The bench dog hole is often a point of debate among woodworkers, and most discussions or arguments revolve around the questions: What should be the diameter of the holes? Is there a standard spacing between dog holes? Which dog hole clamps are best to use? Such questions often elicit different and conflicting answers from various woodworkers. But one undeniable fact remains true: that the workbench dog hole clamps are always handy for woodworkers. But what is a bench dog?
Facts on Using Bench Dog Clamps
As a newbie in woodworking, you might be scratching your head when asked what a bench dog is. You might think that it is the favorite canine pet of woodworkers who slouches on the bench, while watching woodworkers. But such an idea is far from a workbench dog.
Bench dogs, of course, are pegs attached to dog holes that you will see on the workbench. These bench dogs allow you to clamp long workpieces that the bench vise can’t accommodate.
You will discover that there are sets of dogs that you can attach to the vise and a bunch of dogs you can stick to the table. In this way, you can create a huge vise. You can use this huge vise to hold down a board while hand-planing the board.
Bench dogs come in peg forms. Their lips sit fittingly onto the pre-drilled dog holes, snuggly stopping the workpiece from moving. These bench dogs usually feature a flat milled face as an excellent clamping surface. You will also find plastic or wooden dogs in square form.
Other devices utilize the dog holes. A holdfast, for example, is another device that makes use of the bench thickness to hold the wood piece down sans additional clamps. You can also use Wonder Dogs. These are products that allow you to apply the necessary pressures at an odd angle.
Most Recommended Workbench Dog Hole Clamps
If you are new in the process of purchasing bench dog hole clamps, it will help to check out the following most recommended bench dog holes in the market today:
1) Craftsman Tool (Auto-Adjust) Peg Clamp
One of the best options of workbench dog clamps in the market today is the Craftsman Peg Clamp. This clamp readily adjusts to workpiece variations while it maintains the pressure on the workpiece. You can also adjust it with ease from less pressure to heavy pressure.
Its pivoting spindle automatically adapts to the shape of the workpiece. Moreover, you can fine-tune this clamp for excellent usage. It also comes with smooth insets for ease of grip and superior comfort.
It can extend to a maximum of six and a half inches over the workbench top. It can likewise rotate up to 360 degrees. With this clamp, you can eliminate frequent readjustment.
2) Kreg KBC3-BAS Bench Clamp
The Kreg KBC3-BAS lets you have more clamping power, convenience, and versatility. It is easy to install, allowing you to install the bench clamp base quickly. You only need to slip through the hole of the anchor bolt.
Afterward, tighten its locking knob. Then, you can slide the clamp onto the base. You can also uninstall the bench clamp base quickly.
Once installed on the workbench top, you can rotate the bench clamp base to any position. Moreover, you can get enough clamping power from this clamp.
3) POWERTEC 71096
One tool that has been here for a long time is the holdfast, and POWERTEC 71096 is a holdfast. A holdfast is usually wedged between the workbench hole and the workpiece. You can wedge it if the holdfast is smaller than the hole.
The POWERTEC 71096 can work with holes as large as 15/16 inches. It has also been used in workbench with a thickness range from 1-1/2 to 3 inches. It is long at 16-1/2″ and can provide you up to seven inches of reach capacity.
It is durable, being of iron. Thus, you can use it for heavy-duty applications. Moreover, it can handle large and small blocks, tubing, and boards. As a woodworker, the POWERTEC71096 is a must-have tool if you want to be more productive in your workshop.
4) DCT Bench Holdfast
Another great option if you’re looking for a reliable workbench dog hole clamp is the DCT Holdfast. You can clamp your wood pieces firmly using this clamp. This is a holdfast that can secure your wood pieces while you carve, cut, or sand them.
You can forgo your (leg) vise and other clamps. With this holdfast set, everything becomes easy for you.
DCT Holdfast is perfect for a workbench with a thickness of 2.5 inches. It is also ideal for 3/4″ vertical dog holes. Furthermore, it will be best to file or clean the shank to enhance its hold. Plus, you can use it with ease.
5) Eagle America 453-0108 Bench Holdfast
Another excellent option is the Eagle America 453-0108. It is eight inches long, allowing you to clamp small boards to huge pieces of wood. This holdfast allows for quick and easy clamping.
To position this holdfast, you only need to drill a 3/4″ hole on the workbench. Such a hole can accommodate the holdfast without any problem.
You only need to give the head of the holdfast a tap using your mallet, and you’re good to go. Moreover, you only need to tap the holdfast’s backside to disengage the clamp. It is capable of four inches of reach.
When working on your workpiece, you don’t want the workpiece to be moving. You want it stationary so that you will not run the risk of injury, and you can precisely work on it. More often, if your workbench is equipped with woodworking vises, you can secure your workpiece in place without worrying whether it will move or not.
Yet, sometimes, the vises of your workbench are not enough. You need to expand your workbench’s clamping capability. You can do this by using workbench dog hole clamps. If you don’t know which dog hole clamps to select, you can always check out the abovementioned dog hole clamps, for they are your best options right now.