How do you drill straight holes for dowel joinery? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-17-2010, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Question How do you drill straight holes for dowel joinery?

I am building a flitch/slab coffee table. I cut one flitch/slab in half to use as the legs. They are 1 3/4" thick and they will support another slab 2" thick, that will be the top. I thought I would join the legs to the top using dowels, but not sure how best to drill straight into the top of the legs and corresponding holes in the top so they fit together. I don't think a store bought dowel jig would work. Any ideas or suggestions on how I might drill the holes to insure they line up and are straight on the top of the legs and bottom of the slab top? If they are not perfectly aligned, the slab legs will be crooked. Not sure if I am very clear in my description, but if you understand my dilema and have ideas, I would surely welcome them. Thanks for the assist.
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-17-2010, 09:14 PM
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most hardware stores sell a reasonably inexpensive drill guide that will be quite accurate, although I'm not sure a dowel jig would be all that bad ... the key is to make darn sure the leg is at right angles while the glue dries.

Here's one version. There are others. This one is $29


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post #3 of 4 Old 06-17-2010, 09:46 PM
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In places where a guide will not fit, you will be surprised how well a mirror laid flat on the surface to be drilled will help. Practice a little, and you will soon get the hang of using a mirror to align your bits.
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-18-2010, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayak1009 View Post
I am building a flitch/slab coffee table. I cut one flitch/slab in half to use as the legs. They are 1 3/4" thick and they will support another slab 2" thick, that will be the top. I thought I would join the legs to the top using dowels, but not sure how best to drill straight into the top of the legs and corresponding holes in the top so they fit together. I don't think a store bought dowel jig would work. Any ideas or suggestions on how I might drill the holes to insure they line up and are straight on the top of the legs and bottom of the slab top? If they are not perfectly aligned, the slab legs will be crooked. Not sure if I am very clear in my description, but if you understand my dilema and have ideas, I would surely welcome them. Thanks for the assist.
Hi - I think I would be inclined to rig up a shop made jig to hold the leg and support a router.
Bottom of the table is easy. Draw a 1" circle around the center of where you want each dowel. Lay 4 pieces of MDF around it, just touching the circle, making a 1" square around each dowel location. Then just go in with a router equiped with a 1" guide bushing and plunge bit. Similar idea for the legs, just need a way to support them vertically. Workmate maybe?
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