What's new
What's new

Looking for info on the Stanley No. 60 Doweling Jig

M.B. Naegle

Diamond
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
I've got a Stanley No.60 doweling jig that's missing it's paraphernalia (save the box). It seems that the internets solution is to just buy a more complete one, but being stubborn with metalworking skills/tools, I'd rather fill in the blanks on the one I have. I read somewhere that it had nine drill bushings originally, but curious if someone knows the specific sizes? From what I can tell they're cut to fit together in the box Russian-nesting-doll style. I'd also like to find a PDF of the instructions to print out. Googling turns up instructions for the No. 59 which is similar, but I'm not so much looking for a basic how-to as I'm hoping to find what parts/info was original to the No. 60. The No. 59 had six bushings and otherwise it seems the main difference is they put the centering rule on the outside of the clamp, while it was on the inside on the No. 60.

I'm going to use some A2 drops to make replacements and harden. Going blind, I'd think the bushings would be in sixteenth increments, like 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8,11/16,3/4. Smaller and larger sizes wouldn't seem useful. The OD can be anything but the originals I've seen pictured looked fairly thin walled and possibly flared on one end to help with the nesting.

There's likely better more accurate methods of drilling dowel holes, but I figure it'll be good enough for my uses and works both with power tools and manual brace drills.

This one isn't mine (credit to Jim Bode tools), just for reference and shows some of the sleeves.
92514_1900x.jpg
 
I've got a Stanley No.60 doweling jig that's missing it's paraphernalia (save the box). It seems that the internets solution is to just buy a more complete one, but being stubborn with metalworking skills/tools, I'd rather fill in the blanks on the one I have. I read somewhere that it had nine drill bushings originally, but curious if someone knows the specific sizes? From what I can tell they're cut to fit together in the box Russian-nesting-doll style. I'd also like to find a PDF of the instructions to print out. Googling turns up instructions for the No. 59 which is similar, but I'm not so much looking for a basic how-to as I'm hoping to find what parts/info was original to the No. 60. The No. 59 had six bushings and otherwise it seems the main difference is they put the centering rule on the outside of the clamp, while it was on the inside on the No. 60.

I'm going to use some A2 drops to make replacements and harden. Going blind, I'd think the bushings would be in sixteenth increments, like 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8,11/16,3/4. Smaller and larger sizes wouldn't seem useful. The OD can be anything but the originals I've seen pictured looked fairly thin walled and possibly flared on one end to help with the nesting.

There's likely better more accurate methods of drilling dowel holes, but I figure it'll be good enough for my uses and works both with power tools and manual brace drills.

This one isn't mine (credit to Jim Bode tools), just for reference and shows some of the sleeves.
View attachment 434190


You are exactly right on the bushing sizes. The #59 only had five, however - only the sizes up to 1/2".

The photo is missing the depth gauge which attached to the bit.
 
You are exactly right on the bushing sizes. The #59 only had five, however - only the sizes up to 1/2".

The photo is missing the depth gauge which attached to the bit.
Thanks for confirming. I was wondering what the difference between the sets was as the #59's outside reading ruler seemed an improvement over the #60's inside ruler, but I would think the #60 would be the "new and improved" if that was their angle. It makes more sense that the #59 was for equipped for smaller bits and the #60 had more range.

The depth gauge is pictured in the #59 instructions, but isn't very clear. An few standard shaft collars would likely do fine, but I assume the original adjustable stop was made to work with all the sizes, correct?
 
I have two of the #59 jigs. Both appear to be of about the same vintage - 1920's or 1930's probably. But they are otherwise quite different. I was going from a 1929 catalog when I stated the bushing sizes. Each of the jigs I have actually has six bushings - 3/16 through 1/2.

One has the inscribed scale on the underside of the jig, so you have to set it before clamping to your work. You have to match it - guesstimating by eye - to the center of the bushing. Not terribly accurate, I think.

The other has the scale on the top of the jig. The piece that carries the bushings slides against it, and has different index markings for each of the different size bushings. In my opinion a better system. There are some other differences as well. This one has a few extra bushings, but in sizes that duplicate the others. It also has a second drill stop, in design more like the typical shaft collars.

The depth stops that are standard to each are much like a cast V block, with a heavy wire hook threaded to pull in the bit. Whereas the shaft collar type is designed for twist drills, these work with either twist drills or auger bits.

There are some Stanley collectors out there who should have information on types and dates.
 
Good information, thank you!

The original depth stop sounds very similar to the clamp that holds the bushings. Looking at some #59's online it looks like some have a thumb screw to clamp the bushing into the V and other's are like the #60 with a hook screw and wing nut. I'd guess those are other generational differences.

With the accuracy issue, I have yet to use mine but my guess is that the best way to use it is set the depth and drill all the holes at the same setting so that even if the height is off, they're all still at the same level. Could be more of a challenge though if drilling mating dowels on center between two pieces of different widths.
 
Last edited:
You are exactly right on the bushing sizes. The #59 only had five, however - only the sizes up to 1/2".

The photo is missing the depth gauge which attyou

You are exactly right on the bushing sizes. The #59 only had five, however - only the sizes up to 1/2".

The photo is missing the depth gauge which attached to the bit.
I would be interested in getting a set of bushings for my old Stanley No. 60 doweling jig if you wanted to make 2 sets and not too expensive.
 
As of now I'm just looking at making enough bushings to complete my own set using some material drops, but If someone made repo's I'd think they could sell on eBay or similar. I think the mentality of buying a more complete set is the most financially sound, but it doesn't fix that there's lots more jigs out there than bushings to go with them so not everyone wins.

