Geoff's Woodwork    


for Students of Woodwork    

Tips and Tricks from my readers questions



Marks on tapes


P E G. Polyethylene Glycol

Walking sticks

Lightweight wood

Making your own Router Table

Rafter lengths

TV Stand

Saw nib


Stanley tools

College Courses

Using the Router



I spent some time in the Far East in the mid sixties ending up in Singapore.  The bazaars were full of low relief carved chests and tables, etc made out  of this stuff.
Many Europeans sent it back to their temperate climates along with rose wood and camphor wood pieces only to have it distort and produce shakes if they were not too careful.
I remember it as pronounced as 'pah-duh-uck' although I've never been known for good pronunciation (or spelling).
What intrigued me most at that time was the 'rosewood' looked almost black as ebony and the 'padauk' appeared the colour of 'roses'. I'm sure many Europeans got it mixed up. It was many years later that I found out that rosewood was named because of its rose 'smell' and not it's colour that got it's name.
Sources (of paduak) were Andaman Islands, India and Burma, a similar species is found in the Philippines which is apparently called 'narrar', so my reference book tells me. top


(in USA common nails are identified by the pennyweight) 

British pennyworth ~ penn'orth noun. A pennyworth or penn'orth of something is as much as can be bought for a penny. "I'd like a pennyworth of humbugs, please."
FIGURATIVE "It won't make a pennyworth of difference (=It will make no difference) to me."
( Cambridge International Dictionary of English )
Pen"ny (?), a. [Perh. a corruption of pun, for pound.] Denoting pound weight for one thousand; -- used in combination, with respect to nails; as, tenpenny nails, nails of which one thousand weight ten pounds. 


Marks on flexible tapes.

I would like to know what the marks on tape measures are that starts at 19.187 and is equally spaced marks on the rest of the tape Could you please help me.  Thanks Brad


They are an aid to the setting out of joists or studs using the 'centre line' system.

You may also find a mark or highlight at 16 inch divisions.  This gives you 6 divisions with studs centred at 16 inches on an 8 ft length.   In English Building regulations, joist centres are at 400, 450 and 600 mm centres (16, 18 and 24 inches).  The amount depends on the span and the cross section of the joist.

An imperial sheet of board was 8 foot by 4 foot that is 96 x 48 inches. (2400 x 1200 in metric) If you divide 5 studs down the long side (96 inches or 2400 mm) it would give you centres of 19.2 inches (490 mm) which is an alternative and economical arrangement.

  But please realise that these are 'centre markings' and the stud, beam or joist, etc. is 'centred' on these divisions making the need to take the width, or thickness redundant.   When you adopt the 'centre line' system of setting out you wont ever use the laborious method of including the stud or joists measurement in account again in your calculations. 

Other info found or sent in by readers:

Standard Lufkin and other high quality measuring tapes make it easy to lay out studs and trusses. Stud centers are indicated every 16" and truss centers are shown every 19.2". This allows for the standard layout of six studs or five trusses per 8-foot section.

I was searching for fun tricks with a tape measure when I came across several questions related to the black diamond marks on a tape measure spaced at 19.2.  We use this layout for post and beam floor system.  the beams are 4x6 and a 19.2 layout is sufficient for structural as well as allowing for a staggered placement of decking.
 Hope this answers some questions.
 Peter Magel, Carpenter

Home Seasoning

(question regarding the seasoning of round logs for cabins)

I have done quite a bit of home seasoning but only on a small scale for woodturning.
It really is not an exact science and you must continuously check the progress. Be prepared to loose quite a bit of the timber due to unexpected splits and shakes. (how much commercial timber have you bought that is perfectly seasoned?) Note that Air drying is quoted as 'unreliable' But this was the only way our forefathers had. I used the process to get it down to about 20 - 25% MC and then stacked it in my workshop to complete. I've known some stack such timbers in their roof trusses to finish off for internal use.
You will need to build a stack that is off the ground and has a good overhead cover with plenty of overhang to get out of the extremities of the weather yet allow good ventilation.
You must first convert the tree/timber/sticks into manageable boards/lengths, etc and leave a good allowance for later preparation. You must remove the bark and seal the ends and other knots, (reduce air getting in/moisture getting out too quickly) etc with a sealer such as paraffin wax. For long boards you must give good support by the use of 'stickers' at least every 24 inches (depends of course on thickness of boards) or otherwise they will bow. It will be quite a long process, about one year for every inch thickness of board. See my page
and there is another part page on conversions.
I would treat any useable timber as an achievement... I am sorry to sound a bit pessimistic but I have lost a lot of nice wood due to unexpected results. But as a wood turner I only wanted small logs to produce a creditable product. The main problem is preventing the timber drying out too quick especially in a long hot summer. You need to protect the stack from inclement weather and direct sunlight. A good ventilation through the stack is essential.
In my notes I refer to the 'oven method' of determining moisture content (MC) but it is far easier  to use a moisture meter. However they are not as accurate as the 'oven-method'.  

