Ray Iles Drawbore Pins


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Manufactured by Ray Iles Edge Tools. They are made from EN9 spring steel. As with traditional drawbore pins, the shape is slightly offset (unlike others), for easy removal. 1/2″ x 9″. Handles are Beech in the Carver pattern. These drawbore pins are very well made, tough and well designed.

Below is a quote from Joel @ Tools For Working Wood, talking about drawbore use, what makes a proper drawbore pin & Ray Iles.
The best way to put together a mortise and tenon is by drawboring them. What this means is that when you drill the holes for a dowel to pin the joint together you offset the hole in the tenon towards the shoulder so that the pin has to bend a little to get the joint together and put a little tension in the joint. Any shrinkage in the stile would be taken up by the tension and the joint is incredibly strong.

The problem is test fitting it. You can of course just drive dowels into the joint but that means driving them out and replacing them every time you test fit. This is a pain and also wears the joint. The traditional solution is using drawbore pins. Drawbore pins not only let you assemble the joint but they have an eccentricity that allows you to tighten up the joint without banging down. It’s a technique that is still used today to align steel beams for assembly.

A few years ago I mentioned to Ray Iles that there were no proper drawbore pins being made on the market and certainly none with the proper eccentricity. He mentioned that he would get antiques in and they would sell very quickly. He took a long look at a bunch and saw the eccentricity that I mentioned and of course he said “that explains why you don’t see hammer marks on them.” Most of the old ones were used by doormakers and large rigging makers but and they work for cabinetmaking (it’s what I have) but smaller sizes can be much easier to handle.

The way you use them is just put them in a drawbore hole and wiggle them down. You will notice that on half a turn they seem to tighten up the joint, and on the other half they loosen. Just by turning and wiggling the pin you can get the joint to mechanically tighten up with a lot of pressure. A pin without the offset, is sometimes used but you don’t get the pressure on the joint.