Drill dead-on dowel joints
3 problems and their solutions guarantee your success with any doweling jig.
Dowels dramatically increase the strength of many joints. But this seemingly simple joinery method can be unforgiving: Misalign one dowel hole by a fraction of an inch, and you might as well miss it by a mile -- the joint simply won't go together. To prevent that from happening to you, we present here solutions to three common doweling problems.
But first, consider these essential tips to improve the accuracy of your dowel joints.
- Mark locations with a marking knife or sharp pencil. A fat pencil tip robs you of precision.
- Use sharp brad point bits instead of twist bits (because you typically drill dowel holes on end or edge grain, which encourages twist bits to wander).
- Mount a stop collar to your bit to get consistent hole depths. (Drill 1/8" deeper than one-half the dowel length.)