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What is a dog feature?

What is a dog feature?

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steel bench dogs A dog, in woodworking terms, is a bench tool used to prevent a workpiece from moving by causing an obstruction.

A dog used in a workbench is referred to as a ‘bench dog’, whereas a dog used in a vice is referred to as a ‘vice dog’.

woodworking vice with front dog Some types of woodworking vice are available with the added feature of a dog.

This is commonly found on both plain screw and quick-release woodwork vices and also pattern maker’s vices. It is a feature that could also be incorporated into a workbench vice if needed, as the user can create a home-made dog when constructing the front jaw.

dogs tug of war The name ‘dog’ derives from a dog’s ability to bite and hold on to objects.
Donkee says 'woof woof'

How does a dog work?

vice dog On woodworking vices, the dog is an adjustable piece of metal fitted into the front of the sliding jaw. The dog can be moved up and down within the vice, and then locked into place at the best working position using a thumbscrew.
Vice dog and bench dog clamping frame When used in conjunction with a bench dog, a vice dog gives an additional clamping facility to objects which are laid horizontally on top of a workbench.
workbench holes for dogs Most woodworking benches have many dog holes placed in different positions across their surface. Bench dogs can then be inserted into these holes, which work with a vice dog, to hold objects of a variety of shapes and sizes.
woodwork vice with dog The bench and vice dogs then work together to hold a workpiece securely in place by providing a physical obstruction on either side.

This feature would be particularly useful when completing applications such as planing, as a workpiece of any dimension can be placed horizontally on a workbench’s surface to be worked upon. Also, as planing involves pushing against the workpiece, a dog feature would prevent the workpiece from moving away from the user.

pattern maker's vice dogs Some vices may have more than one dog incorporated into their design. A pattern maker’s vice has four dogs (two in the front jaw and two in the back jaw) which can then hold a workpiece securely without any need for a bench dog.
woodworking dog Bench dogs can be replaced once they have become damaged. However as a vice dog is usually fitted into the jaw, this means it often cannot be removed and replaced.