Let's talk about dogs.


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Here's the only bench I ever saw where round dogs make sense :huh:  It's a photo that was posted on a woodworking forum recently:

 

I believe the joke is that there is no way to use them. There's a row of dog holes that would work for an end vise, and no end vise.

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Does it?  I always felt like it was a mouthful.  And of course I've endured a lifetime of douche jokes. LOL

Love the fact that you're sticking to your guns Mel and building the bench you want to have.  Even tho we don't agree on a couple features, I applaud the fact that doesn't sway your decision.   Opin

I'll be buried with my Gramercys.

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Jeez, this is starting to look like an SMC thread!  I have round, for my next bench I might make round I might make square, I really don't care all that much.

 

One question for square dog users though (specifically those who prep their stock from the rough with planes). When I am planing a piece of rough saw stock the end grain ends often aren't parallel to eachother. When clamping between dogs having round dogs allows the full face of the dog to register against the work piece ends since they can rotate to match the angle of the end grain.  Is this (or odd shaped work in general) not ever an issue with square dogs or do you just make sure straighten one edge and  to nip the ends of your boards square before you begin to face plane? 

You need to cut a couple of relatively clean ends on every board that comes from lumber storage into your shop or directly from the supplier into your shop.  Do not, under any circumstances, leave painted or treated ends on boards.  You want them to move before you start the process of rough-marking parts.

 

Otherwise, dogs are for holding workpieces that have been through some processing.  When you're four-squaring and rough planing you need to use a planing stop clamped in your vise, or a thin batten nailed or clamped across the bench -- something totally expendable and not integral to a benchtop.  Dogs are not meant to withstand rough, heavy planing.

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Mr Stanford, this last comment I believe has finally brought me to understanding your perspective on bench usage. I have never heard what you typed articulated in this way but now that you have said it, the statement really clarifies all your prior statements. Thanks.

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Mr Stanford, this last comment I believe has finally brought me to understanding your perspective on bench usage. I have never heard what you typed articulated in this way but now that you have said it, the statement really clarifies all your prior statements. Thanks.

Also worth noting -- trapping, say 4/4 stock, in benchdogs during the 4-squaring process can introduce enough distortion to produce unpredictable results.  The shorter the board the less subject it is to end-to-end distortion from dog pressure.  It's something to watch for.  

 

Dogs really aren't two things: 1) planing stops (in the conventional sense at least); 2) holes for holdfasts.

 

Dogs are used to hold workpieces for joinery operations, light finish planing and scraping on already 4-squared workpieces, carving, and other shaping.

 

In other words, one shouldn't "dog" one's dogs.

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Also worth noting -- trapping, say 4/4 stock, in benchdogs during the 4-squaring process can introduce enough distortion to produce unpredictable results.  The shorter the board the less subject it is to end-to-end distortion from dog pressure.  It's something to watch for.  

 

Definitely true.  I do use dogs when four squaring (as well as stops), and this can be an issue. I fully release the pressure off my dogs when I check for flat with a straightedge and twist with winding sticks. It is very easy to distort a board with clamping pressure

 

Anyway, your explanation to my question makes total sense.  I do like the ability to rotate my dogs and remain hesitant to part with that, however, I am planning on building a second bench this year and will likely go square, just so I can experience both types.  At the end of the day hopefully the shape of the posts that we use to hold boards in place isn't impacting the outcome of our work all that much :)

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I've pretty much come to the conclusion over the years that the most flexible solution is a coffee can full of different size nails, a hammer, and plenty of scrap pieces in all shapes, sizes, and thicknesses.  Pair all of this with a softwood top considered to be expendable.  Build it big, make it work as an assembly and layout table as well as a workbench.

 

My next one is going to have the lathe mounted on one end.  I'm thinking twelve feet long and at least 36" wide smack in the middle of the floor.

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..One question for square dog users though (specifically those who prep their stock from the rough with planes). When I am planing a piece of rough saw stock the end grain ends often aren't parallel to eachother. When clamping between dogs having round dogs allows the full face of the dog to register against the work piece ends since they can rotate to match the angle of the end grain.  Is this (or odd shaped work in general) not ever an issue with square dogs or do you just make sure straighten one edge and  to nip the ends of your boards square before you begin to face plane? 

 

Chris,

 

The first step in thicknessing is to "get out the stock" or reduce the pieces to rough dimension. This would include getting ends somewhat square. "Thicknessing" is what stock preparation was traditionally called because the goal was to produce straight, true stock of a predetermined and uniform thickness. Anyone who does this knows the "uniform predetermined thickness" is the difficult part. I don't care if you're working by hand or machine; if you want straight, true stock and actual control of finish thickness; you'll reduce stock to rough dimensioned parts before stock preparation. Planing hole boards eliminates a lot of control. I have no idea why one would be working with saw mill ends of stock. I can tell you that my partner, Don, makes the totes for our bench planes which don't have rectangular surfaces and he holds them with square dogs for final thicknessing. He would have to make dedicated dogs for this if he was working with round dogs.

