drilling dowel holes for seat boards for a picnic bench
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 18: Drill Dowel Holes

Dry-fit the end caps,or bread boards, against two bench-seat boards, and mark where they butt into the end caps. Line up your doweling jig with the edge of the end cap and clamp it down. Drill two holes 1 inches deep, shift the jig flush with the end cap's other edge, and drill two more holes. To make the last two pairs of holes, line up the inside edge of the jig on the register marks, for a total of four pairs of holes. Repeat the process on the other end cap. To make matching holes on the seat boards, clamp the jig flush with each edge of the board and drill into the end grain.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • adjustable clamp
    • straight edge
    • router
      Router with a ¾-inch straight bit
    • bar clamp
      Bar clamps
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • 3/8-inch doweling jig
      -inch doweling jig. Go to Rockler
    • drill
    • 3/8-inch twist bit
      -inch twist bit
    • 1/8-inch bit with combination countersink
      -inch bit with a combination countersink
    • 1/8-inch twist bit
      -inch twist bit
    • circular saw
      Circular saw

    Shopping List

    1. 5/4x4. Get three 8-footers for the benches and one 10-footer for the table.

    2. 5/4x6. Get two 8-footers for the benches and seven 10-footers for the table.

    3. 5/4x10. Get one 6-footer for the table.

    4. -by-2-inch spiral-cut

    5. wood dowels

    6. exterior-grade wood glue

    7. ¾-inch brass or stainless-steel screws

    8. 1½-inch deck screws