Bargain-Basement Bench Dogs

Build this bench dog to make it easy to hold and work on flat and irregularly shaped project parts. Just take this piece of 3/4-inch plywood and pipe clamps

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Build this bench dog to make it easy to hold and work on flat and irregularly shaped project parts. Just take this souped-up piece of 3/4-in. plywood— outfitted with pipe clamps, shelf standards and easily positioned shelf clips—and screw it to your workbench.

To build the jig, cut slots in the plywood panel with a 5/8-in. dia. straight- cutting router bit or a table saw and dado blade. Screw the shelf standards ($1.50 at a home center) in the slots. Attach the crank ends of a pair of short pipe clamps ($7 at a home center) to 6-in. long, 1/2-in. dia. iron pipe nipples with threaded ends. Use hanger straps and screws to attach the clamps. When you want to use it, screw the whole thing atop your workbench, letting the pipe clamps hang over so the plywood lies flat.

Building tips:

  • Rout the grooves deep enough so the shelf clips stick up only 1/2 to 5/8 in.
  • Drill a 1/8-in. pilot hole through the hanger straps and the bottom of the pipe, and drive in No. 8 x 1/2-in. self-threading screws. Now the pipe won’t slide when you tighten up on the workpiece.

Our thanks to industrial tech instructor John Larson for this cool tip.