There is a requirement though, to make the joint work you need a set of specialized tools called "drawbore pins" basically they are tapered metal shafts that will do the initial work of pulling the joint together, and will help shape the way for the incoming dowels. The biggest problem with them, They are god damn expensive!! Ninety dollars a pair at Lie Nielsen, a Google search on shopping tonight showed an antique pair for $155. That these prices I would have never been able to afford them. So I was only doing drawbores in my dreams.
HERE) and I had a slap myself on the forehead moment. I had done some concrete work while in high school, the pig farm I worked on was remodeling some of the old barns and pens with concrete walls and we used these alignment tools to pin forms together. I felt stupid for not thinking of it myself. At first I went looking on sears.com to see if I could order the same set Chris wrote about, no dice, none availible to order. So I took a little trip to Menards and went to the masonry tools, and sure enough a dozen big puppies sitting in a bin. I found the two I considered to be "nicest" bought them and went home. At six bucks a piece I had just managed to get myself into the drawboring game!
HERE) Basically the legs are a frame of 2x material joined with M&T joints. I really wanted the strength that drawboring talked about. I spent most of Saturday and Sunday cutting out th e joints. I started with the tenons. I like to mark them out with a marking gauge and saw the shoulder down to the right depth with a backsaw. Then I use a broad chisel and chunk out most of the wood down close to the marked line. Then I use a router plane set to the right depth to finish the face. I hold my hand steady on the high face of the board and pivot my way through the material. skimming it down level and even.
Then I marked out my mortise locations on the upright sections of the leg frame, I picked up the mortise chisel, looked the process of chopping out eight mortises 3/4 inch wide by 3 inches long by 2 1/4 inch deep. My injured shoulder groaned, my tennis elbow whimpered a little bit, and I turned all Nancy girl for a while. I piled everything into the van and drove over to the soon to be new location for the Oldwolf Workshop, where all the stationary power tools are currently stored. I pulled the tarp off the drill press, reset it up, attaching everything that had been removed for the return trip home from Maine, chucked in a forstner bit, and killed electron after electron.
Honestly I don't feel that bad, I could have spent two more days chopping mortises and destroyed my shoulder for a while from all the hammering, or I could get them done in an hour and a half, with time to set up the machine. This Nancy boy chose the electron path this time. A little more work once I got back to the shop to shave and fit everything for the final go and now we're ready to try the new trick.
Now other people out there on the web have taught drawboring technique better than I can, and I figure why try and reinvent a perfectly good wheel. So here's the quick and dirty of how it went. I decided to use a 3/8ths inch dowel. I rived some up using my newer doweling plate the other day and I was ready to go.
Then I removed the tenon and used a scratch awl to mark a new hole to drill OFFSET TOWARDS THE SHOULDER. I chose an offset almost to the outer line of the original mark. There is no science to this, it is make your best judgment.
Then I used the new mark from the scratch awl to center the forstner bit, and I drilled the tenon holes. Then, though some sources say no glue in needed, I still decided to add some glue to the mix. and I reassembled the joint together.
I pushed the leg into the cleat just to see how it fit and get a rough idea how it would look. I have to say I'm very pleased, I'll fix up the other leg tomorrow. Until then.