I have seen many bench dogs and
they have a binary characteristic; they are either square or
round for fitting in holes of like shape in the tops of
They oppose either a tail vise or a
head vise, or at minimum, to oppose one end of a workpiece while
it is being planed.
The subject of my post is a type of
dog used in the past that is neither round or square. These dogs
have a flat shank. They would have required a narrow slot in a
bench top to anchor them into working position.
They appear to be early, probably
18th Century and, I assume, American in origin. I have seen only
a half dozen of these in over 50 years and these two specimens
are in my collection. Have any of you seen any workbench that
would accept this kind of dog or have you seen a period
illustration of this type of dog in use?
The dog on the left is solely made of iron.
The dog on right is of very similar configuration but mounted
with screws on a thin piece of wood.
This is a side view of the two bench dogs. The
one on the right has
the toothed iron piece mortised into the wood.