I’ve been doing quite a bit of drawboring lately while building a couple cabinets for the next issue of Woodworking Magazine. And it’s given me a chance to try a couple of new tactics, one of which has turned out to be a bit daft.
During a demonstration of drawboring I gave a few weeks ago, one of the woodworkers in the audience offered up a suggestion that seemed intriguing because it might fix one of the cosmetic downsides of the technique. With some drawbored joints, there will be a small gap on one side of the peg. The peg is being bent, of course, so this is understandable. If the wood you’re using for your frame is a bit wet, it will shrink around the peg, tighten up and eliminate the gap. But if your frame wood is bone-dry, then you might be left with the gap.
One solution is to dry out your raw material for pegs as much as possible, below the ambient humidity level even. Then form your pegs with his desiccated material and they’ll swell. You could do this in the oven , I’ve done it with chair legs and spindles with success (try 250Ã?Â° for a few hours). But it’s a pain. So the idea offered up was to was to keep the peg material in the freezer. Freezers are giant dehumidifiers, right? It seemed worth a try.
So I rived some raw peg material a few weeks ago and stuck it in the freezer in an unsealed freezer bag. Yesterday I pulled it out and immediately drove it through the 5/16″ hole in my dowel plate and measured the results. The smallest diameter of the peg was .306″. The largest was .316″. I marked the exact spot on the peg where I took my readings and have been monitoring the peg all weekend. So far, no change. Nothing. Not even a thou. I’m going to leave the peg here on my desk for a week or so, but right now I think this tip might be a red herring. Maybe I should buy a toaster oven for the shop?
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