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If you’ve seen my latest video project (“Getting Started in Woodworking, Season 3,” free at StartWoodworking.com) or my recent article on doweling (Fundamentals, FWW #222), you know I’m a fan of the little $14 doweling jig from Rockler. My only complaint was that it came in just one size: 3⁄8-in.
Rockler fixed that by offering the same jig in 1⁄4-in. and 1⁄2-in. sizes, meaning you can build a much wider range of furniture and furniture parts, from thin frames and boxes to big leg-to-apron joints. The 1⁄4-in. jig will center a dowel in 1⁄2-in.-thick pieces, the 3⁄8-in. model works perfectly in 3⁄4-in. stock, and the 1⁄2-in. jig is designed for 1-in.-thick workpieces. Of course, as I demonstrated in the videos, you can easily add a shim to change that distance, offsetting a leg and apron, for example. I love the simplicity of these jigs.
You can either use the lines on the jig to align it with layout marks, as when lining up dowels for a panel glue-up, or line up the edge of the jig with the end of your stock. The jig only does two holes at once, but for a row of dowels you just drop a dowel into the last hole you drilled, which spaces the next one perfectly. These jigs are very solid and accurate, and you could build a houseful of furniture with just a couple of them and a cordless drill. I can’t think of a cheaper, easier method.
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