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Unleashing the Power of Workbench Dog Holes: The History and Versatility of a Timeless Tool

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Modern dog hole for workbenchs
Dog Hole (Pop-up)

Workbench dog holes, also known as "dog holes" or "bench dogs," are small holes drilled into the top of a workbench that are used to hold clamping devices called "dogs." These holes are typically arranged in a grid pattern, with several holes spaced evenly across the surface of the workbench.

The history of workbench dog holes can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when blacksmiths and other craftsmen began using them to hold metalwork in place while it was being shaped or welded. The holes were typically drilled into the top of the workbench using a hand-held auger, and the dogs were inserted into the holes to hold the workpiece in place.

Over time, workbench dog holes became a standard feature on many types of workbenches, including those used in woodworking, metalworking, and other crafts. Today, they are still widely used by woodworkers and other craftsmen to hold workpieces securely in place while they are being worked on.

There are various types of dogs that can be used with workbench dog holes. Some are simple

Board secured in place with a wooden dog hole on a workbench
Wooden Dog Hole

wooden plugs that fit tightly into the holes, while others are more complex mechanical devices that can be adjusted to fit different sizes of workpieces. Some dogs are even designed to be used with a clamp, which allows the workpiece to be clamped securely in place without damaging it.

In addition to holding workpieces in place, workbench dog holes can also be used to hold other tools and accessories, such as bench vises, hold-downs, and stop blocks. This makes them a versatile and essential feature for any workbench.

Overall, workbench dog holes are an important part of many types of workbenches, and have been used for centuries by craftsmen to hold workpieces securely in place while they are being worked on. Whether you're a woodworker, metalworker, or another type of craftsman, a workbench with dog holes is an essential tool for any workshop.


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