Alternative to a drill press? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-19-2014, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Alternative to a drill press?

Hi guys, this is my 1st post here, and was hoping to get a little advice. I have been making surfboard racks for over 2 years now, and I have been using a drill press with a 3/4" forester bit to make the holes for the dowels. I then put the dowels in the holes and that is what holds the boards up. The site should give you a better understanding.

So my problem is- The dowels are never EXACTLY lined up. One always seems to go up or down a quarter or half inch. Let me rephrase that- They are lined up just fine but one always seems to go off in a slightly different direction than the others. I take my time while using the drill press, and line everything up correctly, so my thought is that its the drill press or the dowels that cause the misalignment.

Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this? Maybe technique or a different tool I could use?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-19-2014, 12:51 PM
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If you are using a drill press to drill the holes it is a pretty good bet that it is technique, and the drill press is not to blame. With a Forestner bit you should be getting good clean holes so it likely comes down to the dowels. Dowelling is not always consistent, diameter from dowel may vary, unless they are hardwood they may not even be exactly round, it must be a tight fit in the hole or it will move on you.

I was not able to access the site in your link so I am not really exactly sure what you are doing.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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http://sawdustmaking.com
http://woodworkerglossary.com
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-19-2014, 02:57 PM
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when you put the dowel in... is there room to adjust it at all? What if you try 2 different dowels in the hole, will they come out to be in the same place?

wood is not like metal... it will give with the right leverage, so even inserting the dowel, even if it feels snug after its inserted, when you hammer it in, if you hammer it a degree off, it will find a home in that position.

My suggestion would be to create a guide, some over engineered rigid box/tower that you clamp to the upright, loose fitting hole right down the middle. Put the dowel in, hammer it home, the box should make sure it seats straight, then its just hope that the dowel doesnt warp after the fact.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-19-2014, 04:09 PM
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This post is pointless unless we know what material you are putting the dowels into and what material the dowels are.You're link does not work.
For all I know your putting pine dowels into 1/2 " styrofoam.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-19-2014, 05:30 PM
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This appears to be the site the OP is referring to:

Standing Room Surf

With such relatively long dowels in apparently shallow holes, I can see how the dowels may not all line up properly. When you glue the dowels into the holes, maybe clamping them with 2 boards might keep them lined up while the glue sets. In the picture, one board on top of the dowels, & one underneath.

Nice product, by the way.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-19-2014, 05:49 PM
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I would definitely suspect the dowels. The birch dowels you buy at a hardware store are often undersized because they shrink after being made. That will make them loose in the holes. There are sources for "precision" hardwood dowels that are much more consistent (Google is your friend).

This assumes of course that you have some sort of fence or guide on the drill press so the holes are all in the same plane.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-20-2014, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mako1 View Post
This post is pointless unless we know what material you are putting the dowels into and what material the dowels are.You're link does not work.
For all I know your putting pine dowels into 1/2 " styrofoam.
Oh ya sorry… I mostly use redwood with birch dowels. As someone noted, yes the dowels most of the time are slightly different sizes. Some I even need to sand down a tiny bit to make them fit. So would someone have an alternative to the dowels then? They are nice to use as they are so easy to cut down to size, but if theres a better alternative Im all ears…


And here a proper link http://www.standingroomsurf.com

Sorry about the previous one I tried to insert a pic blah blah blah….

Thanks!
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-20-2014, 01:01 PM
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Cool concept. Like the choice of colors and the wood.

If I were going to build these from wood and need to put holes for the dowels I would use a plunge router with a template instead of the drill press. Unless it was just a one off. For mass producing the router would be a no brainer IMO.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-20-2014, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ttharp View Post
Cool concept. Like the choice of colors and the wood.

If I were going to build these from wood and need to put holes for the dowels I would use a plunge router with a template instead of the drill press. Unless it was just a one off. For mass producing the router would be a no brainer IMO.
Thanks, great idea… Would I be able to use a forester bit on the router or would it have to be a router bit?

Thanks
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-20-2014, 02:11 PM
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You can't swap drill bits and router bits, they run at different speeds. If you need lots of precision dowels it might be worth while to get one of the dowel making systems from Lee Valley. I haven't used it but looked into it briefly while frustrated with store bought dowels. While it looks cool I wasn't $379 frustrated, but if I was making things to sell it would be worth it.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/pag...180,42288&ap=1
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-20-2014, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nholcroftsd
Thanks, great idea… Would I be able to use a forester bit on the router or would it have to be a router bit? Thanks
m
As has been said it would require a router bit.
It would pay for itself with time though. The process would be much faster.
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-20-2014, 02:52 PM
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I guess I dont see what the benefit would be... a forstner bit in a drill press should be drilling pretty perfect holes.

If the dowels are out of alignment its got to be an issue with the dowels or how they are inserted.

Thats the rub with wood though, it is very soft, the level of precision will always be limited. You could replace your wood dowels with a more expensive acrylic plastic or metal rod, but the wood you are inserting it into will still happily give a fraction of a degree that will lead to an inch on the other end.
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-21-2014, 08:01 PM
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I'm with the other guys, blame the dowels. If you want better results you may try making your own, all you really need is a 3/8 round over bit
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