 

I work with two sets of dogs. One set has textured faces and the other has leather faces. Both have their uses. The elongated portion at the top of the dog hole that accepts the head of the dog shouldn't have a flat shelf at the bottom. Saw dust and other debris will gather there and prevent the dog from being recessed to below the bench surface. I angle the bottom of the head to match the angled shelf of the dog hole. All one needs to do to clear debris is to remove and reinsert the dog. You can see the angled bottom heads of the dogs in the photos.

 

The other thing about dogs is that there's differential spacing between the dogs in the vise vs. the dogs in the bench. If one does this right it limits how much the vise has to be moved in use to accommodate different stock lengths. I've taken three photos using a piece of scrap to illustrate this. To use the first dog in the vise, I'd have to open the vise 1 1/4", the same stock would fit using the second dog without moving the vise much at all, and to use the third vise dog I'd have to close the vise 1 1/4". So I never have to spend much time turning the vise handle for different lengths of stock. Six turns of the handle will handle any length as long as it fits on on the bench top. It's especially easy if there's always a dog in each hole.

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Thanks for the response Larry. That makes sense.  Oh my yes, I absolutely break down my stock to the smallest pieces possible before squaring and thicknessing.

 

What I find though is when I'm doing rough breakdown to length, depending on how true the rough edge that I reference the crosscut line from is, (and honestly depending on how accurate a job I do with rough breakdown) sometimes the ends are still are less than ideally parallel. I ave observed that the round dogs rotate a little in this case, and my perception (and it may just be a perception) has been that this is of benefit. Its seems though (based on your, Charles, and others experience) that this slight rotation of the dogs may be not actually matter and as long as things aren't totally out of whack the square dogs would still secure the piece fine in cases where the ends aren't perfectly parallel.

 

I've seen you show the spacing thing with the tail vise and bench dog holes before. That was a revelation to me the first time I saw it, and is what made me decided that I will put a traditional tail vise on my next bench.

 

(BTW, Larry, I'm finally going to get around to making some molding planes this year. Your video is on its way to me...looking forward to it)

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RenaissanceWW, have you tried that?
I saw a bench at the woodworking show last year in which somebody did just that.
Over time the steel ball cut a groove in the dog hole, rendering it ineffective.
The bench was built from Douglas Fir, so a harder material may be able to better survive the sliding steel ball.

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==> ball wouldn't groove the bench

 

The 'ball detent issue' is addressed with a high-Janka dog strip...

 

As a general build guideline, if you go round dogs, you go high-Janka strip. When I had a Roubo with round dogs, the strip was around 2400J... In 10 years of use, deformation was never an issue...

 

BTW: CS's blog postings re: French Bench cover many of the 'issues' in this thread... Before you finalize things, worth a read...

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==> ball wouldn't groove the bench

 

The 'ball detent issue' is addressed with a high-Janka dog strip...

 

As a general build guideline, if you go round dogs, you go high-Janka strip. When I had a Roubo with round dogs, the strip was around 2400J... In 10 years of use, deformation was never an issue...

 

BTW: CS's blog postings re: French Bench cover many of the 'issues' in this thread... Before you finalize things, worth a read...

Pretty neat that you had a Roubo ten years ago.  Was your inspiration the Landis book and Bob Tarule's Roubo bench?  Funny, neither of these (the plates or Tarule's version) show a bench with a dog row or a tail vise with which to put them to good use.  A few holdfast holes but not the dog strip/tail vise combination.

 

Is any robustly built joiner's bench (aren't they all, anyway?) now a "Roubo?"  If so, I've owned and/or worked on at least five of them.  Wow, I was cool and didn't even know it.

 

Thanks. 

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==>Was your inspiration the Landis book and Bob Tarule's Roubo bench?

Neither... My dad built it with (read as for) me... Design copied from his bench, copied from his father's bench, copied from... who knows?

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==>Was your inspiration the Landis book and Bob Tarule's Roubo bench?

Neither... My dad built it with (read as for) me... Design copied from his bench, copied from his father's bench, copied from... who knows?

In that case, I'd name it after my dad not a dead Frenchman.

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Two benches I saw in my Pennsylvania Dutch neighbors garage 30 years ago. I now know them to be a Shaker and a Roubo. They were around.

What's wrong with them just being Pennsylvania Deutsch ("Dutch") benches?  Why do you feel the need to hang the moniker 'Roubo' on them unless the provenance is/was clearly French or you know they were directly influenced by his book?

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