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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Otis,
In a recent thread about using dowels, I think that you said that you used "brad tipped drills" all of the time or most of the the time when drilling holes of dowels.

I sort of understand that this, in many cases would insure that the bit would not walk of of center. Could you take time to expand your reason on this if there is more to it than what I have gleaned from your comment. I'm planning on working a project in which the JessEm doweling jig is going to get a good work out. I have a set of brad drills that I purchased for another project and didn't need them. Now I'm thinking that from what you said that the drills might be a good idea to use with the next project which by the say is a cedar chest in which Bill has offered to help me with. It will be the biggest project that I have ever undertaken and Bill's offer to help is indeed received with great thankfulness. How can a guy go wrong with all of the help that is available on this forum.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 05:49 PM
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I can't spear for Otis Jerry but I use them because they don't cause a lot of tear out as the bit starts the hole. The best bits by far are Lee Valleys. If you compare the bits in this link HSS Lipped Brad-Point Drills - Lee Valley Tools with the standard brad point drills in this link Utility Brad-Point Drills - Lee Valley Tools you can see that the outside cutting spurs have a much sharper angle and therefore start holes more cleanly.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 08:05 AM
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Jerry,

I realize your post is directed to Ottis but thought I'd add a comment or two. Hope you don't mind.

You didn't mention if you are using a drill press or hand held. I've just finished a projrct with several dowels and used "forstner bits" which gave me clean cuts, tight fits, and a flat bottomed holes. They can be purchased individually or in sets. Most of the holes were done at the drill press but a few needed to be done hand held. For these I made a simple jig on the drill press using a scrap 2x4. This helped guide the bit and keep it plumb.

I have also used brad bits and was pleased with the result as they were very sharp and didn't have the wander of a spade bit.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 08:29 AM
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Hi Otis,
I have found that the different tools we use for woodworking vs carpentry, are what makes the difference. Whether it's drill bits, saw blades, chisels and marking & measuring tools, they are all more precise to obtain better results. I used plain drill bits for years and never knew other types were available. Try comparing results by using different tools and you will see for yourself. Try a spade vs a Forstner for example . Good luck & have fun.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Jerry,

I realize your post is directed to Ottis but thought I'd add a comment or two. Hope you don't mind.

You didn't mention if you are using a drill press or hand held. I've just finished a projrct with several dowels and used "forstner bits" which gave me clean cuts, tight fits, and a flat bottomed holes. They can be purchased individually or in sets. Most of the holes were done at the drill press but a few needed to be done hand held. For these I made a simple jig on the drill press using a scrap 2x4. This helped guide the bit and keep it plumb.

I have also used brad bits and was pleased with the result as they were very sharp and didn't have the wander of a spade bit.

Thanks Peter,

I should have titled the thread "To Otis And Anyboey Else". That's for the post.

I believe that if you check my thread, I mentioned that I will be using the JessEm doweling jig in the construction of the chest.

You have mede me think of something though. The JessEm jig comes with a bit, I haven't checked to see if it cuts a flat bottomed hole. The dowels that I purchased in bulk are rounded on the ends so I'm not sure that a flat bottom hole is of much value, but I am open to be enlightened on the matter.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 09:57 AM
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+1 on the Forstners for ease of use and clean holes. However, not sure how they might work in the jig. If the shank is smaller than the dia. of the cutter, the jig wouldn't be able to provide support for the full depth.

Don't think there's a difference that makes a difference twixt a round bottom or flat bottom hole for dowels.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 10:10 AM
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Jerry, Thank for trusting me here, but many others have benefitted from the same experiences as have I - brad point bits are a way to get CLEANER holes. The outside cutting spurs do an extremely good job at making a nice start into your workpiece(s).

It is "beaver technology" and has been in practice for hundreds of years by....you guessed it...beavers! - This is EXACTLY why trees dropped by beavers appear to have been trimmed with a giant pencil sharpener. The beaver starts by making a horizontal cut into the bark of said tree. The beaver then makes another cut into the tree - but this time above the first (relief) cut. The beaver then uses whatever method necessary to pull on said bark - which peels-off until it reaches the first (relief) cut. As more wood needs to be removed, additional relief cuts are added - with each one just slightly above the one below - hence the pointed appearance of the stump.

Those spurs that Charles mentioned make certain that prior to being TORN LOOSE - the circular relief cut is in place - for that super clean cut. High Quality Brad Point Bits are truly a pleasure to use - but like most things - there are cheap versions that leave people very disappointed. Another thing that is also important is cutting speed and speed at which the bit cuts into said workpiece.

The actual "brad" point helps to ensure the bit doesn't "walk-away" - but this alone is not a good enough reason if a dowelling jig is being properly employed - the jig will take care of that! It is possible, though; to get tear-out using [non brad point] regular bits even with a dowelling jig - so ideally BOTH are used in conjunction for ideal dowel holes.

I hope this helps,

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 10:33 AM
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Jerry I have to agree with Charles and Otis, I would buy the best brad point bits on the market (probably Lee Valley). If you have all 3 sets of guide bushings this only means 3 bits, not a whole set. You would only need a 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 inch high quality bits, dedicated to this jig. Your other brad points can be used for other work.

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Last edited by Willway; 04-06-2014 at 10:36 AM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Willway View Post
Jerry I have to agree with Charles and Otis, I would buy the best brad point bits on the market (probably Lee Valley). If you have all 3 sets of guide bushings this only means 3 bits, not a whole set. You would only need a 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 inch high quality bits, dedicated to this jig. Your other brad points can be used for other work.

Dick
This poses a question, let's see if I can ask it so that it can be understoodt part of the Jessem jjig, or I should say the part I like to be able to do with it is to be able join two edges together with dowels or an end of a board to the face of another. In each case the dowel is hidden within the workpiecs and the dowel is not drilled in a manner that the dowel is visible when installed.

Wat difference does it make if the edges of the holes are not perfectly sharp, as they are never seen. The tests that I have made so far and, as I see them and in my opinion anyway, they are about as good as one could expect.

Help me understand why a high end brad point drill would improve on the doweling process. I am not just trying to argue, I am honestly asking what the difference would be, as for now, I do not grasp the point that would improve on the concept.

Jerry
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 11:27 AM
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Jerry the difference is with a jagged hole the bit will lift the edge of the hole. Unless you plan on jointing the boards again after drilling, the edge joints will not be perfect. I believe this is what Otis was trying to tell you.

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