The Woodwright's Apprentice: 20 Twenty Favorite Projects from the Wodwright's Shop By Roy Underhill
The trick in final jointing is to move the plane in a straight line without rounding over on the ends. Start with the fore-end of the plane resting on the wood, with the blade clear. At the start of the stroke, all of your pressure should be on the fore end of the plane. As you guide the plane forward and the blade begins to cut, gradually equalize your pressure on the plane between fore and aft. As you reach the end of the stroke and the plane starts to head off the end of the boards, shift your pressure to the back of the plane. Jointing two boards together requires considerable mastery of the plane, and the only way you will gain this skill and grace is to practice.
After you bring the two surfaces true to a perfect fit, rubbing them together after applying glue will give you as strong a joint as you could hope for. Often, though, you want to add something mechanical across the gap to give you a feeling of greater security. This may be a tongue and groove, a spline (a separate tongue with the grain at right angles to the boards), or, most commonly, dowels. Dowels are the most often used because they will not snap along the grain like a tongue and groove and are much faster to insert than a spline.
There are lots of jigs and devices to help you get dowel holes aligned across from one another, but I still like an old trick that you do with a couple of brads. Everywhere that you want to put in a dowel, tap in a small brad, and then clip off the head about a sixteenth of an inch above the wood surface. Carefully push the two surfaces together, and the brads will mark their exact positions onto the second piece. Pull the boards apart and remove the brads. The tiny holes that remain in the two boards give you centers for boring perfectly aligned holes with your auger bits.
Even if the holes are perfectly aligned, you can still mess the joint up by having the dowels bottom out before the boards contact. Make sure that the sum of the depth of the two holes is greater than that of the peg. To release any air or excess glue in the bottoms of the holes as you drive in the pegs, saw a kerf down the length of each peg, and to prevent any swelling around the pegs from holding the boards apart, countersink or otherwise trim around the edges of the holes before you drive the two boards together.
"The Woodwright's Apprentice: 20 Twenty Favorite Projects from the Wodwright's "
© 2012 The University of North Carolina Press