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Workbench #5: Drawboring: the good, the bad and the ugly

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Blog entry by yuridichesky posted 09-18-2013 07:17 PM 1158 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Legs: mortise and tenon Part 5 of Workbench series Part 6: Leg vise chop »

Finally I got to drawboring point.

Dowels were ready, drawboring pins were ready, M&T on the legs and stretchers were ready.

Drilling holes for drawboring didn’t cause any problem.

Since I wasn’t sure my drawboring technique was good enough I used glue and clamps to get best possible results (and I didn’t care about chances to disassemble legs in the future). And you know, the drawboring started with “the good” part:

I heard a quite a bit of crackling when drove dowels through the joints and was very surprised to see how oaken dowels were bent:

Now about “the bad”.

Well, good news: there’s no “the bad” part, it just sounds solid and familiar: “the good, the bad…”, couldn’t help myself not to take it.

And here is “the ugly”.

Believe it or not, but this was the last drawboring dowel. The reason of this failure was that I didn’t sharpen the dowel well enough, and didn’t care about “dead” hammering feedback. But the core of the problem was that I was tired and in a hurry to finish the work. So memo to self: have a rest when you tired and postpone important work when you in a hurry.

Fortunately I managed to fix this issue:

So my general impression of drawboring was/is quite positive. I successfully drawbored parallel guide of the leg vise chop (will be in my next blog entry), and now highly recommend this technique.

But try to feel your hammer feedback, just in case.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)



13 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4817 posts in 979 days


#1 posted 09-18-2013 07:24 PM

Ouch, I’ve had that happen before too, except mine was because I offset the drawbore holes too far. Looks like a good recovery none the less, nice work

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View CL810's profile (online now)

CL810

2100 posts in 1675 days


#2 posted 09-18-2013 07:32 PM

Looks very solid Yuri. The ugly was not so ugly in my view.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4464 posts in 1138 days


#3 posted 09-18-2013 08:41 PM

Yuri, I don’t think that little repair will compromise the joint. Nice recovery.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View stefang's profile

stefang

13265 posts in 2021 days


#4 posted 09-18-2013 08:42 PM

Looks good Yuri, and the repair you made came out very well too. I like the idea of draw boring, but I can’t think how a draw bored joint can be stronger or better than a mortise and tenon joint that is glued and clamped. Therefore I am thinking that it’s main purpose must be to make a tight fit and keep it that way while the glue dries and without the necessity to keep it clample after installing the dowels. This is just a theory as I have absolutely no experience with draw boring. Can anyone inform me about this?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View CL810's profile (online now)

CL810

2100 posts in 1675 days


#5 posted 09-18-2013 09:06 PM

Stefang, I think you pretty much said it. Chris Schwarz said in his book Workbenches, that drawboring fell out of favor because of modern glues and “piston fit joint.” However, he also said that whenever he builds something that requires an “extra measure of stoutness.” like chairs and benches, he drawbores the joints. It does pull the shoulders tight which, I think, strengthens the joint by reducing stress on the glue.

I drawbored the legs of my bench and will on my next one. Bench legs take abuse and I can’t help but think drawboring helps.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View yuridichesky's profile

yuridichesky

342 posts in 650 days


#6 posted 09-19-2013 06:31 AM

Thank you, everyone.

Mike, to be honest I have no proof that drawbored joint is stronger than glued one. I just wanted to make it as strong as I could, and so I used everything I had at my arsenal. Plus I wanted to practice in drawboring, and I think I’m going to drawbore less critical parts without a glue.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6841 posts in 1838 days


#7 posted 09-19-2013 02:44 PM

Geat progress and nice fix!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View yuridichesky's profile

yuridichesky

342 posts in 650 days


#8 posted 09-19-2013 04:49 PM

Mauricio, thanks a lot! Learning to make, learning to fix… Never know which one goes first.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1341 days


#9 posted 09-20-2013 04:36 PM

Been there, big time. I sharpen my pins like a pencil now.

AND it’s ALWAYS the last pin.

Nice save.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View yuridichesky's profile

yuridichesky

342 posts in 650 days


#10 posted 09-21-2013 04:53 PM

Thank you, Ryan. About sharpening pins: I even bought big pencil sharpener for this very purpose.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1341 days


#11 posted 09-22-2013 01:22 AM

I find the big sharpener designed for doing carpenters pencils makes a good pin sharpener.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

2573 posts in 730 days


#12 posted 10-14-2014 05:03 PM

Solid

-- --Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View yuridichesky's profile

yuridichesky

342 posts in 650 days


#13 posted 10-14-2014 05:13 PM

Thank you Dave. It is solid, but you know you just can’t overbuild the workbench.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

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