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Glen D. Huey shows you how to install round bench dog holes – it’s a snap when using a router and a spiral up-cut router bit.

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Showing 20 comments
  • MikeTipp

    Great idea, only what about eye and hearing protection.? Pardon my curmudgeonness, but I teach at a woodworking school and not using eye protection is just demonstrating BAD practice.

  • RockyII

    Great tip and timely as I am about to put dog holes in a bench top. But what about spacing? Is there a standard spacing convention, two or three good, or is it just personal preference?



    The use of the router is a great idea. When I made my bench, I used a 3/4″ forstner bit to drill the holes. It worked well, but when I went to insert a dog into one, it did not go in very far. Further investigation showed that as the bit drilled down, because of the short length of the shaft (3/4″ section), it wandered.

    Yes, I got a 3/4″ hole, but it did not have parallel sides. I re-drilled with a 3/4″ brad point to straighten the holes and all is now well. the dogs fit and the bench hooks grab. I only mention this because you showed a forstner bit in your video as an option. I don’t think that bit is a good option when using a powered hand drill.

  • bobdutica

    I built a Veritas bench based on plans obtained from Lee Valley. For the dog holes, I made a jig using two pieces of 8/4 ash (the material used for the bench) as described in those plans. The holes were drilled with a 3/4″ HSS Lipped Brad Point Drill Bit (Lee Valley item #07J02.48) in an ordinary 1/2″ power drill. I drilled two 3/4″ holes in the jig on the drill press in one piece of 8/4 ash, spaced to equal the dog hole spacing for the bench. The second piece of 8/4 ash was glued on as a fence, the distance from the holes to the fence equalled the desired distance of the dog holes from the edge of the bench. Once one hole was drilled, a dog placed through the first hole in the jig and passed through to the first hole, automatically set the second hole of the jig to drill the next hole. The drill bit cost less than 3/4 the cost of the 3/4 inch router bit, and I found lots of other uses for the drill bit. I had no problems with burning or dulling of the drill bit. (Those Lee Valley Lipped Brad Point bits are the greatest!)

  • Danny H.

    The only problem I had with plunging my bench dog holes with this method is not having enough length on the bit to go all the way through the top. If your top is much deeper than 2 inchs this becomes the problem. My bench top is 3 inches thick so to solve this I finished off the rest of the hole with a 3/4 forstner bit.

  • Danny H.

    This is exactly how I drilled my round dog holes in my recently built workbench, except that I didn’t rely on referencing my hole locations with pencil lines, as I’ve found that to not be as accurate as using spacer blocks. Maybe your income is a little more than mine or your just not as frugal me, because I have found a source for these 3/4 inch bits. Enco has the following 1/2 inch shank, 3/4″ end mill bit selection; (Item No.337-5119 Cobalt, 3 5/16″ OAl, $26.61)( Item No.337-4991, 3 5/16″ OAL, $18.55) (Item No. 320-0160, $12.10) (Item No. 320-2850 currently on sale for 10.95 ) So as you can see these are substantially less expensive than the Woodcraft or Lee Valley offerings for those of us who are pinching pennies. I used this last and least expensive bit and it worked just fine. Some are Cobalt steel and the lesser expensive ones are HSS.

  • BillT

    OK, I’m gonna play the part of curmudgeon. Sure, you could invest a couple hundred dollars in a big fancy plunge router and another $30 or something in a spiral upcut bit.

    Or you could do like I did and use a large-swing brace with an Irwin-pattern auger bit. Total investment about $12. No template needed; just measure and mark where you want the holes to be centered and place the lead screw of the bit on that mark.

    If your arm is getting so tired from augering a few holes in a bench top, mayhap your auger bit needs a little sharpening. Plus think of all the money you can save on a gym membership anyhow!

  • blackhorse16a

    Where do you get a bit like that?


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