Using Dowels - Need Tips - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 37 Old 11-12-2012, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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The new dowel jig helps so much more than the one I was using before. Thanks for the tips everyone.
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post #22 of 37 Old 11-13-2012, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for the update and pictures.

I do like to see a positive conclusion to a thread.
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post #23 of 37 Old 11-14-2012, 09:27 AM
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That's great to hear. I haven't got to use mine yet but hopefully soon.

Thanks for your help
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post #24 of 37 Old 11-15-2012, 09:25 AM
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Lee-Valley's new dowell jig

I just picked up my first dowell jig at Lee-Valley the other day and tried it out on a shop shooting jig I was making just for the dowelling practice.

I have zero experience with doweling jigs. In analyzing my crappy results I notice a few things.

1. Those dowels are tight. I'm not sure how you'd 'dry fit' that sucker and not tear up your project getting them back apart.

2. Despite drilling holes about an 1/8th longer than half the dowel's length it STILL didn't seat fully. (too much glue maybe?) Next time I'll swab out most of the excess glue. Q-tip maybe.

3. If you have to 'move' your jig say along an edge of a board, you'd better make darn sure you holes line up on that one axis shared between the boards you are joining. Do what ever it takes (find a ruler that has GPS built in? lol)

3. I discovered I had made a fundamental mistake. Imagine the two pieces of wood being joined have 'show' edges, the part where you'd like these two pieces to line up perfectly and is exposed to view on your project.

I set my jig along one pieces' show join edge and had the perfect set back, on the other piece I set my jig along the back edge of the board, away from it's show edge, thinking both pieces were the same thickness. They weren't!! lol The join suffering major gap-osis.

The lesson; if you want two pieces of wood to be joined using a dowelling jig make sure you let your jig line up off the correct show edges so that it's built-in set back is perfectly equal.

Another general lesson: always practice with new things first. That one I got right.
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post #25 of 37 Old 11-15-2012, 10:49 AM
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The number 1 and 2 items are linked.

If the dowels are too tight the glue is not able to squeeze out and you will have to exert a lot of force and still may not be able to close the joint. Been-there-had-that-happen.

These days I do a light hand sanding of the dowels so that I can hand press them into the hole. If they do not fit I sand a little more until they do fit.

I always dry fit my doweled joints. I do not want to repeat my "experience" where the glued joint would not clamp together.

If the Veritas Dowel jig was like this one I share the "learning".
http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...80,42311,42319

The jig is well built, but you really have to be careful in the placement of the pin. It is too easy to be off just a little and the error adds as you go down the board. I also found this out the hard way.
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post #26 of 37 Old 11-15-2012, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msbeal
I just picked up my first dowell jig at Lee-Valley the other day and tried it out on a shop shooting jig I was making just for the dowelling practice.

I have zero experience with doweling jigs. In analyzing my crappy results I notice a few things.

1. Those dowels are tight. I'm not sure how you'd 'dry fit' that sucker and not tear up your project getting them back apart.

2. Despite drilling holes about an 1/8th longer than half the dowel's length it STILL didn't seat fully. (too much glue maybe?) Next time I'll swab out most of the excess glue. Q-tip maybe.

3. If you have to 'move' your jig say along an edge of a board, you'd better make darn sure you holes line up on that one axis shared between the boards you are joining. Do what ever it takes (find a ruler that has GPS built in? lol)

3. I discovered I had made a fundamental mistake. Imagine the two pieces of wood being joined have 'show' edges, the part where you'd like these two pieces to line up perfectly and is exposed to view on your project.

I set my jig along one pieces' show join edge and had the perfect set back, on the other piece I set my jig along the back edge of the board, away from it's show edge, thinking both pieces were the same thickness. They weren't!! lol The join suffering major gap-osis.

The lesson; if you want two pieces of wood to be joined using a dowelling jig make sure you let your jig line up off the correct show edges so that it's built-in set back is perfectly equal.

Another general lesson: always practice with new things first. That one I got right.
Do you have a picture of the jig? I'm a beginner and my jig made it extremely easy.

