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I am building a couple of coffee tables....... I have three boards to join using my Kreg jig...... is there any advantage to drilling every other pocket from the opposite direction?  OR do I just need to drill the centre board.  I re-watched the video and it just shows the centre board being drilled to join the outside boards, but it would seem that opposing pockets would be stronger?

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I don't know if there is any advantage but I typically do as you describe above - every other one in the opposite direction and it worked really well.  I usually use dowels as well which is probably overkill but makes it even stronger.

Larry, 

You can join them from both directions---

that'll beef-up the construction.

Perhaps a little overkill---but, for a heavy duty table, I do it.

I'd alternate the fasteners about 4" apart, after installing the ones near the ends.

Also, applying a thin layer of wood glue, to the butted surface, with add additional reinforcement.

try this but I use boarder's to save on wood

  You know, I'm just starting out with this woodworking stuff myself. 

But that sounds a bit logical to me.  If you do decide to stagger the pockets,

let us know how that works out.

What dowel jig do you use Mike

Mike McGuire said:
I don't know if there is any advantage but I typically do as you describe above - every other one in the opposite direction and it worked really well.  I usually use dowels as well which is probably overkill but makes it even stronger.

Why does one choose dowels over biscuit joinery?

Advantages: _ _ _

Disadvantages: _ _ _

Thanks for your replies....... I have been alternating the pockets in opposing directions as a matter of routine.... It may or may not make any difference .....but it can't hurt either.   I have also been putting a thin layer of glue on as well ( thanks Ken).  I can't believe how nicely the boards come together using this jig !!  I'll try and snap a couple of pics as I go along and after I'm done I'll try and figure out how to attach them to this discussion..... lol

Regards

Larry

Gary, I use Dowelmax.  I like it a lot.  

Gary roofner said:
What dowel jig do you use Mike

Mike McGuire said:
I don't know if there is any advantage but I typically do as you describe above - every other one in the opposite direction and it worked really well.  I usually use dowels as well which is probably overkill but makes it even stronger.
Not sure Ken.  I am not an expert woodworker by any means.  I have never tried biscuits.  I have used dowels on a lot of projects with much success.  What are your thoughts on the differences?

Ken Darga said:

Why does one choose dowels over biscuit joinery?

Advantages: _ _ _

Disadvantages: _ _ _

DOWEL JOINERY:

I've used dowels on many projects/repairs over the years.


It's very tedious to make precise aligned matching drilled holes,

so that the pins match perfectly with the aligned holes, when the pieces are assembled.

I try to be obtain accuracy of +/- 0.005", of an edge/surface---

this requires precision measuring and drilling.

 

BTW---0.005" is the width of a ''scribed line'', on a Starratt precision scale.

 

Drilling pilot holes, for a dowel pin, requires a brad-point drill bit, for better accuracy. 

Drilling holes without using a ''brad point drill bit'', requires drilling the initial hole using a 1/16" dia drill bit, then progress to a larger size bit.

Cabinet makers (brad-point) drill bits, are my top choice, for precision drilling in wood products.

 

Standard drill bits, will ''wonder off'', their intended straight path---

thus the purpose of using a pilot drilled hole, starting with a 1/16" size.

 

There are various ''dowel drilling jigs'' on todays market.

Most common are 3/8" size.

 

Dowel Dia:

I generally use a dowel dia of 1/3 of the material thickness---

i.e., for 3/4" thick stock, I use 1/4" dia dowel, to be adequate.

 

Dowel Depth:

I target the dowel engagement of 1/2 of material thickness of the object I'm joining---

i.e., 3/4" thick material, I generally make it 3/8" deep.

Any deeper, is more difficult to achieve nearly perfect results/alignment.

NOTE:  I drill my pilot holes 1/16'' deeper than the dowel engagement depth, so as to provide space at the bottom of the hole for the access glue.

 

Fluted/grooved dowels, are the best choice---

(make or buy)---

the leading edge of the dowels needs to be chamfered.

An adequate amount of glues needs to be in the joined hole, so that when clamping pressure is applied,

the glue will exit thru the grooves on the dowels, for stronger joinery.

 

On several occasions, I've had to drill holes, for doweled joinery, using a hand drill or powered drill.

For this use, I mounted a ''bubble'' on the top end of my drill.

Keep an eye on bubble, so it remains in the center of the vial, while drilling.

(I do have one power drill, that is factory fitted with a bubble on the top of the drill and a level on the top surface---VERY handy feature).

 

BISCUIT JOINERY:

Much easier, simpler and faster over doweled joinery.

All one needs in a biscuit plate joiner and some biscuits.

Follow the manufactures directions and have at it.

Biscuit joiners are available from $100 and on up.

A $100 model will suffice for the occasional DIY projects, for 3/4" thick lumber stock.

For joining 1/2" thick stock, this requires more skill and a more precise biscuit slot cutter.

 

Biscuit slots can be done on a table router, using the appropriate cutting tools.

 

NOTE:

Since investing in the KREG pocket hole joinery tools, I seldom use dowels.

Unless, under some special circumstances; such as making/repairing small cross-section items, where

a pocket hole will not work, then I use dowels/wood pins.

 


Mike McGuire said:

Not sure Ken.  I am not an expert woodworker by any means.  I have never tried biscuits.  I have used dowels on a lot of projects with much success.  What are your thoughts on the differences?


thanks.  I have thought about trying biscuits and will look into a joiner.

 

Regarding dowels, I have a pretty good jig (Dowelmax).  It is pretty precise and takes the guess work out of lining up the holes accurately.  I like to use dowels as it allows me to assemble the project before using the keg screws to ensure that everything lines up true. 

What is the best prctice to joint three beams or boards?

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