Using Dowels for Joinery
There are many ways to join two boards for case work. My favorite and easiest way is to use the Festool Domino. There’s also biscuit joinery, pocket holes and traditional methods such as mortise and tenons. All of these techniques takes expensive special tools or jigs. The method I’m about to show you doesn’t require any specials tools except a drill and a mallet. To make life a little bit easier you’ll want some dowel centers to help you place your mating hole. These dowel centers are very cheap and can be picked up for just a couple of dollars.
Tools and Supplies Used
Step 1: Dowel Pins
Although you can use regular dowels for this method I find that many of the dowels bought from the home center is slightly under sized and I highly suggest using these dowel pins.
Step 2: Dowel Centers
Using these dowel centers will help you align the mating holes. These little guys will make life much easier and improve alignment.
Step 3: Setting the Hole Depth
With a small piece of masking tape you can set the depth of your hole by wrapping it around your drill bit and making a flag. I’m using a 5/16″ bit to go along with the 5/16″ dowel and 5/16″ dowel center.
Step 4: Drilling Holes
Drill the holes where you’d like the butt joint to be in one piece.
Step 5: Dowel Centers
Place in the dowel centers in the drilled holes.
Step 6: Aligning Butt Joint
Align the mating pieces on the dowel centers and give it a tap with a rubber mallet. This will place a dimple on the mating piece.
Step 7: Drill Mating Holes
Using the dimples drill the mating holes in the second piece.
Step 8: Add Dowel Pins and Glue-up
Add some glue and your dowel pins and tap the pieces together and you should have a perfect butt joint. Be sure to throw some clamps on and let it dry for a few hours.