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Drilling Dowels

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Blog entry by Bruce Barber posted 07-09-2016 01:18 AM 842 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi Guys ,,, does any body have a good way or a jig that can drill holes in the wood dowels .. i use a 2×4 cut it half way down the middle and then i would drill the size of the dowel and clap it in my drill press and go from there.
but some times in goes though the side ,,, i use the bits with the sharp point on the end too forgot the name of the bit
hope some can help me

-- Bruce, Thunder Bay , Ontario, Canada



14 comments so far

View DwightC's profile

DwightC

26 posts in 236 days


#1 posted 07-09-2016 01:59 AM

Are you trying to drill holes for dowels or drill holes in dowels? If you’re trying to drill holes in a part to receive a dowel, there are any number of commercial doweling jigs out there (or you can easily make your own) The trick is to use the jig so that you place the holes you are making in exactly corresponding locations in each of the two pieces you are joining. If you are trying to drill holes in dowels, the trick, as with any object without flat surfaces at right angles, is in securing the piece so that it doesn’t move while you operate on it. There are lots of different clamping strategies that address that problem.

View htl's profile

htl

2166 posts in 619 days


#2 posted 07-09-2016 02:24 AM

Bruce I think your talking about drilling for the axles.
One thing I’ve been doing is drilling from both ends that way you may be off but it’s in the middle only off by half.
I also have a bit that is just 1/32 bigger [talking 1/4 axles here]so the axles have a little room to play with.

I’ve been using regular bits from Harbor Freight and they seem to work quite well but a brad bit may be needed at times.
Dutchy has a couple a how2’s on drilling axles but I think the biggest thing is getting whatever holds the dowel must be straight with the bit.
May need to check that your 2×4 is cut square.
May pay to run the whole 2×4 through the table saw and get all surfaces flat before making jig.
I hope that helps.

An other thing you could try is drilling it out with a smaller bit first to keep it going straight then use the bigger bit.

Just my $.02

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

580 posts in 280 days


#3 posted 07-09-2016 03:06 AM

#? (Bruce), If you are drilling in a dowel, I use a colette chuck on the lathe. From the last picture the hole in the 1st. frame drilling into 1/4 dowel using 7/32” drill caused blow out but a 13/64” (2nd frame) gave me a thin wall.



I use the Beall Colette chuck, though I’m sure you might be able to source elsewhere and maybe cheaper (though I can’t vouch for tollerances). I bought tboth the standard ond oversized sets.


If you want to ensure you go down the centre of “square” timber, use one of Dutchy’s tricks which (if I remember correctly as I couldn’t find his post… too many to search through) is drill down the “centre” of the timber and using a dowel through the middle as an aligning stick cut with a taper jig or sand on disc sander to squareness. May not be 100% but sure as hell better than an obvious off centre hole or blowout..

Alternatively depending on length, careful chuck alignment on a lathe, drilling from both ends, will also work. Use long “nosed” jaws for greater stability and alignment (braced with the tailstock applying pressure to a centering hole while tightening the jaws).

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

2373 posts in 737 days


#4 posted 07-09-2016 10:11 AM

I suspect your drill press has some runout that is magnified by the length of the drill bit. You could clamp the dowel into square stock and then use a doweling jig such as the Stanley 59. Or just use a brass sleeve bushing to keep the drill bit in alinement.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View Bruce Barber's profile

Bruce Barber

87 posts in 263 days


#5 posted 07-09-2016 12:23 PM

thanks guys ,, for the information..

-- Bruce, Thunder Bay , Ontario, Canada

View htl's profile

htl

2166 posts in 619 days


#6 posted 07-09-2016 02:24 PM

I wonder how many have the $$$ for that set up Ducky it must be nice. LOL

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

2008 posts in 1628 days


#7 posted 07-09-2016 02:47 PM

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

2373 posts in 737 days


#8 posted 07-09-2016 02:53 PM

Dutchy: I like the cam clamp jig in your second link.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View htl's profile

htl

2166 posts in 619 days


#9 posted 07-09-2016 03:00 PM

Now that’s what I’m talking about, well done Dutchy.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View htl's profile

htl

2166 posts in 619 days


#10 posted 07-09-2016 11:56 PM

Ducky I took a second look at your drilling and that’s some great work, now you won’t need to buy straws any more.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View Dee1's profile

Dee1

192 posts in 1349 days


#11 posted 07-10-2016 04:41 PM

I too had trouble and the thing I found back your drill out fairly often to clean the chips other wise it will follow the grain in the dowel.

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

2373 posts in 737 days


#12 posted 07-10-2016 07:02 PM

Thats a good tip.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View htl's profile

htl

2166 posts in 619 days


#13 posted 07-10-2016 09:03 PM

Dee1
Very interesting and makes plenty of sense.
Starting with a smaller bit has also helped at times.
And sometimes it’s the wood, hit a hard spot and off it goes following the softer wood, that’s where I would think the brad bit would work a little better.

Great topic Bruce.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2794 days


#14 posted 07-11-2016 11:33 AM

I endorse Dutchy’s method Bruce. I have been doing this for several years to make my long wooden hinges for boxes. I always use a sanding platter to flatten the glue joint before gluing it back together. It really becomes invisible if you glue it back together in the same orientation. Much easier and more accurate method. If you are drilling to make an axle the V groove will probably be good enough without actually having to drill it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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