A Doweling Jig for turned Legs

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Blog entry by Alan Young posted 06-11-2008 06:18 PM 2560 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I have been working on and off on a desk. The desk has turned and fluted legs.

As I resumed work on this project this week I realized I had somewhat design myself into a corner- or at least into my basement shop…The legs I had made were not yet attached to the upper case because the case work is still in the construction stages. Ideally, each leg would have been one large piece- from the turned section to the upper square section that joins to the case work. But my lathe would not hold a turning that long. So I designed the leg to get attached to the case work via a dowel…

Some time back I posted pictures of jig I built to run the grooves in the legs.

This plan was short sighted too. If I were to have glued doweled legs into the case work, the resulting desk would have been to big to get through the doors of my basement shop….So I was forced to design the legs as “removable”. A idea which in the end is probably a better plan anyway-as removable legs will aid in negotiating tight corners. So the plan now is to glue a threaded rod into the end of the legs and a matching threaded insert into the corresponding section of the casework.

Back to the turned legs-whether I was to glue the entire leg to the upper case work or proceed with a threaded rod, I still needed to drill a hole through the top of the legs. Now I was face with another dilemma. I have a bench top drill press that is not big enough to accommodate the length of the legs, Neither is my nifty-recently acquired Mill/Drill… So I have to drill the hole “free hand”...This of course requires a means of making sure the drill is parallel with the leg. So I came up with this little jig.

The jig is more or less-self centering with a 1/4-20 screw turned to a point as the centering pin.

The jig is placed on top of the turned leg. The centering pin is set in the hole that is left from the lathe nut.(of course this ENTIRE jig would have been unnecessary if I had thought to drill the holes while the legs where still square stock!)

But here we go..Then the jig is closed tight against the leg as two opposing pivot points move along the slide bars.

At this point all the screws are tightened and the jig is held firmly in place centered over the leg.

The upper and lower slide bars each have a centered 1/4 inch hole. These are space about 1” apart and form the parallel line for the drill to follow into the leg.

A bit of tweaking could be done but the resulting hole was “acceptable” :^)...

After the four legs were drilled for a the 1/4 inch hole I enlarged them to 3/8. The 3/8 drill easily followed the smaller diameter hole.

I will probably continue the precess up to a 1/2 inch and then insert a threaded rod….

Thanks for looking….

1 comment so far

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593 posts in 3261 days

#1 posted 06-12-2008 11:15 AM

I have to say that is one hell of a jig, it looks like a lot of thought went into its construction. Good job getting out of your corner!

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

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