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Million dollar question

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noddy67

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I've come to point in a workbench build where I need to make a decision. Round or square?

Bench dogs. Torn both ways and am even considering a combination. Anyone have any thoughts on which they prefer and why?

Thanks
 

woodbloke

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The best bench dogs I saw were at Pete Sefton's bash back in July. Simply use a bit of 20mmish dowel, cut the first 25mm so there's a square face for the timber to locate against and then around the middle of the dog insert one of:



...these ball catches, so that the dog will stay where it's put in the 'ole, which obviously needs to be slightly bigger than the dowel dia. There was lots of good stuff on that day (inc the grub) but this was the one of the neatest ideas that I saw - Rob
 

condeesteso

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I would recommend 3/4 (19mm) round for 2 reasons - easier to make* (3/4 forstner) and lots of options that fit, from basic dogs (Axminster, Veritas brass ones, even 3/4 dowel), the outstanding holdfasts made by Richard T here, and various fancy clamp-downs. The rectangular is far less versatile because they only take rect dogs, and mixing the 2 could offer frustration reaching for the right dog, or the wrong shaped hole where you wanted the other one.
* I accept making the rectangular during build is quite easy, but no easier I think. Adding later, the round wins hands-down.
 

Paul Chapman

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Round every time for all the reasons Douglas says. Also you can drill a round hole any time after the bench is built. Also, if the piece of wood you are gripping between dogs doesn't have a square end, the dog will revolve slightly, thereby gripping it better.

Drill them 19mm or 3/4" and all the Veritas dogs will fit.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

woodbloke

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Paul Chapman":3avyvlob said:
Drill them 19mm or 3/4" and all the Veritas dogs will fit.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
...except that a bit of dowel and a ball catch is a lot cheaper :wink: - Rob
 

Paul Chapman

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woodbloke":3gltvy6r said:
Paul Chapman":3gltvy6r said:
Drill them 19mm or 3/4" and all the Veritas dogs will fit.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
...except that a bit of dowel and a ball catch is a lot cheaper :wink: - Rob
Well, just use 19mm dowel.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

urbanarcher

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+1 for the 19mm round dogs made from a beach dowel make em right and you wont need the ball catches theres a saving on cost for ya!
 

noddy67

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Thanks for the replies guys. Totally agree with all the benefits of round dog holes and am pretty sure they will appear somewhere but at the back of my mind there's something about the aesthetic of rectangular ones, particularly along the front edge of the top, that really appeals. Has anyone ever incorporated both into a workbench they've made?
 

matthewwh

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My bench has square holes along the front (as supplied) but I have recently beefed up the middle section ready for drilling out for 19mm / 3/4" rounds.

I too have seen Peter Sefton's and will be following his elegant design for the round ones. The advantage of the ball catch is that you have a detente when the shoulder is flush with the surface, but can also press them deeper into the bench when working with thinner materials - cheap, clever and simple!
 

Jacob

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Round is easier except it'll leave more of an impression than square, if any pressure is involved. Also if you use a dog as a single bench stop e.g. to plane up a board quickly without any other hold down etc, then square (and bigger) is more stable.
 

bugbear

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Jacob":582mc3os said:
Round is easier except it'll leave more of an impression than square, if any pressure is involved. Also if you use a dog as a single bench stop e.g. to plane up a board quickly without any other hold down etc, then square (and bigger) is more stable.
Agreed - the classic defence of square is the larger surface area resisting straight line planing forces. Ease of making and versatility favour the round variant.

A compromise which appeals to me is a single full-on planing stop, near the face vise, and a rank of 3/4" round holes to exploit either simple dowels, or the somewhat awesome range of Veritas products.

By full on planing stop, I mean the classic substantial 2"x1", through-the-bench, wing nut on the bench leg type;



If you're lucky enough to own a Record #169, your position isn't dictated by the bench leg!

If you want a REALLY wide stop, make one of these;



It's just a stop screwed (and/or glued) to a lump to hold in the vise. To make the stop truly solid, either clamp the far end, or run it up against the small stop (as above).

