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Discussion Starter #1
I'm working on a project that is made almost exclusively with 1x2s (which I can handle with my SCMS, since I don't have access to my table saw.) Pocket screws are not an option to join them since both sides are visible and will be stained. What are my options for butt joining two 1x2s? Dowels seem like the perfect solution, but they never line up for me. Even small biscuits for my Elu biscuit joiner are too long with the only blade I have for it.

On a positive note, I was able to cut some perfect test dadoes on my router table. Hopefully my luck will continue when I get to the real piece.
 

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I use a locking rabbet joint. Do a YouTube search and you will find lots of videos. I'm using my iPad this morning and don't have much luck copying links with it. Should be easy to find. The short videos will give you the idea.
 
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When I use dowels, infrequently, I use dowel center finders. Bought mine at Lee Valley, but I'm sure they're available elsewhere.
 

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Those can be real helpful for locating lots of things. I use the to mount outlet strips and other things.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When I use dowels, infrequently, I use dowel center finders. Bought mine at Lee Valley, but I'm sure they're available elsewhere.
Well, I'd forgotten about those, and I think there's a set of them around here somewhere. They're worth a try.

Also, a Domino is not on the list, either. :)
 

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Those can be real helpful for locating lots of things. I use the to mount outlet strips and other things.
Richard - I guess my focus is too narrow. I've only ever used them in the shop, and have never ever thought of other uses.

Thanks for the tip. Why I like this forum a lot.:sold:
 

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There's always a reason to get another tool >:)
I've purchased most of the inexpensive tools I need. Now I'm into the good stuff. My last purchase was a Kapex KS120. Now you tell me how much sense it makes to have one of those when I do my wood destruction projects on my back deck, when it's warm enough and it's not raining, and my skill set is Introduction to Woodworking 101. My wife is very understanding of my desire to purchase guitars, microphones, and, now, woodworking tools, but I'm sure there's a limit in there somewhere.
 

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There's always a limit.

I've purchased a few "new" tools, but most of my larger tools were purchased used. I inherited my dad's hand tools when he passed (he was a stationary engineer by trade, but was the epitome of a DIY guy), and added them to my own small collection. I'm not cheap, just frugal, and although the list of "wants" is fairly large, the list of "needs" is rather small. I don't make money from my projects, do them strictly as a hobby, so can't justify major, expensive purchases.

When I open my wallet, the comment I usually hear is "Gee, the queen looks young in that picture!"
 

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My tools are partly an accumulation of over 50 years of woodworking. When I buy new now it has to have a need and be justifiable.. I don't buy anything I can make. Like you Vince I don't make money from my hobby. What I make or do is for my pleasure and enjoyment. There are so many high dollar do dads on the market that their use is easily duplicated with a little time and thought that I don't even consider them. Cheap tools never are and do dads are sometimes expensive drawer filler.
 

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Richard, if you want to see "do dads" and the biggest collection of unbelievably useless junk, get into golf. Some new contraption comes out every day but I don't know of anyone that's been able to "buy a game". When I see the TV ads, I laugh out loud cause "there's a sucker born every minute" and the sellers are laughing all the way to the bank.
 

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Very true. I did buy a mini lathe this year and one of the guys said lathes are the golf of woodworking. LOL, I think he was right but I've made some chisels for that too now. Even made a couple of carbide ones.
 

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I hear what you guys are saying, but let me offer a little different perspective. As a quite mediocre guitar player for 50 years, it is obvious to me that if the first guitar that a person picks up is a piece of junk with strings too high and a neck like a bow, he or she is less likely to continue than if a nice-playing guitar is selected. You don't need to start on a Gibson ES-335, but starting on a $99 guitar is asking for failure. If a beginner starts on a 335 and then quits, the problem is not the guitar.

While I do tend to buy shiny new objects in woodworking, and while I overspend based on what some of you pros can do on your own, I'm at a point in the woodworking learning curve where I don't want to the tool being the reason I'm not progressing in my skills. Sure, I can easily make a dado guide for my router that's not square, but if I buy one that is square, the chances of my dadoes being correct are greatly enhanced. Once I ever learn how to make elusive accomplishments in woodworking, like disappearing lines, I'll probably be able to use less expensive solutions, as well.

Paul Sellers can cut accurate dovetails by hand in five minutes. I can't cut one accurately in any amount of time with a jig, at least not yet. When and if I am able to do so, I'll probably be able to learn how to cut them by hand.

Getting back on track in this thread, I found my 3/8" dowel center finders. I decided to try doweling a couple of scraps together. I used a drill guide to drill a perpendicular hole in the first piece. With the center finder in the hole, I lined the first piece up with the second piece and tapped the dimple into the second piece. I drilled the hole in the second piece. When I joined the two pieces together, the boards were pretty close but definitely not as close as anyone here would want. My guess is that the bit drifted a little in the second piece because it followed the grain in the wood. Using a drill press should help with that problem.
 

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Well, I'd forgotten about those, and I think there's a set of them around here somewhere. They're worth a try.

Also, a Domino is not on the list, either. :)
there is always the Leigh FMT....
 

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I'm working on a project that is made almost exclusively with 1x2s (which I can handle with my SCMS, since I don't have access to my table saw.) Pocket screws are not an option to join them since both sides are visible and will be stained. What are my options for butt joining two 1x2s? Dowels seem like the perfect solution, but they never line up for me. Even small biscuits for my Elu biscuit joiner are too long with the only blade I have for it.

On a positive note, I was able to cut some perfect test dadoes on my router table. Hopefully my luck will continue when I get to the real piece.
here's an option...

.
 

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Mike, I agree with the idea high quality tools give better results. Any time we go for cheap we may get inferior results. When I buy a tool today I buy the best quality I can comfortably afford. I still don't buy anything I can make that will give a good or better result than what I can buy. As time goes by you learn which way is better for you.
 

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I was going to suggest something a bit simpler than Stick's illustration. If it doesn't matter that the edges show the joint then make a groove and tenon joint. That will increase the glue surface and the joint will resist sideways force better as well as assuring accurate lineup. If both the tenon and the groove are full board width then both are easy to machine on table saw or router table.

If you want to make a doweling drill guide then you need these. Bushings and Inserts - Lee Valley Tools These installed in a home made jig will insure that the spacing in between and in from an edge stays the same for both sides.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
If you want to make a doweling drill guide then you need these. Bushings and Inserts - Lee Valley Tools These installed in a home made jig will insure that the spacing in between and in from an edge stays the same for both sides.
I've never seen those before. They're now on my list of things to order.

By the way, the picture below is another joint that has to be secured. The angled 1x2 is cut at 15 degrees, or thereabouts. If I were going to paint the frame, I'd put screws through the straight leg into the angled leg, like I did for the first one I built. However, the goal is to use no mechanical fasteners. Dowels still seem the way to go, if I can improve on my doweling ability very quickly.

Is the Woodcraft Premium Doweling Jig worth the money?
 

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