Ask WWGOA: Bench Dog Hole Spacing

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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


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.


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11 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: Bench Dog Hole Spacing”

  1. William Babbitt

    The bench dog pattern is one issue, another is the angle of the hole to drill. One school promotes a true vertical angle (90-degrees from the benchtop). Another says to drill 2 to 3 degrees off vertical. Which is the best way to drill the holes? If off vertical, which direction from the front of the workbench should the offset be?

  2. Andrew

    Do you have plans for a jig/guide that we can use to make evenly spaced holes over the entire surface of our bench top ? Maybe something like a guide that has, let’s say nine 3/4” holes, that you first clamp to the corner of your bench. Next, you drill holes, move the guide, put pegs through guide into previously cut holes, cut more bench holes, move guide, place pins... etc etc. until you’ve covered your bench with evenly spaced dog holes kind of,like,the Festool MFT.

  3. Jayakumarsasi


  4. 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.

  5. Joe Tomeo

    How to accurately set up a table saw miter gauge to a precise degree or angle?

  6. jerry hager

    i like the fact that i can get reliable answers to my wood working questions.


    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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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?