If a jig is too pricey or hard to find, I’d give Paul’s guide a try
Or make a poor man’s doweling jig
Since walnut was mentioned, I took an off cut, a little Birch ply, and a steel shaft sleeve from my local hardware store ($1.69) and made one and tested it on the rest of the walnut scrap to see how it would go.
This jig has two sleeves, one centered on 3/4”, and one centered on 1”. Shims would allow further adjustment (a deck of cards?). A touch of your glue of choice would secure the sleeves permanently, but it worked fine with just a friction fit.
The edges of the “window” in the jig align with the hole centers for positioning. If you are just going to use it for mortise work, align the window with the outside of the hole.
One caveat. Shaft sleeves are intentionally a couple thousandth snug, so run a metal bit through the sleeve before you commit your pristine Brad point bit.
And the walnut pared like butter. Even easier than the pine.
This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Larry Geib.