Drilling holes into the sides and ends of dowels can challenge even the best woodworkers. The problem: trying to hold round stock in position. Here are a couple of simple jigs that will hold your dowels rock-steady.

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Both jigs rely on a V-groove that you cut into a piece of 34 x3x20" scrapwood. To cut the V, tilt the blade of your tablesaw to 30° from vertical, and set the cutting depth to 38 ", as shown in the illustration. 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 414 " piece off one end. The longer piece holds your dowels flat on the table, as shown in the photo. 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 112 x3x3" block, clamp it to the back of the 414 " 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 Vertical Jig drawing. Use the vertical jig as shown.

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