Hand Tools Archive

Re: Indeed that seemed to be the case

Bob Hackett
As I mentioned in my comment about metalworking a fitting pin is used not so much as a tool that allows the marking and drilling of the holes, those are done during layout of the joint. What a fitting/alignment pin does is either pull the two pieces into alignment so you can get one of the bolts or rivets started or pull it into close proximity so you can see where you need to trim in order for the parts to come into alignment.
As Joel stated, these tools really shine on larger work, from doors on up in scale. Try clamping a large curved white oak forefoot to an even larger keelson on a wooden boat to see where they earn their money.
The short story is that if you have clamps and enjoy working with them then you don`t need a drawbore pin. If you do work that involves non-straight sections, odd angles, or other hard to clamp areas then you now have another option to look at.
Just another point to consider in relationship to draw boring. I have yet to hear anyone mention a froe or a pin plate(used to size the wood pins) in their discussions on proper draw boring tools. For the pins to deflect as they should they should be made from riven stock and driven thru a steel plate for consistent sizing. Wonder why we never hear about these tools being included in any cabinet maker`s tool boxes if they used pins? I suspect they would be a much used part of both a bodger`s kit as well as a chairmaker`s.
Different disciplines use different tools. As a person progressed from timber framing into making things like sashes and doors I suspect they would bring the techniques that were successful along with them as well as the appropriately scaled tools. Likewise, an accomplished trim carpenter might one day decide he`d rather settle into working in an established cabinet maker`s shop rather than traveling on to the next unfinished house (especially in winter) or working in a mill making the same thing day after day. His knowledge of how to make and fit multiples of something quickly might be what gets him through the door. Quick, accurate, in position adjustment coupled with a quick twist to bring it home is what draw bore pins are all about.
Everything good? Quick twist in the opposite direction releases the metal pin and the wood pin is driven home. No fumbling around with clamps, no false starts, no drilling out stuck or broken pins. the feedback you get from using these tools makes all the difference. Like anything else you have to practice and pay attention to what that practice is telling you.

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