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2x2 Miter Joint using Dowels?

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Forum topic by DesignerTex posted 11-16-2020 07:34 PM 1728 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DesignerTex

4 posts in 309 days


11-16-2020 07:34 PM

I have a Jessem dowel jig that’s awesome but I can’t use it on 45 degree miter joints. I really don’t want to buy another high dollar doweler JUST for mieter joints. Anyone have input on this? I’ve wracked my brain too much on this issue.

Do people even use dowels on miter joints like this? What would be the better option if not?

-- https://kpdzn.com


24 replies so far

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Rich

7329 posts in 1801 days


#1 posted 11-16-2020 11:27 PM

I have the JessEm 08350. Why do you say you can’t do that on it? You’re going perpendicular to the miter, so just clamp the jig to it with the drill guide plate flat against it. You can even flip the other board around to clamp both in there to drill it. Just be careful to mark your pieces so the hole is drilled at the same offset for both pieces or else the faces of the boards won’t be flush when they come together.

There’s nothing wrong with using dowels on that. Biscuits would work too. I’m sure someone will suggest the Festool Domino, which is an awesome tool if you have a spare $1000 lying around to spend on it. You also could just glue it up without any of that and cut a slot for a miter spline to strengthen it. Lots of options there.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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DesignerTex

4 posts in 309 days


#2 posted 11-16-2020 11:34 PM

If you go in on the slope side from the side, the line will have to be on the second board. Then you have to make sure the second board is aligned correctly. 2×2 is too small to go out past the metal clamp piece with the built in line. Just trying to avoid that or creating a jig.

I have a biscuit jointer but on 2×2 it’s scetchy on being too small for those. And Dominoes, I wish :) If you have a spare $1k for one, send it my way! Maybe i’ll consider splines. I was just trying to make it seamless.

-- https://kpdzn.com

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Jeff

552 posts in 4406 days


#3 posted 11-16-2020 11:35 PM

I’ve never had much luck lining up dowels so if I did one on an angle like that it would end up off center. On all my picture frames I do a spline like Rich suggests. I made a simple jig for the table saw. A spline allows formuch more glue surface and if using contrasting wood a design feature as well.

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bilyo

1395 posts in 2314 days


#4 posted 11-16-2020 11:57 PM

Another option is to glue the joint together and after the glue is dry, drill and insert dowels either perpendicular to the joint line or parallel with one of the legs. Of course, the ends of the dowels would be exposed as with the miter splines.

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Rich

7329 posts in 1801 days


#5 posted 11-16-2020 11:59 PM


If you go in on the slope side from the side, the line will have to be on the second board. Then you have to make sure the second board is aligned correctly. 2×2 is too small to go out past the metal clamp piece with the built in line. Just trying to avoid that or creating a jig.

- DesignerTex

The line has nothing to do with it. The way that jig is intended to be used is to align the hole in the adjoining piece using a dowel inserted into the hole in the first piece. For yours, clamp the two boards together either face-to-face or back-to-back with the miters aligned. Clamp the jig to the first face and drill. Precisely where along the joint isn’t critical—you can just mark it with a pencil and eyeball it to get it close to centered on the line. Then, unclamp the jig, insert a dowel in that hole and clamp the jig against the other face with the dowel in the index slot and drill there.

The index slot is aligned with the center guide bushing. The ones around it can be used in cases where you’re doing multiple dowels in a single joint.

BTW, the face of that fence is pretty slick. Things can tend to slip if you’re not careful. I attached some 220 grit adhesive backed sandpaper to mine to stop that. Here’s what it looks like:

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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DesignerTex

4 posts in 309 days


#6 posted 11-17-2020 12:06 AM

I thought of doing it that way and flipping it over. But I had talked myself out of it for some reason. I think the frame I’m building goes in different directions and thought it would confuse me trying to keep all the alignment correct. Thought just doing each on it’s own from one measurement would be more precise and less likely of me screwing it up.

I’ll have to keep that in mind about the slipping. Might have to pick up some thin sandpaper.

-- https://kpdzn.com

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Rich

7329 posts in 1801 days


#7 posted 11-17-2020 12:19 AM


I thought of doing it that way and flipping it over. But I had talked myself out of it for some reason. I think the frame I m building goes in different directions and thought it would confuse me trying to keep all the alignment correct. Thought just doing each on it s own from one measurement would be more precise and less likely of me screwing it up.

I ll have to keep that in mind about the slipping. Might have to pick up some thin sandpaper.

- DesignerTex

Here’s a photo of how the jig indexes off of the first dowel hole. I didn’t bother drilling these boards, but if I had, that dowel would be inserted into the first hole to align the jig when you swing it around to clamp it for the second hole. I just stood it in there to show the idea.

That center line is only used for rough placement of the jig. Say you were edge joining two boards to make a panel. You’d mark a line at intervals along the face of one of the boards to indicate the position of dowels, and use that line to position the jig to it. However, that’s nowhere near precise enough when you go to drill in the adjoining piece. For that, you would insert dowels into the first board’s dowel holes, move the jig around and clamp it against the other face using those protruding dowels to index its position to perfectly match the position of the first hole.

A couple of things are critical. As I said before, you want to clamp your boards together face-to-face, or back-to-back. That will ensure they don’t slip and leave you with holes that are misaligned. Then, be sure to clamp the jig to the face of the first board, and then move it around and clamp to the second board. That’s important to ensure the dowels are equally offset from the face of the board when you go to glue it up.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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woodbutcherbynight

10253 posts in 3621 days


#8 posted 11-17-2020 02:34 AM



I thought of doing it that way and flipping it over. But I had talked myself out of it for some reason. I think the frame I m building goes in different directions and thought it would confuse me trying to keep all the alignment correct. Thought just doing each on it s own from one measurement would be more precise and less likely of me screwing it up.

I ll have to keep that in mind about the slipping. Might have to pick up some thin sandpaper.

- DesignerTex

Simple but effective solution for the parts. Painters tape, yellow or lime green is easier to see writing on. Blue will do but use dark marker. Label them, make a legend and then this issue goes away. I keep few rolls of tape on hand for such reasons. As far as using the Jessem jig, RICH will know plenty about that. I don’t have one I just drill all the way through and use different wood for dowel. Little highlight always adds to the look. Or a miter spline, or a half lap joint. Recently used a double lap joint for a cabinet door I made for shop.

If you have the jig play with it and use the setup RICH suggested. Use some scraps and work out the kinks and oops factor. Then come back with some experience and give this a go.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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LeeRoyMan

2061 posts in 939 days


#9 posted 11-17-2020 02:59 AM

*

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woodbutcherbynight

10253 posts in 3621 days


#10 posted 11-17-2020 03:04 AM



Strong Ass Joint there….....rookie lol

- LeeRoyMan

Well that is the door I am most likely to slam.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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Rich

7329 posts in 1801 days


#11 posted 11-17-2020 03:44 AM

Whoa. LeeRoy got quoted before he killed his post. I hate it when that happens.

Great content, Gunny. I was focusing on helping Tex work with the JessEm jig, which is my favorite for doweling. Still, I’d never use a dowel in that situation.

Half-laps, bridle joints or splines would be my choice. But I see you’ve done that at a superpower level. Nice.

As LeeRoy said ”*” LMAO.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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HarveyM

159 posts in 3234 days


#12 posted 11-17-2020 03:47 AM

When I’ve done it I used the edges of the jig to align to edge of the mitered board with the fence flat on the face. Drill a couple holes on the inner part of the joint. Here’s some pics

Faces & reference edge marked (I decided to change the reference edge to the pointed side in the jig)

drill your dowel holes in the meaty part of the joint (reference edge on left)

(reference edge on right)

open joint showing the dowels

closed joint

-- Just a Duffer

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Rich

7329 posts in 1801 days


#13 posted 11-17-2020 03:53 AM


When I ve done I used the edges of the jig to align to edge of the mitered board with the fence flat on the face. Drill a couple holes on the inner part of the joint. Here s some pics

- HarveyM

Great photos, Harvey. They really add to the content to help Tex. Thanks for sharing them.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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HarveyM

159 posts in 3234 days


#14 posted 11-17-2020 04:00 AM

Thanks- I put some better lighting over the workbench last week :)

-- Just a Duffer

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LeeRoyMan

2061 posts in 939 days


#15 posted 11-17-2020 04:50 AM



Whoa. LeeRoy got quoted before he killed his post. I hate it when that happens.

Great content, Gunny. I was focusing on helping Tex work with the JessEm jig, which is my favorite for doweling. Still, I d never use a dowel in that situation.

Half-laps, bridle joints or splines would be my choice. But I see you ve done that at a superpower level. Nice.

As LeeRoy said ”*” LMAO.

- Rich


Yep, you got to move fast if you wanna beat the Gunny. :)
Doweling is easy when you have one of these. (I sold it though, wish I still had it.)

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