Being stubborn enough to put more money into my jig than it's worth, I purchased some pieces I found on eBay to get the ball rolling. Individually they're not too bad, but together I'm spending more on it than the jig is worth (going back to the "just buy a more complete one" mentality) but I'm hoping the info I glen from these pieces can be helpful to others needing to make one or a few extra pieces.
1000004812.jpg
I opened my search parameters from just documentation for the #60 and found that it looks like Stanley just made a general document for the #60, #59, and the #77 dowel turning machine (have to add that one to the wish-list). The original instructions are cleaner than the scans for the #59 document that you can download, and look to have more information. I can scan it as a PDF if there's a service to host it for others. I contribute to Vintage Machinery, but I don't think they cover hand tools like Stanley? Given it's a single page I might just save it as a JPG to post here. This is all assuming it's no longer under any copywrite, since that's the case with so many other Stanley tools of this age.
1000004813.jpg
1000004815.jpg
1000004816.jpg
I also found original 1/2" and 7/16" bushings. These give me some idea what tolerances they're being made too. I expect them to be loose given what they are doing and that they need to nest together. I'll make a print with the various dimensions and post it here.
1000004817.jpg
 
Making reproductions of the doweling jig bushings would not be productive in my opinion. Making a few for one's own use would be simple - as long as you didn't want them nickel plated or marked. But I think that the collectors would want bushings plated and marked just like the originals, and that would be pretty involved.

If you need the OD dimensions for the bushings (3/16 through 1/2 IDs), let me know and I'll measure mine.

The #77 Dowel and Rod Turning Machines are out there. I have had about four of them, most of which I got through a classified ad I placed in one of the earliest issues of Fine Woodworking. Traded all but one for other tools I wanted. And if you want a complete set of the cutter heads, you'll really have to hunt. The machines came with a 3/8" head. The 1/4 and 1/2 sizes are around, but the 16th sizes are harder to find. Especially the 9/16 and 11/16 - I have all but those two. But I do have a 3/16, which was never offered by Stanley that I can see, but was a special order from them. Whereas the standard sizes have the sizes as raised numbers on the castings, the 3/16 has the size stamped into a spot face milled onto the cutter. It doesn't work terribly well, as it tends to twist off the dowel after cutting.

I have thought about having castings made for the 9/16 and 11/16 cutter heads and then machining them. Not too complicated. The cutting blades - which are J-shaped in section - would be a bit harder.

Patrick Leach is a great source for tools like these. Email is [email protected]. I've ordered from him a few times, and recommend him highly.
 
Thanks again.

The dimensions would be helpful. I drew up a print, then got oil on it so need to re-draw it, but having someone check my math against reality would be helpful. Some sizes came out right on 32nd and 64th sizes which would make sense, while others I could be off. In general, it looks like .010 to .015 is how much wiggle room there was between bushings and nominal drill sizes, or 1/64" if they were sticking with nominal figures.

It looks like the "No." designation correlates to the size, as a No.7 is a 7/16 and a No.8 is a 1/2". Following this logic then it looks like they didn't offer sizes 1,2, or 3, unless they were special order.

The #77 looks like a neat tool to have, but I could see it not being the best for the job. A quick review on eBay looks like I'd better have $500 handy or more if I want one now. Better to wait for a better deal or a project piece. Old woodworking tools pop up locally, but they don't seem as common. Do you think the 77's drawbacks are from it's design, or is it fickle to sharpen and tune? I've seen some other designs from other makers of the era, but the 77 seems to be one of the more common ones with more information available than just "it's an old iron dowel maker... I think."

I have a prejudice in favor or old iron tools and classic methods (at least from the late 1800's to the 1960's), and don't really like a lot of the more modern anodized aluminum tools that are built around having cordless power tools and access to a supply chain. Technological improvements are worth utilizing for sure, but I think independence and being comfortable with using time and physical effort to get something done is important too. I'm still learning though. I like the idea of making my own dowels rather than buying them, as for me traditional woodworking at it's best is about being able to make something on your own without having to run to Home Depot or wait for the Amazon truck. Making dowels likely doesn't make sense for the time investment vs. the better quality off-the-shelf softwood dowels, but it's another tool/ability in the toolbox. I probably need to get onto a traditional woodworking forum. I'm just not excited about creating another account that will get ignored when I'm busy with other skills, lol.
 
Last edited:
I'll measure my bushings and let you know. One thing to keep in mind is that these jigs were meant for use primarily with auger bits - which were not made to the same tolerances as twist drills.

The #77 is a lot handier than you might think. Not too difficult to find dowels in the eighth's sizes in birch, but if you need something else you may be out of luck. Or on Sunday, or whatever. It makes pretty nice dowels, and you can tweak the sizes somewhat. Hardwoods work best, as with softwoods it's too easy to twist them off.

I share your prejudice and attitude.
 
I measured the bushings I have, here is what I found. Most of the bushings show a size range, as I had more than one of them.

3/16" nominal ID .196" OD .306" - .310"
1/4" nominal !D .260" OD .370" - .375"
5/16" nominal ID .320" - .325" OD .432" - .437"
3/8" nominal ID .383" - .387" OD .497" - .500"
7/16" nominal ID .448" - .450" OD .560" - .563"
1/2" nominal ID .510" - .511" OD .622" - .624"

Overall length of all was just under 1-1/2", at about 1.49". Very heavy internal chamfers at the top ends (the marked ends).

All had similar marking style, and appeared to be Stanley originals. All bores were rough, right from the drill.

All were nickel plated, except for a few that were color case hardened. I really like those.

Hope this helps, although it's probably more than you needed.
 








 
Back
Top