To use the dogs

By preparing the edges in the usual manner of two boards side by side and face to face in the vise, plane the edges jointly.


You can create a long but very shallow camber, a slight taper from the centre to one outer edge, or two straight edges in readiness for glue up. Hollows don’t work with timber dogs alone but you can add a clamp or two to the centre section and still save on clamps.DSC_0123

With the edges prepped according to desire, glue along one edge.


Now start the dog on one side piece, squeeze the edge together near to the end and penetrate the opposite piece with the other pin. DSC_0126Drive the dog into the wood. The pressure from the driven dog will open the opposite end considerably but hand pressure readily pulls the two parted pieces back together.DSC_0124

Turn end for end and start the second dog in the same way.


Pull the adjacent board close and start the second end of the dog. Place on the edge of the bench and tighten the dog, alternating end to end until the joint fully closes.


Leave to dry until the glue is cured.

More on using them tomorrow.


  1. gblogswild on 19 November 2014 at 12:45 am

    These are cool. I remember reading about them some 20 years ago in a book – can’t remember which book – but back then I really didn’t realize why. Now I do. I’ll have to give them a shot once spring rolls around.

  2. Henk ten Hoeve on 22 November 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Paul, what an inspiring idea to turn some scrap metal into something usefull. I just finished 2 of them, made from some old scrap. I used a larger drill in one inner corner, 8mm and filed it with a saw file so I could use a hacksaw blade at the bottom line right away. Did not have a metal sawing blade for my copingsaw. I realy enjoided learning something new from old days, Paul thanks.

  3. Alexander on 20 June 2015 at 6:45 pm

    is there a size chart to use with these? how does one go about selecting which size pinch/lumber dog to use for what application?

    • Paul Sellers on 20 June 2015 at 7:01 pm

      What holds a lot holds a little too so you can use the larger ones. I have them from 1 1/2″ point to point up to 3″ point to point and half a dozen in between at 2″. The critical aspect is the thickness of stock. Too thin and the stock can split.

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