Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Thread: Square dogs and dog holes... Some questions about making them.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    582

    Square dogs and dog holes... Some questions about making them.

    This is my first time trying out square dogs.

    So, the first thing I did was chop out 20mm x 30mm mortises right through the top of my bench, because that's about the size that all of those square dog holes appear to be...

    Then, I realized, that it's supposed to be more like 20mm x 20mm for the first 2/3rds of the way from the underside, and 30 x 20 from the top. Woops....

    How should I go about fixing this? I don't really like the idea of 20 x 40 dog holes at the top... seems too long and narrow.

    I guess I could glue 1/4" or 3/8" strips in from the bottom. But I was wondering if there are any variations on the square dog design historically which accepted "straight" holes, without the "step" carved into the top.

    I could always just friction fit the dogs, theoretically, though I don't know if I can get a good fit for all the mortises equally such that they're interchangeable, if I do that. Was this done? Are the fancy wooden spring loaded dog holes a modern thing? They do seem convenient and nice to use, at any rate...

    Any thoughts / insight?

    Edit: More questions. Should the dogs stick out the underside? My bench top is only a tad over 2" thick.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Posts
    1,331
    Checkout You tube title “making a bench dog in five minutes”. This style of square dog can easily be made with hand tools. I would make the dogs two to three inches longer than your bench thickness.

    You might also consider stealing design ideas from the Veritas design. LV puts the spring on the side of the dog. I’d make square dogs and see how they work.
    Last edited by Joe A Faulkner; 11-27-2021 at 12:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Here's a drawing of traditional square dogs. https://benchcrafted.blogspot.com/20...og-prints.html Note that the holes have a 2 degree inward cant. This is far easier to do in the bench apron prior to gluing to the center slab. I cut my notched slots with a radial arm saw and chisel, though it could be done with a router and template. To cut canted mortises into a completed top could perhaps be done with a hollow chisel mortiser but more likely with a handheld chisel. The wooden springs can be replaced with brass ball catch springs. The dogs should be taller than the benchtop thickness so you can push them out from below and grip well above the top surface.
    Last edited by Kevin Jenness; 11-27-2021 at 10:43 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    1,872
    The photo shows how I make wooden dogs with spring. Mine are notched and canted at 3*. They are set into a 5” deep face board. With a 2” thick top you will only have about 1” for the dog to compress against if you glue in a piece. Unless you have very hard wood to glue in it will crush quickly on the holes you use a lot. It’s surprising how much load you can apply to those dogs. I would be looking at thickening your top at that point to get a longer bearing area for the dogs. The wood spring is not difficult to accomplish and works well. I would guess that it will vibrate out without the notch however.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    24,352
    Blog Entries
    1
    Luke, good answers above.

    One thing seen on many benches with square dogs is every hole has its own dog. This allows the user to lightly tap the underside of the dog when placing work. Then tap it down when done.

    A light chamfer on the top of the spring may help it slide up and down better.

    Some folk cut an angled kerf into the bottom of the dog for the spring.

    To me one advantage of square dog holes is the ability to come up with a make shift bench top lathe using the tail vise.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    8,196
    Luke, as Kevin notes, the. time to build the dog holes is when the dog hole strip is has not been glued into the top.

    This is extracted from my build on my website.

    Note that I initially used small sections from cut offs to do the strip as I lacked the necessary single board. Later, I removed this and built a single, long strip for the bench …

    Building dog holes: The dog holes are 1" wide and 1 1/2" deep across the top. They are angled towards the vise at 2 degrees. The dog in the BC tailvise is the same size, and also angled forward by 2 degrees.

    The dogs need to be centred in the dog strip. First the dog strip board is resawn ...



    Then a jig was built for the router ...



    ... and the dog holes machined out ..



    The "bumps" are to prevent the dogs dropping out of the dog holes.

    Finally, the two boards were glued together ..



    The result was a bunch of dog hole strips with each dog hole 3" apart ..



    ... which I cut to fit the length here, but which I can re-configure as I wish later on (also, note the difference in size of this 75" bench top length versus the <60" length of my old bench) ...



    Here is a picture of the bench with the Jarrah pieces used for the dogs. It may interest some to note the 2 degree angle (facing the tail vise) ..

    Here is one of the dogs (they are all identical), with a head dimension of 1" x 1 1/2" x 5" long. They are faced in suede leather.

    The dogs all recess flush with the bench top when not in use ..

    I really like the ability to raise them to a height that is needed ...

    A dog for each dog hole ..


    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Dupont View Post

    But I was wondering if there are any variations on the square dog design historically which accepted "straight" holes, without the "step" carved into the top.

