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Alignment pins for drawboring?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 08-09-2012 07:24 PM 1689 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

621 posts in 1340 days


08-09-2012 07:24 PM

If you have drawbored a mortise-and-tenon joint (for example, when building a Roubo bench), did you use alignment pins and, if so, did you find them helpful or unnecessary?

-- More tools, fewer machines.


11 replies so far

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Brett

621 posts in 1340 days


#1 posted 09-27-2012 06:58 PM

TTT, since I’m probably going to start drawboring this weekend.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1994 posts in 909 days


#2 posted 09-27-2012 07:01 PM

I drawbored a mortise and tenon joint for an outdoor table, and I did not use alignment pins. I just tapered the dowels with a pocket knife to allow them to pass through the opening.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View MiniMoose's profile

MiniMoose

27 posts in 745 days


#3 posted 09-27-2012 07:32 PM

I drill the hole in the mortise piece, then insert the tenon and dent it with the drill bit. Remove the tenon and drill through just behind the dent. Easy peasy.

-- Squeek!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3365 posts in 1470 days


#4 posted 09-28-2012 01:08 AM

1+ on minimoose’s comment. I usually drawbore on large tables with 3/8” square pegs. I use a 3/8” drill bit to mark the center of the peg. Then I mortise the hole 1/32” closer to the shoulder of the tenon.
No special tools required.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1017 posts in 943 days


#5 posted 09-28-2012 01:59 AM

Drawbore alignment pins are generally used after the holes in the mortise and offset hole in the tenon have been drilled, as shown in the picture below:

I use the same concept that Don does, and haven’t needed to use the alignment pins. Some wax on the dowels might help if the fit is especially tight.

-- John, BC, Canada

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Brett

621 posts in 1340 days


#6 posted 09-28-2012 12:55 PM

I’m guessing that clamps would draw things tight, too. Maybe drawbore pins were more common before clamps became available.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1994 posts in 909 days


#7 posted 09-28-2012 01:02 PM

Brett—I did not use clamps to draw bore my joints. The driven pin pulls the joint together very tightly. I dry fitted the joint then pounded the tapered pin in. I used a 1/16” offset (as pintodeluxe described above in Post #4), but the offset depends on the wood species.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9924 posts in 1275 days


#8 posted 09-28-2012 01:59 PM

I used drawbore pins with the assy of the base of my workbench. Bought them at Sears, essentially all-steel punches. Cheap and effective pair of appliances that have come in handy a bunch of times since. Pins do pull the joint incredibly tight, and sets the path for the peg. Do they have to be used? Maybe not. It’s best practice, though.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View MiniMoose's profile

MiniMoose

27 posts in 745 days


#9 posted 09-28-2012 06:04 PM

Drawboring gives a tight M&T without needing glue or clamps at all. They certainly had clamps for other things. Drawboring also allows you to disassemble the piece later for repairs without having to do much but drill out the little peg. Even if they used glue (hide glue) it was still possible to disassemble with a bit of heat. Modern PVA glues don’t really allow for that. I’m a hide glue and rice glue convert these days. I’d rather rely on joinery to do the structural support work.

-- Squeek!

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4846 posts in 1280 days


#10 posted 10-02-2012 02:41 AM

I also used drawbore pins for my recent Roubo build. The offset was 1/16” and I did not used a drawbore pin. One reason is the my drawbore holes were blind and did not go all the way through. The pegs were tapered and went in without difficulty.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View doordude's profile

doordude

1085 posts in 1640 days


#11 posted 10-02-2012 04:45 AM

Yes, i built the Roubo bench, and used the drawbore method. just like “the Schwarze” says in the bible. i mean book.
you buy them at sears for $8.00 each.worth having,yes 5 stars…

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