Making wooden bench dogs

I’m finally catching up on all my posts, so here’s a little step by step to making bench dogs suitable for a bench with an MDF top. Since it’s only thin the normal approach of spring steel or bullet catches won’t work. Instead, I cut slices from a 1 inch dowel and screwed them onto the 3/4 inch bench dog to stop them falling through the bench.

Cut a length of 3/4 inch dowel to make the body of the bench dog. Mine are about 5cm long, as that’s as far as I drilled down in the thicker parts of the bench. You can cut these any way you want, but since it’s small parts I did mine with a bench hook and tenon saw.


Cut a 1-1.5cm slice off of a thicker dowel (I used 1″ because it’s what I had around). Mark the center point on both the cut pieces, using whatever method you have at hand. I have one of those $5 plastic things that does the job well. I used a small nail to punch the point I marked to center the drill bit, then drilled both pieces and countersunk the screw hole so no metal was above the dog. Plane/rasp/sand one side flat for grip.

Glue and screw the two pieces together, I just used a self tapping chipboard screw, and there you have it – simple and cheap bench dogs that work in MDF benchtops


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