This post continues my documentation of my EC&I 831 Learning Project, where I am making my own coffee table.

Now that everything was pretty much cut and prepared for the table, it was time to start putting it together.

I’ve put together a lot of Ikea furniture in the past, and I noticed they used a lot of dowels to stick everything together. I decided to investigate how I could use dowels to hold my table together.

Turns out you can even make your own dowelling, as shown in the video below. I opted for the store bought dowels since combining two power tools together at this point in my woodworking career seemed like a pretty risky move.

My basic idea was to use 4 dowels and dowel holes to connect the top part of the frame together. This video (first 5 minutes or so) gave some good instruction on how to go about this.

Unfortunately, I did not have a dowel jig, so my dowel holes were a little rough – as you’ll see in the pictures below. Here are the pictures I was able to take during this process. I did not do a great job of documenting this.

The leg posts with their dowel holes drilled.

The leg posts with their dowel holes drilled.

Note how "straight" my dowel holes are. Had to make the holes in the connecting pieces just as "straight".

Note how “straight” my dowel holes are. Had to make the holes in the connecting pieces just as “straight”.

Connecting the 2x4s to the legs with the dowels. Took some good hits with the rubber mallet.

Connecting the 2x4s to the legs with the dowels. Took some good hits with the rubber mallet.

Applying glue to the dowels to ensure they won't slip out after assembly.

Applying glue to the dowels to ensure they won’t slip out after assembly.

Here are the second set of dowels added into the 4x4 post, note the markings I made with numbers to keep everything organized.

Here are the second set of dowels added into the 4×4 post, note the markings I made with numbers to keep everything organized.

The dowels all put together with the legs and top part of the frame assembled.

The dowels all put together with the legs and top part of the frame assembled.

In this step, I struggled with not having the proper tools for the job. I think investing in a dowelling jig would have made this go much more smoothly. However, at this point I was getting a little over confident and figured I could just do it. Ultimately it worked out well and the table frame is solid, but I spent way more time doing this than I probably would have otherwise.