$2 Pop Up Woodworking Bench Dogs





Introduction: $2 Pop Up Woodworking Bench Dogs

Greetings Earthly Dwellers,

This project is inspired by Veritas Prairie Dogs, these are pop up brass workbench dogs. They are too expensive for me, so I tried to come up with ways to make my own version. I recalled when I was 14ish there was a door that was magnetic and clicked open and close with a spring latch. The motion is exactly like that of the Veritas Prairie Dogs. I decided to search for a more powerful version of this "clicking system."

For $2 I found a single push latch at my local big box store, it was located in the drawer/cabinet hardware section. I am going to show you how to make a pop up bench dog system with a latch, a piece of dowel, and some spacers. You can click the link to see the video of me doing this project.


Step 1: Prepare Your Bench Top

A dowel of any size can be used depending on functional choices. I recommend 1/2" or bigger diameter for most woodworking applications. Drill a dog hole in your bench top, enlarge the hole with a file and a smaller dowel wrapped in sand paper. The fit should be tight, there should be <0.5 mm of wiggle room. If it is too loose it may damage your dog hole over time.

Step 2: Locate the Latch Under the Bench Dog Hole

Find a place to attach your latch. I added spacers to align the latch with the bench dog hole. See the video for a demo of how I did the alignment. If the latch is too high the pop up latch system won't engage properly. If it is too low then you'd need a longer dowel. *TIP if you made your bench dogs the same size then when you take them out you don't have to worry about which dog goes in which hole.

Step 3: Tips to Make Your Pop Up Bench Dogs Super Easy and Efficient

1. Build a model system to determine how and where to place the latch.

2. Add ~2 degree cut onto your bench dog; such that when you put force on the pop up bench dogs they have some "bite" to them.

Enjoy the project, check out the video if you want more detail.



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That is flat out AWESOME!! The simple things are the most overlooked. Right now on my workbench, I use door latches for my 'dogs'. This is soooo much better!

Thank you. Door latches? "No, NO, You want single push latches!" I am having a hard time with imagining how your coping with just door latches. This may be better.

oops...wrong terminology. Should have said barrel bolts, screwed to the edge of work table. If I could figure out how to post a picture....sad! but, like these,


Tremendous idea. Too bad you can't post a pic. sad.

Are there magnets? I would put a flat head screw from the bottom to hold the dog down.

There are magnet. I don't need them for a bench that's never tilted. I have a portable bench project coming out this month on Youtube that uses the magnetic feature. You can see a preview of it on my channel.

Very nice. I am building a new bench I will use this thank You

Great to hear.

Overly complicated. I simply drilled 3/4-inch holes partially through the benchtop and cut some dowels to various lengths to accommodate different thicknesses of material to clamp. A flat benchtop is achieved by just removing the dowels.

It seems like small parts would fall into the holes, unless you keep flush-fit dummy pegs in there. Then it seems like you would have find a way to get the flush pegs out.