Make a small wooden board from old planks

My first intention was to buy a wooden board to make the stool seat, but finally I made a small one with some old planks I found in my shop. And because I don`t have fancy tools I use limited tools.

As you can see in the video, the method I use to make this wooden board is not very fine, and before I began to make it I had no idea how it would look when finished. But to tell the truth, despite we can see the glue between the planks if we pay attention to the joints, I am very happy with the final result. Furthermore, I am happy because I could use my wooden clamps for the first time and I think they do the job (but with the help of my typical metal clamps). I am sure I will use them a lot and maybe I´ll make some more.

Dowel center set to make dowel joints

To reinforce the joints I use 10 millimeters dowels. I centered them with the help of some nails. Normally I would use a dowel center set (those small copper pieces you can see in the picture) to center the dowels, but I only have dowel center pieces and depth stops to center 6 and 8 millimeters dowels.

Another option to make dowel joints is to use a dowel jig, but I preferred to try the nails method and hand drilling. It is important to obtain holes that are at 90º with the plank edge. If they are not the dowels won´t be aligned with the holes in the other plank and they will be difficult to insert. I have a small drill press but I want to make a drill press table before I show it to you.

Making a small board using limited tools

Finally the ugly part of the video. I don´t have a good hand plane (and I don´t have the skill to use one with confidence) and despite I have an electric power planer I took a dislike to it. If you are thinking about buying one forget it. They don´t do the job a hand plane does and they are very dangerous, too. You can´t see the planer blades when you use it and it is easy to touch the blades with the hand when they are still turning (I´ve been about to lose some finger sometime) (Now I have a homemade jonter and thickness planer, and it works quite well. It has been a great improvement in my shop).

The ideal would be to use a jointer and a planer, or at least a table saw. When I made this wooden board, my very small table saw was horrible (now I have a better homemade table saw), so I decided to adjust the plank edges with a rasp. That wasn’t a good job but in this case I accepted it. Next time I´ll use a table saw.

Anyway, it was fan to make dowel joints using some nails to mark where to drill the holes instead of a fancy dowelling jig.

More about woodworking joints in my blog here.

More Woodworking and DIY Projects

Scroll to Top