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My Sliding Doweling Jig
Dowels can be a great (albeit somewhat slow) way to join wood.  Alignment can be a problem, which requires a jig to accurately place holes.  I have several jigs, but finally decided to build one of my own.  The design is based on an article I saw in Fine Woodworking Magazine.  The two pics that got my creative juices flowing are to the right.

My doweling jig is simply a block of maple scrap with steel bushings super-glued and pressed into it. I took a great deal of care in aligning the holes with a fence and stop blocks with my drill press so everything was as precise as possible.

It is used with auxiliary fences that I make with any piece of wood. All that is necessary is routing a t-slot into the fence [I use the Rockler t-bolts and the bit they sell for routing slots into wood (I use this for lots of different projects and can't recommend them highly enough)].

[I know I've said it before but I'm gonna say it again:  I will try to update this page with some additional pics and information since making my first doweling jig.  I've made more, using various methods.  They work incredibly well and in head to head testing with very, very expensive doweling jigs, my design works better.]

 

Sliding Doweling Jig Demonstration

(1) Place two registration marks on the bottom piece where you want the inside of the side piece.

 

(2) Clamp the fence to the bottom piece, aligning it to the registration marks.

 

(2b) This is a profile shot of the fence, showing the t-slot.

 

(3a) This is the block with steel inserts, front view.

 

(3b) This is the rear view of the block.

 

(3c)  I attach the block to the fence, align it to the end of the workpiece, tighten the knobs and drill (I did two of the five holes). Then I loosen the knobs, align the block to the other side of the workpiece, and drill two more holes.

 

(4a) I remove that fence and guide block and attach the guide block to another fence that I can use for drilling the side.

 

(4b) I clamp the assembly to the side and drill two holes, move the assembly to the other side and drill the last two holes

 

(5a) Success, the two pieces fit together perfect, the edges are perfectly aligned.

 

(5b) Flipping the workpieces over, I check the registration marks and find that the side meets the bottom exactly where I marked.

 

--Phil
phil@cgallery.com

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