Making Pegs

Well, it’s been a while since I posted. I must admit that I am a little busy, and it takes more time to write than I sometimes have to spare.

I finished the wardrobe since my last post, and then finished another exercise in pegged mortise-and-tenon joinery: a nice frame-and-panel chest to match the hand-made doors in my basement. I’ll post more info on that later.

My original intention for starting this blog was to talk about more than just the nuts and bolts of woodworking. I see now that it looks more like a how-to than a philosophical-type of blog. That’s not what I want, and let’s face it, it is all about me. However, I don’t want to leave any hanging chads, so I’ll cover the making of the pegs briefly.

It’s really more simple than I imagined. I thought, “how in the world do you make consistently sized pegs?”. But the truth is, just like in most project pieces, the pegs don’t have to look like they came from a factory. Why make pegs at all? Why not buy dowels? Because dowels cost money. Because dowels can be made from mystery wood. Because making pegs is easy.

I have been using 1/4″ pegs lately, so that’s the size we’ll talk about. I devised a nice little fixture for safely cutting consistent 1/4″ x1/4″ sticks which I then turn into octagons and cut to length by hand.

I also made a nice little fixture for turning the 1/4″x1/4″ sticks into octagons. It’s just a piece of wood with two 45’s cut in the center to hold the sticks with a corner up. I take a few licks with a block plane on each corner, and voila, you have an octagon that holds a little more securely than a round dowel. I use the same fixture for cutting the dowels to length. I made a groove with a dozuki saw for a guiding kerf, then start the saw in the kerf, then ease it through the stick, making consistent-length pegs. Finish them off with a pencil sharpener to make starting them in the holes easier.

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About Sam

Young, good-looking, manly--you get the picture. Novice woodworker with just too much rolling around upstairs to keep to myself. Random thoughts, philosophical questions, the occasional flash of insight or just dumb luck that needs to be shared with anyone who cares.
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