3/4” or 1” bench dogs holes?

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Volksdad

New User
Glen
I am finishing up a new workbench made from 3 layers of 1” MDF.

Does anyone have a suggestion on what width bench dog holes I should use?


B4E490C1-0E91-4508-A1B5-5041C80E9E31.jpeg
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Corporate Member
Glen, I'm always envious of people whose shops are cleaner than mine.... :D
In time, you may see the MDF dog holes start to fatigue. You may want to over-bore and glue in a hardwood sleeve if that happens.
Have you considered edge banding your bench, or will you seal it like the top?
 

Volksdad

New User
Glen
Thanks Dennis, but My messy shop is a work in progress.... I am getting there, lol.

I bought ash for the edge banding from Klingspor. I also bought some hard maple to make a vise. I have a lot of 14” long 3/4” thick stainless steel threaded rod along with the nuts and washers. My plan is to make a Moxon style and see how I like it.

This is my first workbench. I chose MDF thinking that I might eventually have to replace it - but that overboring idea might get me a couple more years if it happens. I was going to harden the holes after I bore them with CA or poly.

I thought I’d make the dogs from a 1” dowel. I was leaning towards 1”... I thought that they might be a bit stronger. I’m using wood for my dogs bcz I’m worried about running my plane blade over metal dogs. ( we all have to be honest about our skill set- lol).
 
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danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
I would encourage you to consider 3/4 holes. My current bench(4th in 42 years) is the first bench with round holes and it is a joy. Holdfasts are something I use every day. The 3/4 hole is best for that not the 1" hole.

To make a dozen bench dogs, I just cut 3/4 dowels and drilled in a cheap bullet spring catch. This holds them in place in work position or stored in the holes when not in use.








Square holes in my vise jaws.


 

TENdriver

New User
TENdriver
Gramercy holdfasts and Lee Valley planing stops etc. are 3/4", so that's what I used.

Glen, You may or you may not end up being all that happy with your homemade dogs. As Richard and Dan suggested, If you conform to the standards of the commercial products, you will at least have other options to supplement your homemade dogs.

It’s been a couple of years since I bought any dogs, but the Lee Valley/Veritas selection of accessories was large and the the quality was outstanding.

Also, Since you’re using MDF, I think Festool had a “MFT” dog system (metric) that I believe was designed for MDF. I’m not a machine tool guy, but I thought it looked like a really good system and at one time, people were making homemade versions of the MFT standard tables.
 

Volksdad

New User
Glen
Thanks guys- especially to Dan for all the great pics. Like I said this is my first workbench- and I wasn’t sure about some details. Having never used dogs or a bench before, I was relying on some conflicting blogs on the net that argued about the strength of 3/4 dogs. Clearly there is no problem with 3/4 so I’m going to use that standard.

I had found some accessories in both standards but it seems the 3/4 is much cheaper, so that will help too!
 

gator

George
Corporate Member
If you have, or find used, WorkMate tables (or their equivalent in other brands) the plastic stops that come with them are 3/4" and work well for stops on a workbench.

George
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
Another vote for 3/4". It is plenty strong for bench dogs, and allows you to use a lot of after market accessories. If you use oak dowels for the dogs, you will tear apart your MDF bench top before the dogs give way.

Go
 
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marinosr

Richard
Senior User
This is my first workbench. I chose MDF thinking that I might eventually have to replace it - but that overboring idea might get me a couple more years if it happens. I was going to harden the holes after I bore them with CA or poly.
If you plan to use holdfasts don't apply finish to your dog holes! Dan and I both did this and the holdfasts wouldn't hold fast because of the slickness...
https://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/showthread.php?t=65773
 

Volksdad

New User
Glen
I exchanged my bit for a 3/4” one and found five blue nylon dogs for I think 6 or 7 bucks. I’m sure I could save a couple bucks making them but I think that’s pretty inexpensive.

I have not drilled the holes yet because I redid my clamp rack. I’ll need the clamps to work neatly. The shop is FINALLY coming together. I’ll post some pics on a separate thread.
 
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