Another way  (for smaller jobs):
I discovered long ago that timber in the round, i.e. logs will split in the drying out process. As you say a massive single crack or a nice star shake.
The best I've done is getting the log at least in half with iron wedges and leaving the bark on. I reckon it needs to dry inside out. Leaving the bark on slow downs the rapid drying of the sapwood.  If you don't split it, it cant dry out or at least it will be very slow. And that will probably be your answer. I know of turners who cut up 'small' branches of up to three inches wide and they have a net hanging in the roof of their workshops where they store this stuff. They then forget about it for a year or so and then take their pickings for small turnings. Those that haven't split too badly. There usually some good pickings and it is all a bonus - trimmings from a trunk that otherwise would have been burnt.

P E G. Polyethylene Glycol . You mix this up in a large trough and soak the timber in it and it seals and preserves it up. I recall that when they raised Henry the VIII's flag ship the 'Mary Rose' having been submerged for 500 odd years (?) the archaeologist soaked the timbers in this stuff to preserve the hull and stop her splitting when dried out. It got very popular amongst wood turners who made large bowls. It is quite common to have this problem of splitting bowls just as you are getting to the right diameter, especially large salad bowls.
I don't know how much you would need for a job like you propose I suggest you ask the supplier. I've used the  Craft Supplies (UK) in the past - 
I do hope this helps.
I am quite sure that PEG is not the right route for your logs. Somewhat over the top.   Look up at the trusses in old buildings. They certainly have their share of splits and shakes. You must expect some and some will be a bit more than others. When you see work in the round there are always some shakes and it adds to the value of this kind of work. Remember the best is always selected. You don't see the failures.

Walking Sticks:

Problems with sticks of course is that you will probably want to keep on the bark for decorative purposes. Now I have never seasoned sticks but they must be straight and kept straight or even bent and kept bent depending what you want from them.
Take account of all the above tips and I would leave a one inch thick stick again at least six months outside and six months inside. They must be well supported or their weight will bow themselves. Up in the roof of an insulated warm garage, shed or your workshop would be great. Test them regularly by having at least one sacrificial stick to test using the method on my web page but I would prefer to use a purpose made moisture meter. They are not so expensive nowadays especially if you are in the business of seasoning a lot of sticks.
Don't take (all) my word on the subject. Trawl for more information. They use to do a lot of stick carving in the Woodworker Magazines. Search the Internet for specialist sites. top

Lightweight Wood

I am planning to make some interior window plantation style shutters. The windows are wide (82") and I estimate it will take 6 hinged panels in total to make it work. I would like to know what is the most lightweight wood (or wood substitute) I could make them from, to minimise the stress on the hinges. I want to leave them unpainted, so a reasonable looking product (i.e. not MDF!) is important. Any advice would be much appreciated. Vanessa Goss

Vanessa, If you want a softwood I would use whitewood. If you want a hardwood for lightness I would use Red Meranti or Lauan. Both are normally available in construction timber suppliers. You need to have well honed tools working these woods. And they are not 'forgiving' if you are not too careful. Best wishes Geoff.

Is the whitewood you referred to the same thing that the Americans call bass wood (from the linden tree) ? Is whitewood also unforgiving, or were you just referring to red meranti and lauan?  Vanessa

