Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    • #48975

      I was looking at plans for a piece of furniture and it said to use a dowel drilling rig. What is one? How are they used?

      The directions are below for the drilling. thanks.

      Start with your dowel drilling jig and prep the top and trim pieces to be assembled with lengths of dowel. Drill holes for assembly with 1/4″ or 3/8″ dowel, using a stop to prevent drilling through the trim.

    • #255594

      From what you have said, I have no idea. If you had a picture, reference to magazine article or web site, maybe we could help more. He is some information that may be of some help.

      To drill for dowel holes, I usually use a drill press ($40 at Harbor Freight and I’ve used mine for over 20 years). Set a piece of scrap wood on the table and use a Forsner bit to drill a partial depth hole and you can use either a Forsner or a spade bit to go all the way through. The scrap wood on the bottom protects the bit pilot and, if you keep everything from turning from the torque, helps prevent tear out. If you need a hole just part way thru the piece, you can either set a depth stop or hold your drill bit on the side of the wood and mark with a piece of tape on the bit shank how far down to go. The depth stops that come with the cheap drill presses are not worth a darn but for most things,you can use the tape.

      To drill a through hole in a dowel, clamp a piece of 2×4 on the table to start. Drill through the 2×4 with a bit the size of the dowel. Remove that bit and insert a length of dowel into the drilled hole. Replace the bit with one the size of the hole you want to drill. Since you have not changed the hole center location and the drill press holds the bit in the same vertical plane, you should be able to drill into the center of the dowel.

      To drill a cross hole in a dowel, start with a piece of scrap 2×4. At your table saw, set the blade at a 45 degree angle and a relatively shallow depth and remove a triangular piece at the middle of one face of the 2×4 and running in a lineal direction along one of the long faces. Take the 2×4 to your drill press and chuck a big bit into the chuck. Use the big bit to set the 2×4 so the vee groove is right under the chuck center. Clamp the 2×4 into this position. Remove the big bit and chuck the drill bit you will use for the hole in the chuck. Move the table up. You may have to recenter the drill to the center of the vee in the 2×4 but you will be pretty close since you will not need to reclamp. Lay the dowel in the vee notch and drill the hole.

      There are other “dowel drilling rigs” for things like joining wide boards to make a table top or box side or top. Dowels were used for joining these before bisquits came along and I still use them for some things. The dowel drilling rig for this is about $40 and it’s worthwhile to get a good one.

      Another FWIW is that I use my drill press more for sanding than for drilling. I keep a flat oak board bolted to the table with countersunk bolts. The board has a 2-1/4″ hole under the drill press chuck and I use a 2×2″ sanding drum on a mandrel for sanding. The end of the drum goes a little way into the hole in the board. This is cheap, easy and it works.

      Henry in MI

    • #255598

      ebay search for “dowel jig” shows jigs by stanley and sears. a web search brings up many hits and shows currently available ones.
      I have an older Stanley #59 that was purchased at a garage sale. Stanley no longer catalogues their #59 doweling jig.



Viewing 2 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.