You are here

How do I drill straight dog holes?


I drilled 34 " holes for bench dogs in my workbench that, unfortunately, aren’t spot-on perpendicular to the top. As a result, my shopmade dogs—made with 34 " dowels—don’t sit flat [Photo above]. How can I fix this?
—Manny Rivera, Austin, Texas


That’s tricky, Manny, because redrilling the holes to correct the angle might help the bench dogs sit flat, but could create a sloppy fit. Try this before plugging the holes and drilling new ones, or starting over with a new top.

Send your woodworking questions to askwood@woodmagazine.comFirst, you’ll need to make a jig from scrap MDF or plywood, long enough to reach from the edge of your workbench to the holes. At your drill press, bore a 1" hole in the jig to ensure it’s perpendicular to the face. Install a 34 " guide bushing and 12 " straight or spiral bit in your plunge router. Center the jig’s hole over a dog hole [Photo B] and clamp it in place. Then, slip the router’s guide bushing into the jig hole, and plunge the bit in 14 " increments as you rout around the hole [Photo C]. You’ll likely rout away so little material that the dogs will still fit snugly and finally rest flat on the surface.



Read more about

Tip of the Day

Get double duty from a combination square

Some tasks require using a combination square for measuring and for drawing perpendicular lines... read more