Pop Up Bench Dogs




About: I just like creating stuff. Mostly recreational woodworking and diy projects. Please consider following me. It will fuel me to create more instructables. :-) Please check out my YouTube channel here : https:...

I wanted to add a bench dog to my work table. Why not make it a pop up bench dog? I picked up a cheap IKEA push latch. Please observe this is not my original idea - I adapted it and made my version of it described here.

Here is a short video of all the steps!

If you want a great instructable and build of this I warmly recommends John Zhu


Mine differs a bit with the mounting, size, shape and... well... the spring action that was a bit too strong. :-) This turned out to be a useful and fun project.

For this project I used

  • Pallet wood (white oak) for the bench dogs
  • IKEA push latch (art nr: 802.302.24) for around 5 bucks (for 2 pieces).
  • Scrap pieces of construction plywood.
  • Wood glue
  • Nails

Tools used

  • Belt sander
  • Palm sander
  • Bandsaw
  • Mitre saw
  • Chisels and files
  • Drill

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Step 1: Making Some Bench Dogs

I wanted to make the bench dogs in hard wood. I had some pallet wood that happens to be white oak. I want to use this for a long time and then move it to another workbench in the future.

I cut the pieces to length and split it (square) on my band saw.

I squared it to final size with a belt sander and hand sanded it too with finer grit (120). You can make this the shape and size you want.

Step 2: Making the Mount/holder

I use the bench dog that I made to set the size of the case. I just cut some plywood pieces square and fasten in like a box around the "dog". Not to snug. Not to loose. It needs to move freely. I leave one of the sides longer, so I can fasten the push latch there.

I wont show the cutting and glue up here in this instructable. Hopefully that is OK with you guys?

Before I fasten the push latch I make sure I take in account the thickness of the table. I make the bench dog a bit proud, so I can later make the perfect size.

Step 3: Fasten the Push Latch

When I'm happy with the position of the latch holder, I put some screws in. Dont glue it, because you might want to make adjustments later. Or move it to another bench with another thickness of the table.

Now the case/holder for the bench dog is finished and I can mount it to my work bench of choice.

Step 4: Fitting the Holder to the Table

Now I need to make a hole in my work table. Please meassure twice or more. I only have single plywood here. But if you have a fancy hardwood workbench, it will be a sad day if you put that hole in the wrong spot.

Workbenches dont need extra venting holes...

I made a square bench dog. I like that shape and I have better use of the square surface for my projects. But you could also use round dowels. Then you only need to drill a round hole with the correct size.

I squared my hole with chisels and files. Snug fit, but not too snug.

I used some screws to fasten the latch holder under the table.

Step 5: Final Adjustments

I make sure that everything is working. As I described before, I made the bench dog a bit proud just to make sure I could do any adjustments if needed.

I used a belt sander and a palm sander to grind the bench dog flat to the surface of the workbench.

Step 6: Final Thoughts

So the push latch I used is too long (and strong). If I would make this again, I would maybe find shorter push latches - but I figured I made a cut out on the bench dog to turn it over, so it wont rise too high.

Mostly I will not need it, but its nice when I work with thinner pieces like plywood or anything like that.

The function is really nice, and I had to admit I played way too long with this. It makes me smile when I use it.

A bit of warning. The quality and size of this push latch is very good. If you let it go when you release the bench dog, it will shoot right up. It's not very practically, but super fun.

Now I'm thinking of other things to spring load... like sharp chisels or a saw?

Thank you so much for checking this instructable out! Hope you like it - please let me know in the comments. :-)

I entered the "Make it move" contest so if you like this, please consider giving me a vote down below.

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Thanks a million again!

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    12 Discussions


    Reply 11 months ago

    Thank you very much! Much appreciated! :-)


    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi! Thanks for your question. A bench dog is an accessory used on a workbench (during woodworking). It's something to clamp or stop your work piece when working with it. You could find more information here :


    Have a great day! and thanks for stopping by! :-)


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you very much! Not my original idea, but it was a fun project and I'mhappy with the result. Thank you for watching and commenting!! :-)


    1 year ago

    This could be handy form myself thank you for the inspiration.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    My pleasure! Thank you so much for checking out this instructable and commenting! Much appreciated!


    1 year ago

    I appreciate that the bench dog dowel isn't permanently attached to the spring- obviously this means you can swap it out in future for taller /shorter pegs as and when you need to without having to take everything apart!

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Good point! And yes - I'm not really sure yet about the design and shape of the bench dog yet. I have a few idéas that I will try out, so its a good thing they are easy to change/replace. Thank you so much for checking this out and commenting. Much appreciated!

    Kink Jarfold

    1 year ago on Step 6

    This was so entertaining. Even if I'll never build this in my shop, just watching you put this together, especially the dual height thingy was great.


    1 reply
    dekerosKink Jarfold

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for your kind words! I means a lot! And yes - these are just nice (and fun) to have but absolutly not a necessity. :-)