Now that my workbench has been put through it’s paces a little, some of the shortcomings are starting to appear. As a result I’ll be making a number of modifications to the bench in order to make it more suited for my style of working.
The first addition I decided to make was to add Dog Holes to the bench top. I’ve had a couple of instances where being able to really secure a piece flat to the bench top for planing or scraping, without using additional clamps, would have been a huge help. This is because clamps get in the way, particularly when planing.
I was also spurred on by the fact that I was given some lovely bench pups along with a wonder pup as a gift.
There are 3/4″ pups and if you use a 3/4″ Auger bit, they fit perfectly. What I discovered next was a little irritating. I need ALOT more practice when it comes to using a brace and bit. Sure, I can bore clean and tidy, just not perfectly perpendicular or level holes when needed.
Not being willing to unleash my not-so-finely honed skills onto my bench top, I wanted another solution. And this came in the form of borrowing a jig from my Dad (thanks Dad!).
The first step in adding the dog holes to the bench top is to decide where you want them to go. I wanted 3 rows of holes, one perpendicular to the vice dog and two that ran down the centre of each half of the bench top. I opted to space my holes 2.5″ apart in the case of the holes in line with the vice and 6″ apart for the two rows that ran the length of the workbench. This would allow me a lot of flexibility when securing work pieces, as well as being able to add additional features, which I will cover in another post.
I decided not to bore all the way through from the upside of the bench top in order to avoid blow-out. Unfortunately, I was unable to clamp a sacrificial piece to the underside of the bench top so had to come up with another solution. This was to bore 90% of the way through in the downward pass and then bore the remaining 10% from beneath the workbench working upwards. This worked really well and is very easy. The auger bits used create small pilot/locating holes in the first pass, making the second step very easy and accurate every time.
You can see a quick summary of how I added the dog holes to the workbench in the video below: