The Candy-Bottom Wuss Girl Guide to Drawboring

I admit it: I can be a total weenie when it comes to drawboring. Unlike Peter Follansbee I am overly fearful, cautious and timid.

When Peter drawbores a joint, he uses no glue. He uses no clamps. He uses hand-tapered oak pegs. And he details it all in his forthcoming book with Jennie Alexander, “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree.”

Today I was assembling an early 18th-century-style table that has a lot of features that are similar to a 17th-century joint stool.

But this table (like the original) is in cypress. Not oak.

And I, unlike Peter, am a wuss.

The video shows how I go about the process with the crutches of glue and clamps.

— Chrissy Schwarz

P.S. The music to this video can be downloaded from the Free Music Archive.

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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16 Responses to The Candy-Bottom Wuss Girl Guide to Drawboring

  1. tjic (@tjic) says:

    I just draw-bored the base of my workbench using handmade pegs (from a chunk of black walnut I found in the firewood pile!).

    I didn’t even realize that I ** could ** have used glue. I’m new to this whole thing.

    Anyway, (a) it’s solid as heck even wo glue, (b) this is a v1.0 bench base, made out of Douglas Fir. Total materials cost was $80 or so.

    If it disappoints, I’ll chop it up for the woodstove and make another, using the lessons learned.

  2. Tip of the day: start the drill in reverse. I have had this exact problem drawboring. Nice Easter Egg.

  3. Jonas Jensen says:

    It looks good. I’m amazed that you don’t get any glue squeeze out. But I suppose you are way better than me when it comes to dose the glue right.
    I’m looking forward to see the finished table.

  4. JoeM says:

    Are those tenons cut on a (gasp!) tablesaw?

    • lostartpress says:

      Yup. I dusted off the table saw for this project. This table is going to be in Popular Woodworking Magazine, so I want to balance the power- and hand-tool techniques so as not to scare off anyone.

      It’s a difficult balancing act.

  5. Mark Schreiber says:

    I never thought about using glue with a drawbore joint. I learned that making my pegs first allows me to press the joints together and knock in the pegs far enough to hold without clamps. After all joints have been pegged, I then knock the pegs home, saw off the excess and pare them flush. Well done video.

  6. Jason says:

    Better put some kerosene rags around your ankles so ants don’t crawl up there and eat that candy [bottom]. —Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

    I’ve always wanted to repeat that quote. Thanks for the opportunity, Chris.

  7. I posted a reply that was deleted. What did I do wrong?

  8. mickthetree says:

    Apologies for my ignorance, but what is it that could go wrong? Can the side of the mortice split under the strain? or just the fear that it might not tighten up enough? I’m new to this!

    • lostartpress says:

      Lots can go wrong.

      The tenon can split.
      The peg can split.
      The joint can not close up.
      You can blow out the back where the peg exits.
      You can blow out the side of the side of the leg where the mortise meets the rail.

      I think that covers most of the risks.

      • mickthetree says:

        Thanks for elabourating. Thats enough to put anyone off!!
        I’ll try to remember these when I do them in future. I’ve only ever done them once clamped as per this article.

  9. paganu says:

    no drawbore pins used?

    • lostartpress says:

      Good question! I use the pins when I have a heavy offset. This offset was pretty mild.

      • paganu says:

        That’s actually excellent news; I’ve never tried drawboring ’cause I don’t have the pins, and since I live in Eastern Europe and I can’t find cheap metric pins around here, I’d have to order new ones from the US and spend a bunch of money in the process, and then go all imperial on my drawbore holes.

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