Woodworking Tips, Tricks and Techniques


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Pinch Dogs


Using Pinch Dogs

 While we don't condone pinching dogs, we fully endorse using these simple little devices. For anyone who is not familiar with these ancient gadgets, get some! They can truly be a godsend!

So simple in both design and use, they are clever little tools that are a "must have" item in your bag of tricks. Available in several different sizes, an assortment of them is a good idea, as you'll be able to chose the right size based on the application at hand.


We use them quite often in our shop, and they're a big time saver. Often, they will work in instances where other tools just won't. They simplify clamping butt joints, or when fastening two or more boards together, end to end. For example when forming an arch, we'll cut the ends of the pieces at the proper angel, add a biscuit to the joint, add a little glue, and using a hammer, simply drive these "staples" either into the waste area of the face of the board, or into the back side of the joint, so the holes created by them can't be seen.

The boards can simply be laid out flat on your bench, with a small piece of wax paper under the joint, (to protect the bench from the glue), and drive the pinch dogs into the wood, straddling the joint. The shape of the "dogs" actually pinches the joint together, forming a very tight joint. The legs of the dogs are wedge shaped and is what causes them to pull the joint tight. No further clamping is needed! Once the glue has dried, it is for all practical purposes, one piece. The dogs can then be pulled out and returned to their dog houses.(or drawer). You only drive them deep enough to pill the joint tight. Don't drive them all the way in, as you'll just split the wood.

  Pinch Dogs  Pinch Dogs in action  Completed Arches

Once you start using these little beauties, you'll find many applications that they're perfect for. I found it rather irritating that someone hadn't introduced me to these little wonders sooner. As for the cost, these will forever rank among the cheapest tools you can buy. Available at most tool suppliers, they are easy to get a hold of, and well worth having.

They are also very handy when carving since they will allow you to join pieces that are unusual shapes.

Written by: Lee A. Jesberger © 2006 - 2010
Inventor of: Ezee-Feed Systems ® 


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