Reply by jmos

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Posted on Drawbored mortise & tenon question

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839 posts in 2392 days

#1 posted 05-04-2012 12:00 PM

I tried drawboring the legs on the workbench I just completed (build is blogged) and it didn’t go too well.

I couple of thoughts based on my attempt:

I wouldn’t try 1/2” dowels; I tried 3/8” and they were pretty damn stiff.

I also think I offset the holes too much, and the dowel couldn’t make it around the bends. Keep the offset to less than 1/16”.

You also need a lot of taper in the dowel, I made the end into a point, kind of like a thick pencil, and I don’t think that was nearly enough taper. I’d do a lot more taper if I tried again.

I also used pre-made dowel, and I had issues with it breaking while I was pounding. Pre-made dowels are just not all straight grain. Make your own dowels using straight grain stock.

My drill press didn’t have enough travel to go through the leg in one pass, so I drilled what I could in the press (bench top model) and then finished with a hand drill. I don’t think this helped. If I did it again I would likely seek out a real drill press so I knew everything was properly lined up.

You might want to try making the dowels a bit undersized if you go completely through the leg, it’s a lot of contact area and a lot of friction.

Good luck!

-- John

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