No problem.
No I was not referring to Basswood or Linden, I don't have any experience of them.
Whitewood is really a generic group the English refer to the Spruce type timbers in the family Piceas. I.e.. Sitka spruce - Picea sitchensis or Picea abies. It is a, dare I say, an inferior timber used a lot for architraves and skirtings. It is rather 'woolly' grained and is perhaps about 10% cheaper than the Redwoods (Pinus sylvestris). It is used in the pine furniture trade and is often referred as 'knotty' pine. I also say that it is unforgiving. But worked well you will get a nice result. I recommended it because it is lighter (for your use) than the standard softwood used in England for better quality joinery of the Redwood and in particular Baltic or Russian.
If you don't like whitewood, try Hemlock (Tsuga) may suit you and is slightly less dense. It handles somewhat better but is liable to split if not pre-drilled. And on reflection Poplar or Aspen (Populus) is a another lighter weighted hardwood.
You see denser (and thus heavier) timbers are generally easier to work and machine and vice versus.
Keep the profiles slim as much as you dare but well made joints. The actual louvers don't need to be thicker that 6 - 8 mm. You are building for privacy rather than for security (I suppose). Softwoods in general do need to have a beefier profile than hardwoods for the joints to stay together.
On reflection, for a lightweight hardwood I would go for Red Meranti.   But make sure it is the red variety some meranti looks rather pale and balsa like. Stain it medium mahogany to give it some colour and interest. Make sure you don't get too much glue around the joint line otherwise the stain and varnish don't penetrate and it looks awful.
Best wishes, Geoff   top

Making your own Router Table

They are really simpler than you realise. I was unsatisfied with my router table for some time and was concerned about the kits that were on sale so I bought a complete table set-up. It was only when I saw this set up that I realised that I could have saved myself a lot of money by buying the bits of kit you see on sale. There are only 3 items you need. A sound table board such as 20 mm mdf. A device for holding securely the inverted router through a cut out. And finally a fence of some form to provide adjustment and guidance. PLUS some form of guarding; I use a vertical and horizontal finger boards. These provide protection and guidance.
The holding device needs to allow you to adjust and change the cutters without too much trouble. Some that you can buy include an adjustable aperture for the differing router diameters. The fence can be a simple batten with a 'L' shaped base and fixed with a single screw and a cramp the other end. There are of course some real fancy ones on sale. They are simple to fit to your base with screws or pins. Have a look at the catalogues such as Axminster Power Tools etc. Then all you need is a firm table top or cabinet to fix your base to. Having a hinged top is convenient for changing cutters.   top

Rafter lengths and angles

Hello! Do you know where can I find "Rafter`s length cutting table" used for roofing. I am not sure if it is right title? Also, what are the best methods to get square wall layout?  Regards Mike.

Mike, I have a little book Published by Stobart Davies Hertford. 'The Carpenters Metric Roofing Ready Reckoner by W.E. Gray ISBN 0-85442-004-5.   Another is Roofing Ready Reckoner by Ralph Goss published by Blackwell Scientific Ltd ISBN 06232021969.

Regarding squaring a wall. I'm not a builder but for carpentry we make up a large wooden square using the 3:4:5 rule, i.e.. if the sides are in those proportions it is a perfect right angle.    All this is well covered in this book: The Arnold Manual of First & Second Fixing Carpentry by Les Goring - Arnold- ISBN 0 340 61423 4.  Hope this helps. Geoff.   top

TV Stand

Dear Sir,
I'm a student in Maes Garmon school.  I would like some help in my course work, I have to do a page which includes some professional help.
I was wondering which wood should I use and which joint should I use to make a TV stand strong enough and big enough to hold a 17" TV, a video player and a games console.
I would appreciate your help.  Yours Faithfully.  Steven Davies.

first of all you want to look at the Stanley sheets on the Basic techniques page on my web site and in particular these sheets; Frame construction - t & x joints, Carcase construction - t & x joints and the L joints sheet.  You can print these off.
Then have a look at these pages from my Foundation pages;  Project ~ a basic cabinet.  
Look and assess this type of construction.  You probably need a double bay and fit a plinth to the bottom to raise it off the ground and a nice top.
Also look at the page Carcase construction and see the three main ways of making a cabinet.  It may or may not need a door.  See frames.  The door may be internal (flush) or external like a kitchen cupboard.  Regarding the timber, I would use a nice hardwood to match the existing colour and style of the existing room furniture.  It does not need to be solid, natural timber.  You could select faced plywood, mdf or blockboard with hardwood edges.
You should also find the design and planning pages useful.  Best wishes,   Geoff.   top

Saw nib.

What is the "nib" on the top front of some of the hand saws for?

I have seen various explanations over the years and no one claims to know the perfect answer.  I thought that I had it once but it went out of my memory and I cant for the life remember (if ever I did know).  Some of the reasons I've heard are:  It was a spur for cutting nails in boards.   It was once a 'hook' that an apprentice fixed a cord to pull the saw to help his master saw ( similar to the old pictures of apprentices pulling the large planes).     It was a pattern that the teeth were filed to.  It was purely a decorative feature to show quality.

Please let me know if you've heard of any more.

