Router table: Pocket hole jig vs. Dowel joints - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Question Router table: Pocket hole jig vs. Dowel joints

Hi,

I'm leaning towards building a simple router table from MDF similar to the one below. I was planning on using dowel joints but a friend of mine made a good point, why not just use a pocket hole jig. This seems much easier to me as the odds of me drilling the holes correctly for the dowel joints with a cordless drill are pretty bad. As I am new to woodworking, it's tough for me to know if this is really a good idea or not. Any thoughts?



--Nick

--Nick
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Last edited by beerknurd; 04-26-2012 at 03:43 PM. Reason: Correcting carelessness
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerknurd View Post
Hi,

I'm leaning towards building a simple router table from MDF similar to the one below. I was planning on using dowel joints but a friend of mine made a good point, why not just use a pocket hole jig. This seems much easier to me as the odds of me drilling the holes correctly for the dowel joints with a cordless drill are pretty bad. As I am new to woodworking, it's tough for me to know if this is really a good idea or not. Any thoughts?



--Nick
Hi Nick - in general, I haven't had exactly stellar success mixing screws with MDF. Best luck I've had is using small pilot holes which the pocket hole jig doesn't normally provide you with. A simple rabbet and glue joint should work just fine for you, I wouldn't resort to either dowels or pockets.

John Schaben

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerknurd View Post
Hi,

I'm leaning towards building a simple router table from MDF similar to the one below. I was planning on using dowel joints but a friend of mine made a good point, why not just use a pocket hole jig. This seems much easier to me as the odds of me drilling the holes correctly for the dowel joints with a cordless drill are pretty bad. As I am new to woodworking, it's tough for me to know if this is really a good idea or not. Any thoughts?



--Nick
I believe the plans for the Oak Park table and base show dowels. But if you are set on either dowel or pocket hole, I would go with pocket hole (coarse thread) and glue.

In either case, make sure your cuts are straight.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 11:47 AM
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I have the Kraig pocket hole jig, it makes really strong joints. you need to use course thread pan head screws. You have to be careful not to stip the hole. I predrilled first, used my screwdriver drill to get it started and then Hand Tightened the final few turns.
I hate dowels I can never get them lined up right.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 01:58 PM
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Another course to consider is biscuit joinery. Alignment is easier to accomplish because of the radius of the slot vs the length of the biscuit.
Al always with MDF the cut edges should be primed with a light coat of glue before the final glue-up.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 04:49 PM
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Nick, the Router Workshop table is built from Baltic birch plywood. If you want to build this style table be smart and use the same materials.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 05:01 PM
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Personally, I would not hesitate to use either connection method. Certainly Baltic Birch is a stronger material, but if designed properly MDF should work fine and be significantly less expensive. Avoid drilling into "end grain" with either of these sheet materials for your best connections and clamp-up glue joints enough to maintain perfect alignment. Drill dowel holes about 1/64" oversize in MDF and allow the dowels (if chosen) to be more for alignment and less for tensile strength. If this is your first RT build, make careful notes and possibly add photos so your next RT can benefit from this one's goods and bads.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 05:14 PM
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Hi

MDF will do the job just fine no need for any extra fasteners the glue we now have days will hold just fine..sometimes less is more>>

==

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerknurd View Post
Hi,

I'm leaning towards building a simple router table from MDF similar to the one below. I was planning on using dowel joints but a friend of mine made a good point, why not just use a pocket hole jig. This seems much easier to me as the odds of me drilling the holes correctly for the dowel joints with a cordless drill are pretty bad. As I am new to woodworking, it's tough for me to know if this is really a good idea or not. Any thoughts?



--Nick


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 05:21 PM
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Nick, in addition to being stronger the Baltic birch Router Workshop table is also very light weight. This is very handy if you need to transport the table to a job site and even for moving it around the shop. There are many good table designs shown on the forums; it is up to you to decide which is right for you. You can order the RW table plans from Oak Park by phone and with shipping it will be under $10.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Default Thanks!

Thanks for the input. I went with Bob's response and just used glue with the plans from Oak Park Mike mentioned. I've got everything but the top done. With help from Mike's sticky thread on installing mounting plates and the guys at Woodcraft I might get this on the first try. Once the adapter for my router shows up so I can use the PC bushings I should be able to finish up. Thanks again!

--Nick
from NC

Last edited by beerknurd; 05-08-2012 at 08:47 AM.
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