Introduction: Making Bench Dogs for Less Than 1$

You just finished building your brand new workbench and now it is time to look for some accessories. Since you have drilled dozens of 3/4" bench dog holes in your workbench, you say to yourself, I should get at least ten of these. This is where my instructable will save you lots of money!

Bench dogs, made of brass are sold for about 15$ each! Who need brass bench dogs? Wood made bench dogs can handle much more force you will ever be able to apply on it. So here is a short instructable on how to build your own bench dogs for almost nothing.

Step 1: Tools and Material

Here are the tools and material you need for this project. Of course, if you are used to woodworking, you will find several ways to do the same project. This list is for the beginner woodworker.

  • 3/4" diameter, 4" long hardwood dowel
  • A street sweeper bristle 
  • Glue gun glue stick (optional)
  • Hand saw
  • Hand plane
  • Cutters
  • Drill with 3/32" cutting bit
  • Glue gun (optional)
You can find hardwood dowel in any hardware store for less than 1$ per foot. You need a 4" piece to make this project.

About street sweeper bristles. Hopefully, you live in a town where the street sweeper uses brushes made from steel wires. You will find lost brush wires by looking on the side of the road. 

The glue gun is optional. You can use any kind of glue to make this project. The glue is used only to maintain the metal wire in place when the bench dog is not used.

Step 2: Cut the Wood Dowel to 4"

Cut a 4" piece of wood dowel using your handsaw. On this picture you can see a bench dog I bought for about 15.00$. After this project I'll not need it anymore. It will probably end up on Ebay!

Step 3: Plane One Side of the Wood Dowel

Use your hand plane to flatten on side of the wood dowel.

Step 4: Drill a Whole to Hold the Spring

Drill a hole at about 1.5" from one end of the wood dowel at an angle of 30 degrees from the horizontal. Move the drill from left to right to make the hole wider for the steel wire to fit in.

Step 5: Cut a 2" Piece of Steel Wire

Using your cutters, cut a 2" long piece of steel wire. If you can't find any wires from street sweeper, any piece of hard steel wire would do. It's important to pick hard metal like the ones used to make springs. 

Step 6: Insert the Wire in Place

Use your cutters to slightly bend one end of the wire and  insert the other end in the hole you made in the wood dowel. You can use your cutters to tap the wire so it fits tight in the hole.

Step 7: Glue the Wire in Place

Secure the steel wire in place using glue, remove the excess and you are done. You can use any type of glue to make this project but the glue gun is fast and cheap.

Step 8: Your Finished!

Your bench dog is now finished. To use it, slide it in a 3/4" hole on your workbench, flat face facing the piece you want to block. You should be able to make these for less than 0.50$ each, depending on the quality of the wood dowel you use.