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Thread: Dog Hole Spacing

  1. #1
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    Dog Hole Spacing

    So, in my workbench/assembly table renovation project I've decided on a pre-made 2" top.

    It will be a very generous size (74"L x 32" W x 2" D)

    I for a while have had a Woodpeckers Hole Boring Jig which I was planning to use to make 3/4" dog holes on the top.

    The spacing on the jig is 3-3/4" on center which strikes me as pretty close together. I was planning on 4" spacing.

    Is 3-3/4" too close together for dog holes?

    Will that many holes significantly decrease the strength on the top (It is 2", but still)?

    What other manufacturers of hole boring jigs might give me better spacing? (Really don't want to buy twice, but...)
    - I have enough frequent flyer miles to orbit the sun. Sigh...
    - After I ask a stranger if I can pet their dog and they say yes, I like to respond, "I'll keep that in mind" and walk off.
    - When you earnestly believe you can compensate for lack of skill by doubling your effort, there's no end to what you can't do

  2. #2
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    Hi Alan,
    I’m not sure what the consensus is on spacing but I have 4” centres between my dog holes and wish it was closer. Perhaps the fact that I use a Veritas Twin Screw vice as my end vice is a factor as it is somewhat awkward and slow for that task. I’m planning on adding some extra holes on 2” centres to check it out before I build a new bench. I don’t expect it to affect the strength significantly.
    Best regards,
    David

  3. #3
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    Chris Schwarz's latest Workbench book talks about dog hole placement pretty extensively. (It's free as a PDF download. The Anarchist's Workbench, with download link on that description page.)

    IIRC- the row of dog holes inline with a tail vise is chosen to complement the tail vise's travel, so you don't leave pieces you can't clamp without a spacer. For other dog holes a much larger spacing is used, with just enough to give good coverage for using holdfasts.

    PS- OTOH- if you're planning a Festool clamping / work table with a hole grid, use their size & spacing so you're compatible with all their accessories.

  4. #4
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    Based on travel or in the case of my long travel vise, how far you want to travel between grip points. I picked about 6". I say about because I evenly divided the length I was using. This is very usable. Trying to predict what the next dimension is that you may want to grip tomorrow is unrealistic. Plan for the length of travel you are comfortable with.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  5. #5
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    The spacing range you mention is "within norm". The Festool grid is 96mm oc which is just under 4", for example. The actual spacing doesn't matter all that much as long as it's the same and exactly placed if you intend to index for square off the grid.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    If you use hold-fasts, I would think the hole spacing would also depend on their reach.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  7. #7
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    I actually read both Chris Schwartz's workbench book and Lon Schleining's workbench book yesterday. (I need to get a life. )

    They're a little wishy-washy regarding placement.

    I think I'll stick to the Woodpecker's distance which is 3-3/4.

    Of course that means I'll have to rout out 152 holes. Do I need to buy several bits because they'll get dull? I've never remotely made that many holes.
    - I have enough frequent flyer miles to orbit the sun. Sigh...
    - After I ask a stranger if I can pet their dog and they say yes, I like to respond, "I'll keep that in mind" and walk off.
    - When you earnestly believe you can compensate for lack of skill by doubling your effort, there's no end to what you can't do

  8. #8
    I don't think I have used a bench where I wished the dog holes were spaced further apart. On my current Frid bench I decreased the spacing on both the bench and tail vise, and am the happier for it.

    Regarding your bit, you could probably hit it with a file or on a grinder if it starts getting dull. Sharpening drill bits is a handy skill to learn.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    Of course that means I'll have to rout out 152 holes. Do I need to buy several bits because they'll get dull? I've never remotely made that many holes.
    Probably a pain to do with that many holes, but I've pre-drilled using a 1/2" drill bit, so the router bit doesn't have to work so hard.
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

  10. #10
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    I built an assembly bench last Christmas. I didnít put any holes in it or a vice on it. My workbench has holes and vices. When I use the workbench for assembly, Iím always trying to keep small parts from falling through the holes.

  11. #11
    I would definitely pre drill with at least 1/2 inch bit, 5/8 would be better. I did the top of my 3x7 assembly table with one bit but the top surface is just 3/4 plywood. I pre-drilled, after trying a few holes without it. The noise and smoke convinced me to drill. I was making 20mm holes for track saw accessories (clamps, Festool clamps and dogs).

  12. #12
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    Interestingly, Chris Schwartz in the Anarchist's Workbench has the hole spacing 15" between holes, and 3-5" from the edges, which is way too far for how I work with various hold downs.

    No question I'll line up the holes on the end-vise with the holes on the workbench top.
    - I have enough frequent flyer miles to orbit the sun. Sigh...
    - After I ask a stranger if I can pet their dog and they say yes, I like to respond, "I'll keep that in mind" and walk off.
    - When you earnestly believe you can compensate for lack of skill by doubling your effort, there's no end to what you can't do

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael W. Clark View Post
    I built an assembly bench last Christmas. I didn’t put any holes in it or a vice on it. My workbench has holes and vices. When I use the workbench for assembly, I’m always trying to keep small parts from falling through the holes.
    No question that's going to be an issue with my design. I'll have to do something to prevent small parts from falling through into the drawers.
    - I have enough frequent flyer miles to orbit the sun. Sigh...
    - After I ask a stranger if I can pet their dog and they say yes, I like to respond, "I'll keep that in mind" and walk off.
    - When you earnestly believe you can compensate for lack of skill by doubling your effort, there's no end to what you can't do

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