Drill-press jig for dowels

When boring holes in dowels, the dowels can roll around freely. Here are two ways to hold them still.

Drill-press jig for dowels

Drilling holes into the sides and ends of dowels can challenge even the best woodworkers. The problem: trying to hold round stock in position. Try these simple jigs to hold the dowels rock-steady.

Both jigs rely on a V-groove that you cut into a piece of 3/4x3x20" scrapwood. To cut the V, tilt the blade of your tablesaw to 30° from vertical, and set the cutting depth to 3/8", as shown in Cutting the V-Groove detail drawing. Adjust the fence to place the top of the cut on the centerline of the board. Make one pass over the saw blade, turn the board around, and run it through again, creating a 60° V-groove.

Crosscut a 4-1/4" piece off one end. The longer piece holds your dowels flat on the table, as shown in the photo, left top. The shorter piece forms the basis for the second jig, which holds dowels vertically for drilling into their ends.

To complete the vertical jig, cut a 1-1/2x3x3" block, clamp it to the back of the 4-1/4" piece, and check to make sure that the V-groove is perpendicular to the base. Then glue and screw the two pieces together, as shown in the Exploded View drawing. Use the vertical jig, as shown in the photo, left.

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Photographs: Hetherington Photography
Illustrations: Roxanne LeMoine

Drill-press exploded view

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