I need some help from the SDMB carpenters, here! I’m trying to constuct a window seat based on these plans. This project calls for a doweling jig, which I do not own. Does anyone have any advice or recommendations for buying one?
The Rockler beadLOCK is one of the devices I’m looking at.
Finally a doweling jig thread.
That beadLOCK things looks interesting, but it’s more of a modified tenon joint than a dowel joint. This may not be the answer you’re looking for, but I’ve always found dowel joints to be easy to drill without a jig. That’s why I make them. If you’re going to buy a jig and do a fairly complicated setup, why not just make a real mortise and tenon joint?
I wouldn’t buy a tool where you have to buy material from an exclusive source such as this molded tenon that is used with the beadlock.
There is a self centering jig that allows you to drill to equally spaced holes with one setting. Plus dowels are readily availible at numerous sources. I’ve used this tool and it is well made and simple to use. Self centering dowel jig
Make sure you always work off the same side of wood, like the face that will show or the back that won’t, doesn’t matter which, to allow for slight variations in the centering of the tool.
Here are a couple of dowling jigs offered by Lee Valley Tools. I haven’t used any of them personally, but I have purchased quite a few items from Lee Valley in the past, and they have always been of excellent quality.
The Rockler link you provided seems to be for a jig to make mortise and tenon joints, not the blind dowel joints called for in the project plans. Are you sure it will do what you want? I get the impression that to use this jig, you need to buy the tennon stock from them, or use their router bit to make your own. (On preview I see Dumbguy has raised the same question)
Good luck, and let us know how your window seat turns out!
Can’t access your link to view your plans (servers down), but in general I would suggest a biscuit jointer over dowels. Nothing wring with dowels, but a biscuit jointer is much more versatile, and can generally work anywhere a dowel will work. You would be amazed at the strength of the joints, especially if you have enough thickness to use a double layer of biscuits, like in a door frame. That said, a BJ is more expensive.
I use the jig featured in CBEscapee’s link.
It’s an easy tool to use.
If you elect to use dowels, that type is a good choice.
You can also use pocket holes. An easily (and inexpensive) jig is pictured in this link.
It should go without saying, but pocket holes are very different from dowel joints. They are, however, fast, simple, effective, and well suited to your project.