Ask WWGOA: Bench Dog Hole Spacing

Question:

I recently built a new workbench with a front vise and a tail vise. I purchased some bench dogs to use with my new bench, but I’m not sure how to space the holes for the bench dogs. I’m reluctant to start drilling holes into my new bench without some advice regarding the appropriate spacing of the holes. Any ideas?

Submitted by mderosby

Answer:

The center-to-center spacing of your bench dog holes should be slightly less than the travel of your vise. That way you’ll be certain that, regardless of the length of the material you’re trying to hold in the dogs, you’ll be able to catch it.

George


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Discussion
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16 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: Bench Dog Hole Spacing”
  1. 569 powell st.

    This is good info, thanks. I just bought a maple work bench top that needs mounting & my drill bits don’t even scratch the surface. Is there a recommended bit and blade to use when drilling/cutting maple? Is it better to use lags or through bolts to secure the top to the bench? Thanks.

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      Hello, any good quality bit or blade should work fine on maple as long as it is sharp. Brad point bits are better for drilling wood than twist bits, and will leave a much cleaner hole than paddle bits. You will also need a drill and saw with adequate power. Most 110V corded tools will suffice, but don’t attempt this with a 9.6V drill or a typical battery powered saw. Maple is a hard and dense wood so you might want to slow down your RPM of your drill a bit if possible, and back out of the hole frequently to evacuate debris and cool the bit.
      In terms of lags or through bolts to secure the top, either will work. I’d suggest lag screws for this application to avoid having hardware penetrating through the top. There is little tensile strain applied to this hardware during normal bench use so it should hold fine.

      Reply
  2. john glenn

    I have just discovered the jaws on my 4 jaw chuck are not centered causing my work piece to be off center. What do I need to do to correct the jaws?

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      I have a few suggestions for you to try:
      – Are the jaws/slots numbered? And if so, ensure that the jaws are all in their correct corresponding slot- If you have multiple sets of jaws, check to see that you have not installed jaws from different sets. – Sometimes the jaws can get off track if they are extended beyond their normal travel path, and when they are retracted they are not even with each other. If it is just one jaw that appears to be off, try removing and replacing that jaw to see if it can be reset in the same position as the others.

      Reply
  3. Luiz

    Hi, good morning, could you show me how this bench lift was made?
    Sorry if my translation is not correct because I’m translating for Google.

    Reply
  4. JP

    George – Axminster tools in England has a fantastic bench dog drilling system available – a little costly, but it’s brilliant, and it’s guaranteed square the way they do it. Video is on their site

    Reply
      • Craig

        Can confirm the brilliance of it! According to a set of expensive calipers, over a length of birch ply 585mm, there was a difference of 0.08mm at either end! Well worth the investment.

        Reply
  5. GORDON

    I’m building a maple countertop for my daughter in law and she wants a 3” back splash made of maple attached to it what would be the best way to fasten them together? Both the countertop and back splash are made from 3/4” maple

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Gordon. You could use one of the following approaches:
      – Glue. With freshly jointed/planed surfaces, you could simply glue the back splash to the countertop.- Glue and screws. You could add some screws, running them up from the bottom of the countertop.- Install the backsplash separately. You could install the backsplash after the countertop is installed, nailing it to the wall and applying a light bead of caulk to seal the seam. This allows you to follow some irregularity in the wall for a perfect fit.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
  6. Greg

    How far from the front edge of the bench should I drill dog holes? I am going to use a Kreg inline bench dog clamp and round bench dogs since I do not have room to put a tail vice on my bench.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Greg. I would place them so that the outside edge of the dog hole is at least 3″ from the edge.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply