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Shop Tip #9 - July 2009

Quick And Simple Dogs For A DIY Downdraft Table

I recently built a downdraft table that attaches to my dust collector. The top of the table is comprised of a piece of plastic pegboard (beats drilling hundreds of holes in a piece of plywood). But the plastic is rather slippery, and workpieces tend to move around or even fly off the table, especially when I use a belt sander.

The solution: a quick-and-dirty set of shop-made dogs that can be positioned in any hole on the top of the downdraft table. I made mine from thin slices of 1-inch dowel with 1/4" cap screws attached to drop into the holes in the pegboard top.

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This is an accident waiting to happen. A belt sander can make this board go ballistic. A set of simple, shop-made dogs can keep the workpiece in place.
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Some 1/4" cap screws I used to make the dogs. You could use 1/4" dowel, but I like the added heft of the metallic screw, which helps ensure that the dogs stay put.
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Thin (1/2") slices of dowel are used for the body of the dogs.
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The heads of the cap screws mic out to about 3/8" in diameter.
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Using a Forstner bit, I drill 3/8" diameter holes in the dowel pieces, just deep enough to bury the heads of the cap screws.
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Holes are drilled and all that is needed is a bit of epoxy to attach the cap screws head-first into the holes.
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The finished dogs, with cap screws glued into place.
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This is a better arrangement for belt-sanding. The dogs simply drop into the holes and lay flat on the table. They will help keep the workpiece from slipping.

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