Hey y'all! I've really gotten a lot out of the posts and responses. Thanks! : )
With few tools and a little experimenting I am starting to make a table top out of 5/4 red oak of various widths( x4, x6 & x8). The boards are 5 long. I am planning on edge gluing and doweling the joints with 3/8 x 2 birch dowel pins. Are these dowels big enough? How close or how often should I dowel?
The dowels arent going to give your panel any more strength, so unless your going to use them for alignment why bother? I never been much of a fan of dowels, probably cause I never could get the dang holes to line up right. :) Careful prep of the joints before hand and a dry run to insure its right is all you need.
Like Randy says, the dowels won't add strength if your boards are accurately jointed. Two-inchers are gosh o' plenty, as would be one-inchers. I'd put one near each end, maybe 9" away from the end, and one in the middle of each board for alignment. Lay out the holes VERY carefully because you don't want misaligned holes during glueup, drill just a little deeper than half the length of the dowels to prevent hydraulic pressure from splitting your wood, and do a dry run with dowels split just over halfway both directions before you spread glue. Use a bradpoint drill bit to keep your hole from following the grain and wandering from center, and make a shallow centerpunch with an awl first. Pay close attention to your drilling, be sure the holes are as straight both directions as you can get 'em. Use a scrap of masking tape as a depth stop, just wrap it around the drill bit and stick it to itself like a little flag. When it sweeps the chips off the surface, you're deep enough.
The double-split dowels are the best way to do a doweled dry run, because you can actually work them back out of the holes.
Do you have a doweling jig? Or a set of dowel centers? If not, you're gonna find this is a lot harder than it seems and can actually hinder getting the boards to align. These guys are right...better methods are[ul][li]Biscuits[li]Tongue and groove[li]Spline joint (my personal favorite because it's so fast and easy to get a groove centered on the edge of the boards, and the spline keeps the tops of the boards aligned pretty well.)[li]Just glue it up without any other additional messing around. If the board edges are jointed well, and you clamp properly (not too tight eh) glue will hold great.[/ul]Marc
Dowels are a PITA. That's putting it lightly. Just my experience.
I would just do a straight edge joint. A lot of people knock this type of jointery, but I've found that with the proper prep work, they are plenty strong for anything you might put this piece of furniture through. I've used biscuits, splines, dowels, you name it, and now I feel I was wasting my time. Do you have a jointer? That is the key. Since I got mine, I've found that my work turns out just plain neater and tighter. Maybe it's just because I know what went into the project.
Yes, I have a doweling jig and not a whole lot else. Have been experimenting with some scrap wood of the same type. A doweling dry run has really helped.
My tools are very limited to the jig, a drill, saw, pipe clamps, c-clamps, bench plane, mallet and a sander... : ) I've taken over the room. It's great! I wish that I had a jointer, oh well. Next time. Where can I find out about biscuiting or spline joints?
I was worried that the boards would torque out in the clamps as the glue set. Then, I started to wonder about what I don't know or have forgotten.... Thanks : )
Just yesterday, we used clamps after glue simply to take the bow out of the wood we were using, and it straightened everything out for us. Usually though, any time you lay up a project the clamps are...