How to accurately align dowel joints
Properly aligning the dowel holes in each piece of wood you want to join is vital if you want to make sure they fit together properly.
Badly aligned holes can prevent your pieces of wood from fitting together at all.
While accuracy is possible by measuring by hand, it is time consuming and mistakes are easy to make.
There are a couple of tricks to making sure that your dowel holes are properly aligned.
Using centre points
Centre points are tools designed to turn one half of a wooden joint into a template that will allow you to locate the drilling points for dowel holes on the other half of the joint.
One side of the centre point is designed to fit snugly inside a pre-drilled dowel hole. The other is a sharp point.
Step 1 - Insert centre points into pre-drilled holes
Once you have reached a stage where all of your dowel holes are drilled into the first part of your joint, insert centre points into each of them.
Step 2 - Align joint and apply pressure
Carefully square up your joint, then apply pressure. The centre points will prick holes in the second piece of wood, showing you exactly where the new holes need to be drilled.
Provided you are accurate when drilling, this guarantees that your second set of holes will be correctly spaced.
Using a dowelling jig
It's also possible to use a dowelling jig to make sure that all holes are drilled in precisely the correct location.