Rubber Band Powered Bench Dogs




About: If you like simple solutions then here you can find some of my crazy ideas.

Bench Dogs or bank hooks are inserted into corresponding holes of the bench if needed and serve as a stop for fixing work pieces on the workbench.

But with two screws and a rubber band you can change them into Pop Up Bench Dogs

Step 1: Material & Tools

Tools you needed are only:

  • a saw
  • a screwdriver

the following is optional:

  • awl

  • pencil

  • caliper

Material for each bench dog

  • a hole in your workbench
  • one wooden dowel, that fits in this hole
  • 2 screws
  • 2 rubber bands

Step 2: Preparing the Dowel

Cut a dowel in length. It should 3 cm longer then the thickness of your workbench

Make a cut on the bottom ca 10 mm deep and one at the top ca 5 mm deep. You can use a table saw or a hand saw. You do not have to work very accurately.

Put the dowel in one hole and make a little groove with a hand saw. This groove will later catch the rubber band.

Make sure this groove has the same direction as the bottom slot.

Step 3: Mark the Position of the Screws

Make a line with a pencil straight through the hole. The distance form the hole to one screw is the length of one rubber band. Pre drill the screw holes with a ale and screw in the screws.

Step 4: Assembling

Place a rubber band over the screws. Insert the dowel into the hole, insert one strand into the slot, the second must be on the side with the small groove. To enhance the effect they can add a second rubber band, but this second on goes completely through the slot.

Step 5: How It Works

To push it up

use a screw driver, a chisel or a coin. Insert it into the slot, push it a little and turn the dowel.

To push it down

just push the dowel deep in the hole and the little groove will catch the rubber band.

To see all steps at once, please watch the video

You can find more ideas like this on my YouTube channel.



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    21 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I have two problems with this idea. The first is that I didn't think of it. Very clever idea. Well done. Really nice thought process.

    The second is that my bench is in my garage in the Texas heat, which means that rubber bands will deteriorate rapidly. I would like to see a music wire spring version. I think the retention spring would be fairly easy with music wire. The pop-up/rotation function would be harder, but perhaps possible with enough thought. Perhaps strong nylon string with a steel coil spring supplying tension?

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Go to YouTube and watch some of the videos titled, pop up bench docs, there is a piano wire version.


    2 years ago

    very simple and functional. Asks for sharing. :-)

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    sorry. Typo. Should read " Thanks for sharing".


    2 years ago

    I like the concept. will give it a try when I build my next bench


    2 years ago

    Haha awesome. I didn't know this mechanism. I wonder what else you could use this for?


    2 years ago


    Very nice idea . . . i will probably finally get around to installing your design on a bench that I built 25 years ago.

    However you mention in your Optional Tool list an "ale".

    An "ale" is a beer . . . which is okay in a workshop if you are NOT using power tools.

    I think that you meant to say, an "awl"; which is a pointed tool usually comprised of a turned wooden handle with a sharpened metal shaft protruding from one end that is used by woodworkers to scribe a line in a piece of wood.

    Other than that, a very well done Instructable.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Genius! This is great! Veritas eat your heart out! :)

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    So cool!!