A jig combined with a power drill, this tool provides an accurate method of making dowel holes both quickly and reliably. A small amount of time will be spent in setting up, but once this has been done accurate joints are guaranteed.

Jigs that can be used for both '┬┐tin (6mm) and 3/sin (9mm) dowelling are available. For some jigs it is possible to obtain extra-length rails that facilitate making the long rows of holes required for jointing boards edge to edge.

Old Dowel Jig

FIG 1.12

Screwdrivers with boxwood handles.

For a number of years I obtained reasonable results using a sharpening gauge with several different grades of stones. However, I now use a water-stone system with a leather-covered honing wheel; this has removed much of the drudgery from sharpening and gives excellent results.

Some woodworkers use a high-speed carborundum grinding wheel with good results, but these must be used judiciously. It is easy to overheat the cutting edge inadvertently, which will destroy the temper of the steel.

A selection of various-sized screwdrivers is important. They should have a ground square end and a comfortable grip. I find some of the modern plastic-handled screwdrivers unsatisfactory and use a set with boxwood handles, obtained some time ago, which are excellent.

From an old screwdriver, I have ground the blade to a point to serve as a bradawl.

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