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If there is one disadvantage to round bench dogs, it is that they can occasionally rotate as you are clamping something between two dogs or when you are planing against a single dog.

It’s a minor annoyance, but it’s real.

An Italian reader devised a very clever solution to this problem that is quick. I hope I’ll have some time to try it out when I return to my shop at home next week.

The idea comes from Leonardo, one of the moderators of Legnofilia forum: The photos and description below come from Andrea, a blogger at

Take a pad saw, the one with a dark handle and brass fittings that you bought on eBay because it was so pretty and then you put away because you did not know what to do with a coarse, slim and cut-on-the-push-stroke saw.

Straighten the blade and file it rip. Cut about a half-centimeter-deep kerf along the face of a round wooden dog with your so pretty and now useful pad saw, and do the same along your round dog hole. (If you are tails-first person you can reverse the sequence.)

Now find a flat strip of metal that fits the two kerfs. Any metal is fine, but avoid mercury and plutonium. Iron, copper and brass are OK. File an ovolo, a bead or a lamb’s tongue on the exposed corners of the flat metal strip and you are done.


This is a fantastic idea. Give it a try and then let us know how it goes.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. I might just try to modify the dog holes on the 18th-century workbench I built – entirely by hand – for this DVD. It’s an interesting journey into handwork.

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Showing 3 comments
  • michalofsky

    i used the metal lead and it worked fine
    i just have been coughing a little more than usual
    and i cant figure out why

  • metalworkingdude

    “Any metal is fine, but avoid mercury and plutonium. ”

    Ha! That’s funny.

    An improvement might be to put a small spring under the metal strip to keep loose-fitting wooden dogs from falling through the bench.

  • mumu

    Thanks for your post, you give us 15 minutes of celebrities!
    If you ever will come in Italy I’ll offer you a dish of tortellini with a glass of lambrusco.
    Ciao, Leo.

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