Custom Bench Dog lift inserts

I’ve had My Bench dog lift for a couple month now, and it has been a pleasure to use. The only disappointment, Ive had with the lift, is the quality of the inserts. I have a newer model lift, that was produced by bench dog after it was purchased by Rockler (can’t remember where I read this). The old version had stainless steel or aluminum inserts, that could be flushed with the top of the lift using set screws. The new inserts are made from some type of plastic, that doesn’t really seem stiff enough for the gap it spans.

face plate jig

Face plate centering jig.

Since my next project is going to involve working with some small boards, I decided now was the time to make some stout inserts. step one was to make a jig to fasten the blanks to the faceplate. To make the jig, I cut a piece of aluminum plate to size, and then taped it so it could be bolted to the faceplate. Next I faced 1/8″ off the surface, leaving a 1/2″ diameter nub in the center. The final step was to tap the nub for a 1/4-20 bold that would be used to hold the blanks to the jig.

insert Blanks

Insert blanks turned to the proper diameter.

The blanks are exceptionally simple to make; all I had to do was cut some plate to slightly bigger than the diameter I needed, and then drill a 1/2″ hole threw the center. Then all that was left to do, was mount them to the jig and turn them to the proper diameter. Tomorrow night I’m going to turn the blanks to the proper thickness, and turn the lip on them.

It’s kind of a shame that I’m going to turn most of  blanks into chips, but what the hell, the plate they’re made from was just taking up space in the shop anyway.

Posted in: Power Tool Woodworking
Part of the Project

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