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Where should you position bench-dog holes?

Q:

I’m building a workbench, and wondering about where to space the holes for the bench dogs. Is there a rule of thumb?
—Jon Rossing, Kansas City

A:

Coordinate the bench-dog-hole spacing with Ihe jaw opening of your vise. Jon, for a system that covers every possibility. First, line up the planned row of holes with the pop-up stop in your vise. As long as the space between holes is less than the maximum jaw opening, you can adjust the vise to coordinate with any point in that row.

So where should you place your vise? In most cases, a right-handed woodworker chooses to put the vise at the near right-hand corner of the bench. That location makes planing, scraping, and sanding convenient. Left-handers can use a more natural stance if they pick the near left-hand corner.

Our workbench vise opens to 612 . Because the bench-dog holes were drilled with 6" spacing, we can secure a workpiece of any length between the vise’s pop-up stop and a bench dog.

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