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.

<p>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!</p>
<p>Thank you. Door latches? &quot;No, NO, You want single push latches!&quot; I am having a hard time with imagining how your coping with just door latches. This may be better.</p>
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, <br><br>https://www.amazon.com/National-Hardware-Barrel-Bolts-Black/dp/B000CRHXNI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1486556545&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=barrel+bolts
<p>Tremendous idea. Too bad you can't post a pic. sad.</p>
<p>Are there magnets? I would put a flat head screw from the bottom to hold the dog down.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>Very nice. I am building a new bench I will use this thank You</p>
<p>Great to hear.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.<br><br></p>
<p>I can't tell that you've done what you've described or you'd do what you've described. But it sounds like you've got the hole thing worked out. Thanks for you input.</p>
Your dog is a lot smarter than my dog! I think they take after their owners lol<br>Excellent idea that will be making an appearance in my workshop tomorrow this week. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?! Thanks, Michael
<p>Great to hear; I think you're going to like the smarty dogs.</p>
<p>Now that's ingenuity! I've been trying to figure out how to integrate bench dogs into my bench, but I didn't want things falling through the holes. This is perfect. WTG!!</p>
<p>That was one of the reason that it took me a few year to put in bench dogs. Since I do more than just woodworking I have to worry about things falling through. Glad this helped.</p>
<p>One of the downsides of being a jack of all trades. :)</p>
<p>Thank you.</p>
<p>clever! thanks.</p>
<p>You're welcome.</p>
<p>Very neat.</p>
<p>Thank you.</p>
<p>Simple, effective, and genius!</p><p>Thank you for sharing!</p>
<p>Thank you.</p>
<p>What would you think of using brass rods instead of dowels for the dogs? It's likely a better fit could be found, so that sanding wouldn't be necessary to increase the hole size. Brass would be a nice look.</p>
<p>I am sure that would be fine. You can looked up &quot;veritas prairie dogs&quot; to see a brass version. Though brass is soft, it is still harder than wood and can do more damage to tools.</p>
<p>Brilliant and inspirational. Thanks for this. I'm sure I can find other uses for that hardware now that you have shown me this, but first I'm building my work bench and these are definitely going into it.</p>
<p>You're welcome. There are definitely many more uses! I am finishing a portable workbench with free plans so it is something you might be interested in. Just check my youtube channel sometimes in 2/2017; I plan to put the free plans on Instructables.</p>

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