Tips & Tricks Issue 90: Well-Behaved Bench Dogs

Conventional bench dogs are usually outfitted with sprung metal or wood strips to hold them in place at your desired working height. They work well enough at an inch or so above the benchtop, but lack bite when standing tall to hold higher work. This dog relies on 

1/4-20 × 1/2" nylon-tipped set screws (available at; item # 94115A537) to keep it precisely where you want it, even when projecting 4" above the work surface. To make a good dog like this, saw your stock from a dense hardwood like maple, sizing its body to suit your benchtop’s dog holes. Then drill a series of 3/16"-diameter holes through the back of the dog (there’s no need to tap them). Drive the screws through until their nylon tips protrude from the opposite face and bear lightly against the inside of the dog hole. It will then sit where you want it to without further commands to “stay!” 

—Andy Rae, Asheville, North Carolina 

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