Robert C. Freeman, Toronto, Canada suggests:  You have just cut a groove with your saw.   You reverse the saw and use the nib to draw any remaining sawdust from the groove.


Re-varnishing - restoration

Not being an expert in wood, or French polishing I wonder if you can give me a few pointers?   I am presently trying to restore a suite of bedroom furniture that I inherited from my Mum. It seems to be veneered with a light nicely patterned wood but has seen a few "spills", as you may glean from the attached photo. I have partly started one piece by removing the old lacquer etc, by gentle sanding, and have rubbed in 2 coats of Coloron liquid wax in accordance with the instructions. Although the results aren't too bad, I'm now wondering, how I get the same "varnished/lacquered" finish as it originally had, but I'm beginning to think that you may not be able to varnish over a liquid wax finish!    What should I do to improve the piece I have already started, and what should I have done in the first place, if I got this wrong?   Your ideas would be appreciated? and what exactly does French polishing mean, or entail, as now I've retired I think I might like to take this up as a hobby - I find it quite relaxing.   Kind Regards,  Mike.


Mike,  the original finish was probably a sprayed on hard lacquer or cellulose.    Sanding such finishes back especially if it is veneered is hard and may be hit and miss.  Unless you get it all off you will get areas of different permeability and probably get an uneven penetration of the wax.   Although the veneer would cause me concern of lifting I would use a good chemical stripper such as Rustins Strypit or some other recommended by your local stockist.

Using a remover has to be very careful.  You will find that when you paint it on it just sits there and then gradually softens the varnish down to a certain level there is a point when it is flexible and then it soon passes and quickly hardens so you have to start the process again.  The secret is to judge them moment when the old varnish becomes fluid and then use a flat scraper to peel it off.   You may have to apply another coat to get all of it off. Wire wool may be used in the corners - with care - don't get under the veneers.  Do not soak the surface with the remover just paint enough for it to do its business.   Just go bit by bit and don't attempt to strip off too much on one session.
When all is off wipe over with turpentine (or other recommended solvent) and then sand with a grit of about 120 to 180. Again be careful of the veneer and the direction of grain. Don't use an electric sander either, we are talking hand sanding using a cork block on the flat areas. Wire Wool grade 0000 or equivalent helps in the corners.
Regarding finish, and I'm not an 'expert' either.   I only do enough for myself or otherwise I send it away to be done by a polisher.
There is nothing wrong with four coats of polyurethane.  Each coat cut back before the next coat.  I prefer a vinyl or matte finish myself.  You can always wax and buff it up after.   
Your finish may need more coats to get a shine.   I'm not familiar with liquid wax so I don't know what to expect.   You can get some soft hand brushes to buff up wax polishes and I have even seen a round soft brush that you can put in your electric drill.   You can even use those polishing mops they sell for polishing cars!
Personally, I  would like to  give the bare wood a light stain to even up the colour and grain,  Cut back a little again and then give a varnish body up coat before applying wax.  You wont get such a soak in and that may improve your finish.
Regarding varnishing over wax:  no I'm sorry it wont take.  You need to start with a good key and wax would certainly not do.    If you want to revert back to varnish you will have to strip back.
While you do have the wax finish though, try playing a hair dryer or hot air gun on a low setting over the wax, allow it to soften a bit and then re-harden.   Sometimes this evens out wax finishes and where it is allowed to pool and harden you may get an acceptable shine.   Take care of toxic and inflammable fumes in the usual way (plenty ventilation and no naked lights).   You can get some surprisingly pleasing results although I have never used the technique on liquid wax only the solid  'Briwax' types. (bees wax plus carnauba basically)
Please experiment on a unseen place first before committing to the front or top faces! 
French polishing is pretty difficult to get a good job unless you've had a lot of practise under an expert.    It is a process of applying numerous very thin coats of 'shellac' varnish on to the surface and gradually getting a brilliant shine.   Unfortunately the finish is not very durable and does not live up to modern usage.
There are also some good  oils that come up nice but again its not just one or two coats.
I hope this helps.   Remember take your time, try it out and see what happens - modify the approach if it does not seem to work until you get the required result.
Best wishes,


Stanley Tools

Hi Geoff
I found your site via Google.
I have inherited a set of planes from my father.
There are three which I have no idea how to assemble or use.
No's 50 which may be for tongued and groove work, 
71 which looks like a spoke shave 
78 which has a bull nose and a guide rail similar to No 50.