    My bench top is only a tad over 2" thick.
    The width of the step is somewhat arbitrary, but it is there to keep the dogs from dropping through the holes. 2" is a bit thin although it will work. If you want to modify your existing dog holes you could rip off the mortised part of your top and replace it with a new, thicker strip. This would give you the opportunity to make the dog holes the size you want more easily and give a stouter front edge for dog holding and general pounding.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    8,196
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    The width of the step is somewhat arbitrary, but it is there to keep the dogs from dropping through the holes. 2" is a bit thin although it will work. If you want to modify your existing dog holes you could rip off the mortised part of your top and replace it with a new, thicker strip. This would give you the opportunity to make the dog holes the size you want more easily and give a stouter front edge for dog holding and general pounding.
    Agree... I do believe that you will save yourself a great deal of hassle later on by rebuilding the dog strip you have.

    Also .. the depth of the step is not only to stop the dogs dropping through, but also stiffen the dogs. I believe that this is an advantage to having square over round dogs.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Last edited by Derek Cohen; 11-27-2021 at 10:38 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    24,352
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Agree... I do believe that you will save yourself a great deal of hassle later on by rebuilding the dog strip you have.

    Also .. the depth of the step is not only to stop the dogs dropping through, but also stiffen the dogs. I believe that this is an advantage to having square over round dogs.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    My round dogs do tend to drop through on the thinner parts of the bench. It is more difficult to get as effective or a holding spring on round dogs.

    Would it be difficult to glue a hunk of wood in the lower part of the already cut dog holes?

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    1,872
    I would guess that my wood spring dog could be fitted mallet tight. If so it could stay in place in square holes even with vibrations stemming from mortise chopping when they are not in use. I do know that they become somewhat tighter or loose seasonally. Although somewhat more difficult round dogs can be made using offset turning on a lathe. Spring pole lathe for true neanders. Than rip down the center line cut a 1 or 2 degree angle at the base and glue back together. I haven’t done this for digs but did so for an adjustable lumber rack years ago. I just used 1 1/4” standard closet pole. It worked very well for keeping the brackets in the adjusting holes. The wood spring works great for many applications, door and drawer latches, sliding breadboards, the writing slide outs on desks and such.
    Jim
    Jim

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    24,352
    Blog Entries
    1
    Here is a mock up of something seen in an old FWW magazine:

    Square Dog A-Style.jpg

    This has the springs on both sides instead of having one at the front. This was made in about 10-15 minutes. It could be made by glueing the springs to an angled top piece.

    This one has about 7/32" difference between the top and bottom.

    This was a piece of scrap with some problems at the top. Its changing grain caused it to split when a wedge was driven in.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    582
    Thanks everyone! A wealth of information, as always.

    I think if I were to rip the dog section off, I will just rebuild the top. The construction of what I have now is very simple: it's three 3/4" laminated pine "table top boards" from the hardware store glued face to face. This is why I didn't cut the dogs out before assembling the top, because my pieces were laminated top to bottom rather than along the width of the top.

    In hindsight, I think I should have gone with a more traditional construction: the traditional continental benches that you see have a thick front edge and back edge (or alternatively, a tool well) and a thin top, with a home-made vise that slides up into this gap. My current vise is merely a cheap metal vise with metal guide bars, and it racks pretty badly. A traditional home-made vise with wooden guide bars that slides up under the thin portion of the bench would have been much less racky and more stable. That, or a better vise.

    Fortunately, I just have the top sitting on pegs, so it can be easily upgraded without rebuilding the leg assembly, which was more labor intensive than the top.

    For now, however, I have a bench that is almost complete, so I may as well get it in working order and start using it. I think I will just go for a very narrow lip of a few millimeters to keep the dogs from falling through the bottom. This will not look too bad and should still function just fine. Perhaps I can even use a strip of thick lether attached to the face of the dogs for this.

    As a side note, my dog holes are angled correctly at 2 degrees. At least I knew this much!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    24,352
    Blog Entries
    1
    My current vise is merely a cheap metal vise with metal guide bars, and it racks pretty badly.
    There are easy ways to deal with vise racking > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?183743

    Very easy to make:

    Anti-Rack Spacer Stack.jpg

    This was made to fit my vise. The slot spacing and leaf sizes may be different for yours.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    582
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    There are easy ways to deal with vise racking > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?183743

    Very easy to make:

    Anti-Rack Spacer Stack.jpg

    This was made to fit my vise. The slot spacing and leaf sizes may be different for yours.

    jtk

    That's brilliant! And exactly what I need. Thanks!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
    Posts
    1,289
    My dogs are 1” wide by 1.5” deep. The height holding is provided by a side pad of wood in a dado held on by double sided dense foam tape. Never seen anyone do that. It works very well even after years. Using the side maintains the holding integrity of the dog. The small insert in the front is the maximum height of the dog.

    0F510076-4BA1-4740-A0A2-50DB69A7B9EA.jpg
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •