Wednesday, November 26, 2014

DIY: Dowel Jig

Necessity is the mother of invention - English Proverb

You've probably heard the saying.  It rings true for this DIY Dowel Jig project.

Shop projects are a vise for me.  I hate wasting my time building a shop project that I might only use once.  If I do a shop project video for my YouTube channel, you can bank on the fact that you will be seeing that shop project being used in subsequent video projects.

I do not build shop projects for the sake of building shop projects.  If I build them, then their is a need.

While I was building the DIY Small Backyard Chicken Coop I decided I wanted a different way to assemble the project.  Thus the DIY Dowel Jig was born.

TIPS: The following measurements may be substituted.

1.5" = 1x2's
2.5" = 1x3's
3.5" = 1x4's
5.5" = 1x6's

Use caution working with solid lumber wider than 1x6's.  Especially soft woods such as pine.  I find they show a greater propensity to warp, twist and cup.  Gluing boards side by side, otherwise known as a glue up, will offer greater stability across the project.

 DIY Dowel Jig

Cut list

1 - base @ 24" x 12" (I used a shelf from an old particle board book case)
1 - clamp bar @ 6" x 1.5" (I used a scrap piece of 1x2)
1 - piece of hardwood @ 22" x 3.5"

Step 1

Attach a scrap 1x2 to the underside of the base.  This piece gets clamped in a bench vise to hold the whole jig steady while working.

Step 2

 Attach the top rails.  You can view the video above to see how I attached them.  These two pieces need to be exactly 90 degrees to each other.  A reliable framing square is a handy thing to have on hand.

Final Thoughts

Find me on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.  Also be sure to check out my YouTube channel for lots of great project videos.  If you see any of these project designs that you would like to see a video for, let me know.  If I get enough interest in one I will be sure to build and upload.

Until then,

Happy DIYing!!


  1. Sooooo, what are the measurements of the holes? did you just divide by thirds?

    Also, why are there so many holes down the length? I do like the brevity of your explanations on your videos but sometimes things need to be said.

    1. Sooooo, yeah I divided by thirds. 1/4" is a standard size dowel to use for stock that is 3/4". However, with that said, their is no written rule stating that you have to use 1/4". That is why I did not mention the size. You could use 3/8" or 1/2" without issue. I have even increased the number of dowels per joint and used 1/8" through dowels for a decorative touch. You could also use this jig with 2x material. The dowels would be off center but still effective. My point is, if I say something in a video, people will either take it as gospel or argue that it isn't. Both sides are completely antagonistic to what I feel woodworking truly should be. A creative process that is as individual as the people who do the projects. That is my stance now and forever. Enjoy the videos, if you have questions, do what you did and ask. I'll be here.


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