I gather from my search of the internet that there are some highly irate ex customers of Stanley. Would I be correct in surmising that Stanley was a British company bought out by the Americans thus no longer of the quality it once had?
They obviously do not maintain an exhaustive catalogue.
Would you direct me to information on the above tools?
Regards,  Des

I believe that Stanley is an American company and the UK works is a part of their organisation.
The Stanley web site is at
They seem to have cut back a lot in these latter years and many of the older tools have disappeared. The DIY market and the portable power tool sales caused much of the precision hand tool demise. Modern usage seeming to prefer for quick fix techniques. The craftsmen tools obviously have far less sales and consequently the prices go up and again until they unaffordable and dropped from the range.
I have managed to identify your tools. I have a Stanley 50 Plough plane but my Rebate and Fillister Plane (your No 78) is the Record Tools version which is almost identical and numbered 778. I note that the Record 778 has a double arm fence whereas the Stanley 78 has a single arm fence. There may also be differences in the feed mechanism - even with Stanley - they changed from a positive screw feed to a lever mechanism before they dropped it for a completely new design - which they have now discontinued.
The No 71 is a Hand Router, a very useful tool.   There was also a No 71 spokeshave and was specialised for 'rabbet work'. Although I haven't seen it I would presume that the sides are exposed similar to a bench rebate plate to allow the cutting and trimming of rebates. It seems to have been dropped long ago.
I haven't heard of any irate customers in particular but I thought that the American market highly rated Stanley. 
Quality has gone down but only in that there is now predominant use of plastic, especially for handles. Record Tools have kept their 'rosewood' finished handles on their Bench Planes and seem somewhat heavier. The American market do not seem to rate Record Tools as highly as Stanley though. They have I am led to believe,  been taken over by a USA company earlier this year.  

I use and am quite happy with both manufacturers - whichever is available although some tools are preferable to others and vice versus.   My Stanley planes do have 'rosewood' handles.   I am nearly antique too!
I do hope this is of help and you can get your tools back in use. There are a lot of web sites selling antique Stanley Tools. Find them using
I am sending you a pdf format copy of my manuals for the planes, The Record manual should give you the information you may need for the No 78, it is very similar. I also enclose an entry for the No 71 from an old Stanley catalogue.
Best Wishes,


Hubble, R (Richard), Kingston

College Courses.   Hi, I am trying to locate the best woodworking course to attend on a part time (evening) basis. I already have knowledge of basic techniques through school and practical application. Through my own experience I have constructed radiator cabinets, shelving units and a few other items of furniture, as well as construction in renovating my own and friends house's including kitchen worktops, cladding, false ceilings, skirting, door hanging etc.

I am looking for a course that will allow me to understand how to use bigger machinery like spindle moulders, panel saws etc, better techniques for furniture construction and knowledge of wood as a material and it's applications.

Some of the courses I have looked at look a little basic and others have stipulated entry requirements. Can you recommend anything. I do not mind paying tuition fees if private colleges offer a better course.
Many thanks
14 August 2003

If you go to you can search for a course in your area. Of course check your local college and see what they offer.
Many colleges do evening courses and it isn't always necessary to have industrial experience. Go for a 'Progression' or other non NVQ'S course that is available. A relevant course is Hand Crafted Furniture making and colleges offer upholstery as well as cabinet making. Do not take the 'Site Practice' units of Carpentry & Joinery but the units of 'Bench Joinery' may suit you because they make doors, windows, kitchen units etc. They may not offer wood machinery although it is possible to 'bolt' it on.
If however you can get a C&G 6955 Progression Award in Hand crafted cabinet making that would suit all your bench and machinery needs.
But anyhow, buy and read some good books. See my recommendations. Get your basic set of tools and a bench space in your garage and keep on making things and improving your techniques and expertise. Examine what you have made and try to do better each time and use more advanced techniques. It is surprising what you can do with basic tools. I've had them all but I have sold off many tools and machines I didn't really need. You can do anything if you really want to!
If you have any more questions please feel free to ask.
Best wishes.
Geoff  top

Using a router

Hi Geoff,

I am a keen amateur wood worker and have recently purchased a router. Unfortunately I am sure I am doing things wrong. I tend to end up with uneven finishes or gouges in the wood.   I am sure it is because I am using the tool wrong.

Can you provide any fact sheets or other information regarding the use of a router including the different capabilities of the different bits?

