Making a Dowel Joint

What You'll Need
Dowel jig
Drill guide jig
Power drill
Tape measure
Paper and pencil

Whether you are making a simple box or an item of furniture, you will find that using a dowel joint can be useful. This type of fastening will allow you to create a strong joint, which will able you to negate the use of screws or bolts. Understanding the correct way to make the joint will ensure that you create an item that is strong and long-lasting.

Step 1 – Measure

The first step necessary in making a dowel joint is to consider the length and width of the pieces of wood that you will be connecting. This is necessary to help you to determine what size dowels are required for the dowel joint. Note down the resulting measurements, which will need to be used to help you determine what size is required from the dowels. It will enable you to note down what both the length and width of the dowels must be to connect the wood. These measurements must be used when cutting all the components.

Step 2 – Prepare Wood

Position the wood that you are assembling in the manner of the end construction. This will allow you to note where the wood will be joined and to determine the number of dowels required to create a secure connection. The longer the edge that is to be connected, the more dowels are required to complete the construction. Use a pencil to mark the point where you will drill the hole to fit the dowel. By using an X, you will easily be able to find the center point.           

Step 3 – Cut Dowels 

Fit the dowel into the relevant hole of the dowel jig, which must match the width of it. Using this tool will enable you to cut it cleanly at the correct point. Pull the saw through the relevant slot at the point of the correct length. Follow this process to cut each of the dowels necessary for the dowel joint.

Step 4 – Drill Holes  

The holes that need to be drilled into the wood to correspond with the dowels must be done in a precise manner, both in terms of width and depth. The measurements used must be exactly the same as the dowel in respect of the width and must be half the length of the dowel. Insert a drill bit into the power drill that is the same size as the dowels that are being used. By using a drill guide jig, you can ensure that you drill to the correct depth.     

Step 5 – Finish

Prior to assembling the components, dry fit the dowels to ensure that they fit securely. If necessary, tidy the ends of the dowels by rubbing it with some fine grit sandpaper. You will then be able to assemble the components, making sure that you firmly push in each dowel joint to ensure that the edges are properly aligned.