Drilling through QCW spoilboard to make dog holes?

If I use the lower z mounts can I cut through the QCW spoilboard to create dog holes?
I have QCW installed now and Z mounted in the middle and it is perfectly aligned so I don’t want to move it without first knowing the machine / software will allow it.

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Hi Randy - I think I have my spindle mounted in the middle and I cut through the washboard. I have a 3" OAL, 0.25" dia bit. So at the lowest setting it should be more than possible.


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Please keep us posted on how this goes. I have a QCW on order and would like to have a few holes for Festool dogs and clamps.

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Thanks Tom for the feedback.

It does look physically possible. Lowering the router to its lowest point manually (-133mm) there is only 1.125 inches from the bottom of collet to top of the waste board.

My .25” shank bits are 2.5 inch max long not 3 inch (not common).

I have had the machine complain before about being too low when adding grid lines and got around it by lowering the bit some more so maybe I have a limiting setting somewhere.

I have design created now to test out. Basically, 2 holes per board evenly spaced at 4.85 inches apart starting at 2 inches from machine Y 0 and then every 4 inches up to create 42 holes. I cut my waste boards to be end up being 32.125 square (+25) so they match max for machine for resurfacing.

Plan is to use Kreg bench dogs and inline dog clamp. I believe holes size is same as Festool. Hole size is another thing I need to test out.

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Confirmed that router in middle mount you can cut thought the spoil board of a QCW. Pocket holes all done now. .75" worked fine. Can use .749 but will have to work it in. At least with .25 bit I used.

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Now that you have had this setup for a few weeks how are the Kreg dogs and clamps working out?

I like these dogs and clamps because there is no metal in them except maybe in the clamp but I don’t know for sure because I don’t have any of the Kreg clamps yet.

The Festool Clamping Elements (#488030) have a bad habit of lifting if too much clamping force is applied. This would of course be completely unacceptable for CNC work where it’s just a simple PITA for manual work.

The Kreg clamping system is 3/4" while Festool and others use 20mm dog holes. Why Kreg made theirs a different size I don’t know. Even the old Black & Decker Workmate from 40+ years ago (I bought my Workmate in 1977) used 20mm dog holes and I believe they have stuck with that diameter all along. I don’t see why Kreg could not have used 20mm also. I think Kreg engineered themselves out of a large sector of the market by not going with the established standard of 20mm.

This forces me to choose between using all my 20mm dogs and clamps I already have or going with the Kreg 3/4" system for the CNC.

Most of my 20mm stuff is steel so probably best to not use it plus the issue with the Festool Clamping Elements means they are already eliminated.

That’s why I ask how well the Kreg clamps work and do they stay tight during use.

Is there a way to lock the clamp once you tighten it?

Hi Bob,

I like the Kreg inline clamps so far for the reasons you mentioned and the fact they are low profile. The dog and clamps are around ½ inch high against the material.

The clamps stay tight and there is no way / or need to lock them.

Like most inline clamp these too will want to lift the material so I use hold down clamps also or double sided tape. I do also have some inline low profile metal clamps for t track that push down on material when tightened. Tiger clamps are like that.

The most force for CNC is lateral force and this is why dogs and inline clamps are a good idea.

Picture attached shows Kreg inline clamps with good amount of force and you will see it lifts material if there are no hold down clamps.

I think there is lots of option with .75 holes. Lee Valley has both options for lots of interesting stuff. This could be useful with dog holes for creating a hold down clamp ==> [https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/workshop/workbenches/benchtop-accessories/59754-veritas-bench-anchor](https://Bench Dog Anchors)

Extra: I got the QCW so I could use dogs and also so that the side rails were lifted as I found there was so little space under the Y axis that saw dust could cause issues with its movement.


Created top level spoilboard with dog holes that align to the dog holes below. Left open area for pins for double sided work and taping down material that will be cut out. Impressed how accurate the holes bottom to top matched up.


Thank you for the write up and photos. I plan to try this on my Journeyman QCW. I don’t know if I want dog holes everywhere, but I would like them along the sides for alignment. A secondary spoilboard is another good idea. I need to flatten my primary surface first though.

So far in the few test cuts I have made it seems to be very close to flat. I attribute that to careful leveling of the table then leveling the QCW using the 1F leveling feet. Why those don’t come with the QCW I don’t know. I don’t see why anyone would want to use it without the leveling feet.

I did pick up the Kreg clamps. I already have a few of their dogs which I like to use with the router since there is no metal in them and I feel that makes them a little safer.

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PS. I am considering going to 20mm dog holes on my CNC. Only because I am looking to make a MFT style workbench using my CNC to make the top with standard spacing like a Festool MFT. There are more things available for workbenches in 20mm with Festool layout and then I could also use them on my CNC.

I was glad the other day that the Kreg inline clamp was made of plastic as I cut though part of it. Maybe I should just stay away from anything metal as a hold down to be safe because it is far too easy hit hold downs.

The 20mm bench dogs are generally more expensive but they will last forever. You can find plastic ones on Etsy. Need to decide whose bench dogs I go with.

Kreg inline clamp will of course work on 20mm holes too just not the bench dogs

Isn’t the Kreg system using 3/4" dogs not 20mm. I know they are close but I have found 3/4" dogs tend to cause the work to lift in the 20mm holes of my MFT.

Yes, Kreg uses 3/4" holes. The Kreg bench dogs would not be good for 20mm holes.
The Kreg inline clamp however I think would be ok. It’s not designed to need to fit very tight even in 3/4" (19mm) holes.
See pictures of underside below. It has a lip at bottom that helps keep it from lifting up.

Hey Randy, hey Bob, hey all,

On my Veritas Worksurface, since many years I use these Veritas® Bench Blades entirely made of steel (cast & turned) which are available here with either 3/4″ (19.05 mm) or 20 mm post, and a 1/4-20 T-Bolt version is also available.

Veritas® Bench Blade

They do not lift the workpiece, their jaw face has 5° inward cant. Their jaw projects 1/4″ (6.35 mm) above work surface.


Also there is a version with a Wedge-lock post that anchors firmly in a through-hole in material as thin as 5/8″ (15.9 mm) (depending on the strength of the material) or in a blind hole that is a minimum of 1 3/8″ deep (38.1 mm).

Veritas Bench Blade - Lee Valley Tools

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This post is old, but I thought I would share what I have been working on. I have been trying to create a perfect grid for my JM QCW that will work across all of the individual pieces and allow for modular fences and hold-downs to work. I am using the 20mm holes, but it would be easy to adapt to imperial rather than metric with one parameter change.

I decided that I wanted to have both dog holes and threaded inserts so I have the flexibility of either plus the t-track as well. Here is a screen capture of it, if anyone is interested let me know and I can send you the CAD file (Fusion 360 or STEP).


Here is the fusion 360 file if anyone wants to use it. There are only a couple of parameters that I have used, the threaded inserts are for 1/4-20 and the dog holes are for 20mm… I know that I should not have mixed imperial and metric, but it’s what I have on hand here. I didn’t have metric inserts to measure.

QCW Wasteboard-MasterGrid.f3d (319.9 KB)


The Kreg bench dogs are 3/4 inch; the Festools are 20 mm. they are not compatible.

How do you take these out of the dog hole when finished with the project?

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Hey Auntjemimma,

I grab it with my fingers and pull it out. The wedge-lock version, of course, must first be loosened with the allen wrench.