Planing Cams

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Project by swirt posted 06-11-2010 10:53 PM 3245 views 24 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was inspired by Ecocandle’s planing board The cam that functioned both as a stop and a clamp is very clever. I got thinking about using a pair of similar cams to hold smaller pieces for planing.

If you have 3/4” dog holes on your bench already then you should see some potential for having one or a pair of cams to hold pieces for planing. The best part is I can plane a side, grab the part with one hand, flip it over and plane the other side without having to loosen and tighten my vice. It makes for pretty fast work.

These are made with 7/16” plywood (so I can plane to 1/2” without digging them up) and 3/4” oak dowel. After I use these a bit more (to find any shortcomings) I will probably make a pair out of 1/4” plywood or hardboard so that I can use them while planing thinner stock.

Each cam has a stopping arm (that the end of the board runs into) and a clamping arm, that pushed the face against a dog, stop, or the other cam. The only major feature I found in my planning (using cardboard models) is that the pivot point needs to be closer to the stopping arm.

-- Galootish log blog,

15 comments so far

View AaronK's profile


1508 posts in 3943 days

#1 posted 06-12-2010 12:09 AM

wow this idea gets even better. I gotta make myself one of these.

View AaronK's profile


1508 posts in 3943 days

#2 posted 06-12-2010 12:11 AM

oh yeah – how far apart are your dog holes spaced?

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3548 days

#3 posted 06-12-2010 12:16 AM


-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View swirt's profile


4140 posts in 3450 days

#4 posted 06-12-2010 12:24 AM

On my bench, the dog holes are 4” apart along the row, but the rows are 4 1/2” apart due to the vise rails being in the way. There is probably a better formula out there for the optimal spacing for dog holes, but I didn’t find it before I started drilling ;)

Stupidly I made the dog holes 6” apart on my saw benches which means the cams don’t work as well on them (not that I really need them on there….but it would have been nice to have what works on the main bench also work on the saw bench.

-- Galootish log blog,

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 3509 days

#5 posted 06-12-2010 03:31 AM

Cool idea. I need some too.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3544 days

#6 posted 06-12-2010 05:16 AM

I have never inspired anyone to do anything. Thanks so much for the compliment. You system seem to be wonderful too.

-- Brian Meeks,

View swirt's profile


4140 posts in 3450 days

#7 posted 06-12-2010 06:42 AM

Brian yours is both inspiring and more refined. Mine is more brutish but takes up a lot less space … and I am discovering now that they also can function pretty well as ordinary bench dogs.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3765 days

#8 posted 06-12-2010 05:52 PM

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3419 days

#9 posted 06-12-2010 08:14 PM

Too clever! Another idea to add to that LOOOONG list!! Thanks dudes!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18657 posts in 4154 days

#10 posted 06-14-2010 03:26 AM

Looks like it should work great.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View DYNO360's profile


151 posts in 3344 days

#11 posted 07-31-2010 04:05 AM

GREAT IDEA! Finally someone who knows how to place a plane on a workbench the correct way, on its side.

View Steve's profile


119 posts in 3609 days

#12 posted 11-23-2010 01:55 PM

Simplicity at it’s greatest. Definately building these. Thanks guys for another great project to add to the list.

View swirt's profile


4140 posts in 3450 days

#13 posted 11-23-2010 07:11 PM

The other cool thing I have found with using these is that if you just use it as a single dog, you can use a single wedge instead of a pair of wedges to clamp something toward another dog.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Dave's profile


11432 posts in 3318 days

#14 posted 02-07-2011 04:27 AM

I saw these in something the other day and they looked so handy i drew a small picture on one of my many notepads. And wata ya know, you made a set. Good stuff swirt.:)

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View swirt's profile


4140 posts in 3450 days

#15 posted 02-08-2011 12:04 AM

Thanks superdav. They are very handy and so easy to make. I really do need to make both a larger pair and a smaller pair.

-- Galootish log blog,

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