Shaun Wilkins


First rule is the direction of cutting.   You must always feed the cutter into the material against the rotation of the cutter.  Conventionally that is on the outside of a frame; anti-clockwise and on the inside of a frame; clockwise.   The incorrect and opposite to this is what is called a 'climbing cut' and unless the router and the board is held robustly the cutter will snatch out of control.    (I have modified my explanation of this to clear up any confusion)

 When making a groove or a single run in the middle of a board you may cut in  either direction but subsequent widening runs must obey the above rule or otherwise the machine will again 'snatch'.

When using an inverted router under a table, etc. and with a fence fitted you should again feed against the cutter direction.  Avoid placing the work between the fence and the cutter unless you provide guarding to the cutter.  Realise in this situation that you should feed in the opposite direction so that you obey the rule 'feed against the direction of the cutter'.

This is no different than the direction of cut when we cut wood on the circular saw or planing machine.  Think about it and think about what would happen if you attempted to feed the saw or planer from the wrong direction?   Yet I've seen many router operators attempt to feed the wrong way on the router and wonder what the problem was!   ( To set the record right, it is possible to machine wood fed in the opposite direction (i.e. climbing cut) and there are some arguments for it.  But, only when the timber is mechanically restrained and mechanically fed in a proper  robust and guarded set up.    Please don't attempt it)

Other tips for safe and efficient use of the router:

Set your turret depth control so that you make manageable cuts and carefully use your plunge control.    

Don't make too heavy a cut especially where there are knots, wild or cross grain.   

Always go across the grain first and then along it.  

Sometimes you cannot avoid cutting against the grain direction, then you must take light cuts holding the router or material firmly because the wood wont like it.  

A damaged knot on the edge will affect the straight edge of a moulding unless you use the fence.  

In all cases a final light shallow cut is best for the final cut.  

Keep the router moving.   A slow rate will 'burn' the wood especially the hard woods and in particular beech.  Let the router work hard but listen to the motor and do not move so quick it slows or changes pitch too much.

If you have speed control it is fast for narrow cutters and slow for wide cutters.

Use clean, sharp cutters.  Obviously nowadays TCT edges - buy at least double cutters and for profiling cutters with ball races avoiding 'solid' 'followers'.  

Clean your cutters often.  They will work better.

If you must sharpen the cutters yourself only touch up the flat backs and never try to hone the profile.   If the edges get nicked send them away for sharpening together with its matched pair.  It will be cheaper than buying new.

Trend  provide information on their web site and they provide a downloadable free booklet Routing - A Guide to Getting Started  which is well worth obtaining.   Another at the Wealdon Tools site and Ron Fox's tips.  There are other leaflets available about their products available to get you aware of the range and scope of routing.

To sum up; sharp cutter, light cuts, against the cutter direction, across grain first then long grain, finally a light quick finishing cut. Don't labour the feed or motor.    Listen to the pitch of the motor, feel the vibrations, watch the cutting action, smell the resin. ~  Any changes; stop and look.

Finally:  Always wear protective glasses when routing.  A wood chip can hurt the eyes and worseWear a dust mask especially when machining brown woods and compositives.

(edited text on 21st November 2004 to improve explanation of the 'climbing cut')



Subject: Woodwork question :dowels

I enjoyed viewing your woodworking site.   I am just getting started on serious woodworking projects and was wondering if you have tips for effectively drilling dowel holes so that the assembled project pieces all line up squarely.

Thanks,  Mark


There are many expensive doweling jigs, etc. on the market with fancy slides and fences to line up the boards. My advice is leave them well alone because there are cheaper more effective aids.

I use dowel (lip & spur) drills  and dowel centre points.         All you do is mark out a centre line (centre of the jointing edge) space out the hole positions and mark with a bradawl. Then using a bench drill or drill support and bore the first set of holes approx half the length of the dowel peg.

Insert the dowel centres, line up the boards using at least the bench as a reference to  say the front edge so that the pins transfer the position of its mating hole.  Carefully drill the meeting hole to the required depth.

You can buy these from most good tool dealers under the name of 'Wolf craft'. I get mine from APTC (Axminster). They come in 6, 8, 10 and maybe 12 mm increments and you use a fluted dowel produced by the same supplier. It is wise to 'chamfer' the two dowel holes to help clean up the meeting surfaces and provide a recess for any slight excesses of glue to go.

It is a very old idea which used veneer pins with the heads nipped off with the pincers,  to do the same job. 

Hope this helps,

Best wishes,



home        foundation     basics           resources   safety      
key skills trade needs    technology   photos          links      

all rights reserved by Geoff Malthouse ~

Last uploaded 25th September 2007