I have seen several examples but this one captures my question perfectly

Das Table

That is the bench from this question. As you can see there is a nice arrangement of holes along the skirt. As well as a couple of holes on the right-hand side leg. The latter I mostly know the answer for as I keep seeing holdfast put in there.

What about the ones on the skirt? I'm sure they are more than just decoration. I am aware that the holes in the tops are bench dog holes for using with holdfasts, bench dogs and stops. Just never seen them on the side.

  • Pegs or holdfasts. This video shows tons of detail about how to use them and other common work-holding devices.
    – skiggety
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 2:20

2 Answers 2


The holes in a workbench skirt are usually used for pegs. They're used to prop one end of a long board up while the other end is clamped in a vise or held to the face of the bench with a clamp or holdfast. For the Nicholson-style workbench pictured above, usually one would jam the end of a board (oriented vertically) into the crow's mouth on the left and and put pegs under each end. The force of planing keeps the left end of the board tight in the crow's mouth while the pegs keep it from falling.

The picture below shows the use of a support peg in general.

pegs (source: thewoodenmilieu on Youtube)

The one below, provided by @RedGrittyBrick, shows its use with a Nicholson-style bench.


  • Thanks for the information. I was only really asking about the ones on the side. We already have a couple of general bench dog questions.
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 4:03
  • Ah, must have read too fast. Edited my answer down to be more specific.
    – grfrazee
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 4:06

They would allow for a peg to be inserted at various heights and distance away from the vise to support long boards.

  • In specific, they're useful when working on the edge of a board -- planing it most commonly, but some other operations too. Typically a vice, or holdfasts, or a hook as on the bench you show, is used to stabilize the board in that orientation.
    – keshlam
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 0:39

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