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.