Using the

The jig isn't difficult to use, but it may take a bit of time to tune the setup, especially the first time you use it. But if you are doweling a batch of face frames, the speed and accuracy with which you can plunge-bore the dowel holes makes this extra setup time a worthwhile investment. If you use the jig primarily for Vinch stock, and if you work with consistently thickncsscd material, then once the jig is set up. any adjustment from job to job will be minimal.

The toggle clamp is easy to position and reposition because it is screwed to a small pad that's separate from the jig. Catch the pad's mounting slot on a carriage bolt inserted through the appropriate hole in the jig body, then tighten the wing nut to secjre the clamp. Orient the clamp so its spindle applies pressure directly on the workpiece. just below the template holes.

1. Set up the jig. Clamp it to the workbench to begin.

Next set the template. Loosen the set screws. Align the etched line on template with the face edge of jig. then rctighten the screws. Set the adjusters against the edge of the template.

Mount the toggle clamp next. There's one position that's suitable for both rails and stiles, provided they aren't too wide. If you arc working a job with frame members that are 3 inches wide, you will probably have to switch the toggle clamp back and forth between a position that works for the stiles and one that works for the rails. (The switching is ncttlcsomc during test cuts, but less so when you are doing the actual job.)

Finally, mount the workpiece stop.

2. Set up the router. The jig is designed to be used with a '/¿-inch template guide, so install that guide bushing on the router. Select the correct bit size for the dowels you are using, and chuck it in the collet.

Finally, set the plunge depth. To do this, clamp a scrap in the jig, set the router on the jig, and bottom the bit against the scrap. Drop the stop rod onto the turret, then raise it a distance equal to the depth of the dowel hole you want to bore. A typical depth is 1 inch.

3. Make test bores. You need to work with scraps of the actual working stock, of course, and you must make a complete joint so you can assemble it and evaluate tlie alignment of the parts.

Lay out the two pieces and mark where die "rail" internets the "stile." Bearing in mind the template's hole spacing, lay out the dowel positions on both pieces. Finally, mark the reference facc of both pieces (the reference face bcuig the one that's up as you lay out the joint).

Clamp the test "stile" in the jig, orienting the reference face out. Align the layout marks with the lines etched into the template. Then spin the workpiece adjuster until it gently seats against the end of the test piece.

Set the router on die template with its guide bushing in one of the holes. Plunge-bore the hole. Move the router to the next hole, and plunge-bore a hole. Keep going until all the holes you will be boring are done.

Now switch test pieces.'I"his time, orient the reference lace in. Butt the end of the test "rail" squarely against the template, and slide it left until it contacts the stop. Clamp it. Bore the holes.

4. Assemble and evaluate the test joint. Insert dowels—no glue, of course—into the test bores, and assemble the joint.Thc reference face of both pieces should be up.

Evaluate the joint. Are the faces flush? Do the assembled pieces form a flat surface? If it were a complete face frame, toother words, would that face frame be flat? Arc the surface planes misaligned? Are the edges properly aligned?

5. Fine-tune the jig setup. Of course, il" the joint is perfect on this first try. pat yourself on the back and get busy on the real workpicces. But more than likely, especially f%

Adjusting the template position is easy with these screw adjusters. The plastic knobs are easy on the fingers, and the compression springs keep the screw's setting, even when the router vibrates the jig.

on first use, some minor fine-tuning will be needed.You may have to move the template in or out, or adjust the work-piece stop. You make these adjustments based on your analysis of the joint alignment in relation to the way in which the parts were clamped in the jig.

TJje faces are skewed: The template is cocked. Study the holes in the test pieces, determine which one is off the ccnterline. and adjust the appropriate end of the template.

The faces aren 't flush: You need to move the entire template in or out. Look at the test pieces as they were clamped in the jig.

• If the holes arc closer to the reference face, the template needs to be pushed back.

• If they are closer to the back face, the template must be pushed forward.

The edges don't line up:The workpiece stop must be adjusted in or out.

• If the edge of the rail overhangs the end of the stile, the adjuster screw must be retracted.

• If the stile overhangs the rail, the adjuster screw must be advanced.

Alt of the above: Deal with the problems one at a time. Square the template first, then get it adjusted in or out. Finally, adjust the workpiece stop.

To adjust the template, you must first loosen the mounting screws, of course. To move it back, you back both adjusters away from the edge of the template an equal amount, then push the template back against them. To move it fonvard, you turn both adjusters so they push against the template.

Because we arc dealing with two workpicces, the impact of each template movement will be doubled.Thus in most situations, you will want to move the template a mere fraction of an inch, which translates into a mere fraction of a turn. With the 20-threads-pcr-inch (tpi) adjusters, a quarter-turn will move the tip of the screw '/I» inch.

The same is true of the workpiece stop. Very small adjustments of the screw will yield significant shifts of the workpicces.

6. Rout the dowel holes in the workpieces. You can follow whatever routine is most productive or comfortable for you. See the drawing Doweling Sequence. As the jig now is set up. you can bore the dowel holes in one-end of each stile and rail. To do the other ends, switch the workpiece stop to die other position. Regardless of where the workpiece stop is positioned, the stiles arc oriented horizontally with their reference faces out, the rails vertically with their reference faces in.

After all the joints at the ends of the workpicces are done, you can remove the workpiece stop so you can do the rest of the joints. These have to be aligned under the template holes by eye. But if the layout marks on the work-pieces are accurate, you shouldn't have any difficulty.

DOWELING SEQUENCE

Stiles for Joints AD and CB

• Reference face OUT

Stiles for Joints AB and CD

• Reference face OUT

Rails for Joints AD and CB

• Reference face IN

Rails for Joints AB and CD

• Reference face IN

Stiles for Joints AD and CB

• Reference face OUT

Stiles for Joints AB and CD

• Reference face OUT

Rails for Joints AD and CB

• Reference face IN

Rails for Joints AB and CD

• Reference face IN

DOWELING SEQUENCE

Fast workpiece handling is a major benefit of the router doweling jig. A rail is positioned vertically, so the holes can be bored into the end It is aligned by squaring the butt end agairst the underside of the template, then sliding it against the workpiece stop. The toggle clamp snaps home to hold it in place.

A stile is positioned horizontally beneath the template. While the clamp v\ill secure most such workpieces, very long stiles may need a template ledger to support them, as shown here. All you need is a thin block clamped to the jig body, where it will support the workpiece without interfering with workpiece exchange.

Not every dowel joint is at the end of the frame member. To bore those dowel holes, you have to remove the workpiece stop and align the workpiece under the template holes using layout marks and the lines etched in the template. The toggle clamp can be repositioned if that helps hold the workpiece.

ixture

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