Reply by JayT

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Posted on one 2x4 frame to rule them all (workbench design)

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6417 posts in 3185 days

#1 posted 10-29-2018 12:54 PM

The dog holes are drilled all the way through. That allows them to be used for holdfasts or bench dogs and allows any chips or shavings to fall through. A partial hole would fill up quickly with sawdust, shavings and dirt.

To drill the holes, I used a 3/4in spade bit in a drill. You could also use a forstner bit or some guys start the hole with a 3/4in upspiral bit in a plunge router and finish with a drill bit. If drilling, make some sort of guide to help keep the hole straight. In my case, I simply drilled a 3/4 hole in a scrap of 2×4 and set it on the bench where I wanted the dog hole. As long as I kept the shank of the spade bit centered in the hole in the scrap, the dog hole was going to be straight. Others have used a squared off piece of wood or a speed square to help. Anything that will assist you in keeping the drill straight up and down.

Another option, if you are doing a laminated top would be to drill the dog holes in one piece before assembly on a drill press and then insert that piece of lumber in the right place as you glue up. That one would take careful planning to ensure you have the holes the proper distance from the front to line up with a tail vise.

For face planing, you use a planing stop. There are a bunch of different styles in wood and metal. You can have them fit down into dog holes, built into the bench itself, clamped in a vise or whatever your imagination desires—mine drop into the tool slot endcap, and I’ve also used Kreg bench dogs and pieces of scrap held in place by holdfasts. The only requirement is that it stops the piece being planed from moving forward. Heck, I’ve seen people just drive a nail into a bench with the head sticking out a bit and use that for a stop. Haven’t decided yet how I’m going to do the ones on my new bench, as there will not be a tool slot on the end—it won’t be the nail, however. If you Google up “planing stop”, you will see all kinds of options and just have to pick one to work for you.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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