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post #27 of 37 Old 11-16-2012, 01:49 AM
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My mistake. It's the other Canadian outfit I buy from Jessem.com

http://www.jessem.com/DOWELING_JIG.html


My model was a brand new model that only shipped at the end of last month and already I see they have a different looking model on their web site. Gees, did they sell me one of their "brand new discontinued" models?? I bought the lemon? LOL
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post #28 of 37 Old 11-16-2012, 01:52 AM
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Thanks Dave. I'll practice some more and, if need be, I'll try sanding the dowells down a bit. I'm using these pre-compressed guys that already have grooves in them so they should be ready to go out the box but we'll see.
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post #29 of 37 Old 11-16-2012, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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Attached are the sides of the end table I'm working on. All pieces attached with dowels.

I used 1/4" dowels.
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post #30 of 37 Old 11-16-2012, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msbeal View Post
Thanks Dave. I'll practice some more and, if need be, I'll try sanding the dowells down a bit. I'm using these pre-compressed guys that already have grooves in them so they should be ready to go out the box but we'll see.
I also use the pre-compressed dowels with grooves. They are frequently tight. I do not have to sand a lot, but I typically have to sand so I can hand fit the dowels. Worth the effort for each of assembly.

I had looked at the Jess-em jig. Looks like it would be useful, I just did not want to spend the money. I can understand your comment about paying attention to the measurements with this jig.
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post #31 of 37 Old 12-09-2012, 10:58 AM
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I bought the deluxe doweling jig from Woodcraft and used it yesterday. It did everything I wanted. Joints lined up. I want to start using M&T joints but doweling seemed easier to start with. I want to make plantation shutters and am going to use that for the rails and stiles.
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post #32 of 37 Old 12-09-2012, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mengtian View Post
I bought the deluxe doweling jig from Woodcraft and used it yesterday. It did everything I wanted. Joints lined up. I want to start using M&T joints but doweling seemed easier to start with. I want to make plantation shutters and am going to use that for the rails and stiles.
I love M&T joints. They are very strong.

For the plantation shutters, I think dowels will be easier. This should not need the strength of a M&T joint, since it only needs to hold up its own weight.
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post #33 of 37 Old 09-29-2013, 03:37 PM
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Some great tips here.
I like working with 1/2" material.
I have used the self center jig (works in combination with dowel centers), Veritas Doweling Jig (hardest to use), JessEm 08350 Doweling Jig (good but heavy), DowelMax (great on 3/4" material but not 1/2" and to expensive), Rockler 1/4" Doweling Jig (good, the cheapest but hard to make jigs with since screw holes do not go all the way thru) and, my favorite, Joint-Genie Professional.
I am 70 and have the shakes (I'm afraid of my wife of 47 yrs :-)) so I need to use jigs a lot.
The Joint-Genie is the easiest to use and to make jigs. I receive my 2nd one yesterday so I can leave my favorite jig fixed.

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post #34 of 37 Old 09-29-2013, 05:43 PM
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I am a complete amateur when it comes to wood working. I just never mastered the skill with dowel pins to make a good joint. I have a number of dowel jigs that I have tried but really never mastered the skill of making a good tight and straight fit. I have the feeling its because I buy cheap jigs. So what I have done is bought two different size biscuit jointers and have had very good luck with them. Another tool I also use with good luck is the pocket hole jig and screws when making smaller joints and or only one side shows.
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post #35 of 37 Old 10-05-2013, 08:29 AM
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Purchased Dowelmax and was surprised at how well put together it was. I didn't read the instructions, just watched a few youtube videos and couldn't wait to try it out. My first attempt was joining the face of two pieces which didn't come out aligned very well because I reversed the jig on the wood, which I realized immediately. The best part of screwing that up was realizing that although I screwed up the alignment, I can move the jig over a few inches and re drill some new ones with no repercussions. I definitely love this jig.

Now that I have dowels out of the way I can concentrate on learning hand cut dovetails and who knows, maybe m&t later on.
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post #36 of 37 Old 10-05-2013, 12:35 PM
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I have a Stanley #59 doweling jig that I purchased in 1974. I have drilled thousands of holes in hundreds of face frames and still get great results with it. a little practice to get the feel of your tool and your technique down and you will get the result you desire.
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post #37 of 37 Old 10-13-2013, 11:18 AM
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Dowels

I didn't see it mentioned here so I apologize if I repeat.

A nice finishing touch for dowels is, while the glue is still wet, to sand over the dowels a bit to have the dust fill small gaps.
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