BugBear
 

sometimewoodworker

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condeesteso

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Hi Noddy - yes, a bench stop (above) is also a very good thing, easy as a part of the build. I note BBs is at far right, do we have a left-hander here? If right handed, I'd put it over left, near front, to right of face vice, hence allowing long pieces support along bench top.
Still very pro the round 19mm... 20mm deletes the option of using all the commercially available 3/4 accessories. And note the round dogs have flats on them - not quite the contact area of the square but close. If you use wood dogs, just cut a flat on the contact face say top to 1". down. Some go to the slight bother of facing the dogs with leather - very good indeed as it grips limpet-like and reduces marring (use about 2mm thick, sheepskin is no good, cowhide too thick unless split, pigskin perfect, offcuts from a craft place, peanuts).
And if you ever try holdfasts you will be converted I am sure... unless you drill 20mm holes in which case, not so good (might just work but depends on top thickness)..
Before committing, if you want to come over and play with 3/4" complete with dogs, holdfasts, a bench stop etc, pm me and pop over.

p.s. Axminster ali dogs £13 a pair. I know shop-made hardwood is cheaper but these are lifetime basics I reckon:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-ax ... prod21296/
 

Jacob

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Trouble is a 19mm dia stop/dog with a flat on it isn't going to be very strong at all. A bit of pressure and it could snap off. Even at 19mm a square is better - stronger and with wider bearing surface against the workpiece and against the dog hole, but if you are going to the trouble you might as well make them bigger say 32mm square.
 

woodbloke

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Jacob":310yp9nv said:
Trouble is a 19mm dia stop/dog with a flat on it isn't going to be very strong at all. A bit of pressure and it could snap off. Even at 19mm a square is better - stronger and with wider bearing surface against the workpiece and against the dog hole, but if you are going to the trouble you might as well make them bigger say 32mm square.
I doubt it Jacob. I use square, spring loaded Krenovian rosewood dogs about 15mm square and I've never broken one. If you apply too much pressure 'twixt the moving and fixed dogs, there may well be a tendency for the wood to bow upwards, 'specially if it has a narrow section, which is obviously a bit self-defeating. The right amount of force is that which is just required to hold the work securely in place when anything's being done to it - Rob
 

Logos

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To sometimewoodworker
You are right. They are very similar to the workmate ones, but they do have a much lower profile, which I have found to be very useful. Strangely enough the workmate ones fitted much better and tighter in a 19mm hole rather than the Rutlands ones. The latter are somewhat loose in a 19mm hole and ideally you would need to use a 3/4 drill bit. Saying that they have worked extremely well and being fairly cheap, it is not a problem if they get lost or broken.

To Jacob
I have to say that I have had mine for about 2 years now and they haven't snapped or deformed. I don't know how much pressure needs to be applied for them to snap or deform but i have planed some really difficult wood whilst using them and they have been fine. The workmate ones that I have had, have unfortunately snapped, when I was trying to extract them (they were extremely tight fit in the 19mm hole). The only problem that I have had with them was because they fitted loosely in the hole but a bit of paper wrapped around the round bit solved the problem.

Kind regards
Logos
 

noddy67

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Thanks again for the replies chaps.

Douglas I just took a look at your workbench build: a-life-of-vice-my-new-bench-t52608.html Fantastic. I'd love to take you up on your offer to pop round and take a look at it. I'll PM you.

Bugbear is that photo of the planing stop on your own bench? If so please post a few more pics or put the link up so I can admire it. Looks stunning.

Having seen the tail vice on Douglas's bench I'm now even more undecided as to what vice hardware to go with. Decisions decisions...
 

condeesteso

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Noddy, some decisions to be made, but don't rush them I think as it is a long-term commitment and the bench becomes the central workplace. Come on over and we'll talk benches, and I promise I won't try to convert you to anything you don't want. Plenty of room here for personal preference :)
PM replied to.
 
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