Dead-on dowel joints
Edge-to edge joints
To make edge-to-face joints, start by drilling dowel holes along one edge as described in the previous section. Drill the holes deep enough to make the protruding dowels at least 3/16" shorter than the thickness of the mating piece.
Use dowel centers (see Sources, bottom of page) to transfer dowel-hole positions from the edge of one piece to the face of the mating piece. Depending on the size of your dowel centers, either place them in the dowel holes you just drilled, or insert a dowel in each hole and slip them over these dowels, top photo.
To mark the face of the second joint part with the dowel locations from the first one, align the ends of both workpieces using a block. Then tap the face of the second part against the dowel centers, middle photo.
Now use a brad-point or Forstner bit in your drill press to drill the mating holes at each location marked by the dowel centers [Photo I]. Set the drill-press depth stop for the length of the protruding dowels plus 1/16".
Dry-assemble the joint to test for fit; then carefully disassemble it. Then glue and clamp the pieces.
Doweling jigs. 3/8" doweling jig no. 35242, Rockler, 800-279-4441, rockler.com. Self-centering, fixed-bushing jig no. 109-142, Woodworker's Supply, 800-645-9292, woodworker.com. Self-centering doweling jig no. 25K64.01 with interchangeable bushings, Lee Valley Tools, 800-871-8158, leevalley.com. Dowelmax Kit with 3/8" bushings, O.M.S. Tool Co., 877-986-9400, dowelmax.com.
Countersinks. Grizzly set of five countersinks no. G5729, from Amazon.com.
Dowel centers. Each come in packs of 5: 1/4" outside, 3/16" inside no. 66J45.01; 3/8" outside, 5/16" inside no. 66J45.02; and 1/2" outside, 3/8" inside no. 66J45.03; Lee Valley Tools.
Fluted dowels. 1/4 x 1 1/2", Rockler #70342.
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