yes I had meant douglas fir, our
only local framing wood).
It's not so much *that wood* as see what your local hardwood market has
cheap. It's a very regional thing. In particular I'm concerned about gluing
together maple and a softwood.
If there is table to spare, great.
I think splices are fine so long as the joints are staggered. Just make sure
that the pies in the same row are identical thickness.
Chages in the weather *will* cause wood to move. You might as well just plan
A softwood tressle is fine. I would, however upsize the height of the
crossmembers. They are your protection from racking (the sort of streess
that hand planing will put on a bench). The tendency of wood fibers to
compress (making the joint wiggly) would me mitigated by a tall crossmember.
(That is a 2x8 is a better design than a 4x4).
But perhaps that's just my personal overkill.
What I can get so far, Soboba woods:
White ash $4.95/bf
Euro Beech $5.95/bf (extremely nice)
Maple 8/4 $4.87/bf (deal ay?)
What is a staggered joint?
I agree with that entirely now. Same woods to be used.
I was thinking of a 8x4 DF beam for a rear length-wise stretcher, using a blind
tennon/mortise into the leg, and then a fat healthy bench bolt going through the
tennon, the nut being a round cross dowel in circular hole, in the beam. 1/2" bolt,
head sunken in a counter bore. Then a 4x4 or 6x4 up front, same joint. With this
idea, there would be a single shelf resting on the 4x4 but going into a route in
the rear 8x4. 2x6 stretchers for the side ends.
Now you can see MY personal overkill...hehe
Looks like my Mother has made it clear that she wants to preserve the table and
get new legs for it... good grief! She cares that the table has been in the family
for 40 years. sorry for that waste of time.
So now back to the top again, for 8/4 stock, there is a length-wise joint that is
like T/G, but there is a routed groove on either side of the board (width dimention),
connecting boards with an inserted stave, is there a name for that joint?
They're called Bench Dogs. Often metal (brass, iron) - some round,
They're stops that you butt your one end of workpiece against. The
other end is butted up against the vise. Tighten the vise and you
pinch the piece firmly 'tween the dog and the vise.
I use a dog when I am sanding a panel, especially with a belt sander.
It keeps the material in place. Sometimes a dog and a dog in the vise
are used to hold material. Once you understand how they work, you'll
probably use them more often. (You can't have too many clamps.)
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