Jig and project advice

I've tentatively settled on a design for my next project:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/13973492620/in/set-72157644207411490
I like the "ladder" sides, but it occurs to me now that they will involve a lot of repetitive work, especially as I plan to make two of these units. I figure to attach them to the stiles with dowels. That's 8 rails per side x 4 holes per rail x 2 sides x 2 units = 128 holes.
I did a test a while back using a Beadlock jig as a dowel guide. It worked pretty well; the pieces (a tee joint) were in good alignment afterwards. But I held each piece in the vise and then clamped the Beadlock jig to the piece. Doing that 64 times is unappealing.
Here's my first idea for improving that:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/13990003519/
The black "box" is the drilling insert from the Beadlock jig. It has threaded mounting holes that I would use to affix it to the plywood base.
The darker piece of 1x2 is the work piece. I suppose I could use two toggle clamps and eliminate one of the guide blocks, but this seems more certain to me.
Does this look like an effective method? Any improvements you can suggest?
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And on the same topic: I'm about to order some toggle clamps. I see that there are some with horizontal handles and some with vertical. Can anyone tell me why I might want one over the other, and in what circumstances?
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On 5/13/2014 11:44 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Sure to keep the handles out of the way of fences, or cutting areas. Also sometimes it's easier to push against lets say if it were high up, others down.
BTW consider the Bessey's... you'll love them. Just move them from jig to jig, since it's a one time jig.
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Jeff

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On 5/13/2014 9:01 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Your "ladder" arrangement is the same principal as the vertical "slats" common to Craftsman/Arts & Crafts style, turned horizontally.
Any method that works in that application - from FF biscuits, to M&T, to floating tenons, to routing a groove and filling the space in between the "rungs" with spacers, et al, will work.
The method you chose depends mainly upon the tool(s) you have available for the job. Were I to do it, I would use my Multi-Router and a single floating tenon wide enough to keep the rungs from rotation. My next choice would be two router jigs in this group of photos
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/ShopmadeMortiseJig
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/ShopmadeMortiseJig#6012952629727758402
As many projects as you got in the pipe, this would be a perfect opportunity to crowbar your wallet and spring for a Domino. ;)
Of all the tools capable of making this a breeze, a Domino would fill the bill in spades, quickly easily and efficiently.
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On 5/13/2014 11:57 AM, Swingman wrote:

Well thank goodness I will not be the one being accused of being the first to suggest this. ;~) FWIW the Domino has more than paid for itself time and again and it is afforded me the opportunity to build better and faster.
It is one of those tools that you might one day actually wear out. I Mine has cut 7~8 thousand mortises and is still going strong.

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On 5/13/2014 12:57 PM, Swingman wrote:

My previous design included vertical slats. Call them a casualty of Sketchup; it makes it easy to indulge your imagination.

Always a consideration here, including the available "personal" tools. I do try to plan projects to expand that skill-set a bit, though.
Were I to do it, I would use my Multi-Router
Sounds nice. Is this where wrec custom dictates that I tell you that you suck? :)
and a single

That would be clamping and routing x 64. Maybe there's a jig to speed up moving from one piece to the next, but it sounds pretty time-consuming. Then I'd need to make the tenon stock.

I'd first have to crowbar open my wallet to fit in all of the other crowbars. :)
Someone else noted something I realized myself; that the sides of the ladders will be hidden. So I could conceivably even use screws. I'm still leaning toward the "cylindrical loose tenons" though, so far. I'll probably make some test joints and see what I think afterwards.
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On 5/14/2014 6:49 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

If you are realizing your design takes more time and work to implement than you are willing to spend, then perhaps you need to re-think it?

Then you'd have to drill what, 128 holes for screws? Heaven forbid! ;)
Do you have a plate joiner? Relatively inexpensive tool and, using FF biscuits, would do roughly the same thing as the Domino and just as quickly.
And .... there's always Ikea. <just kidding> ;)
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On 5/14/2014 8:22 AM, Swingman wrote:

As I mentioned, I'm not leaning toward using screws. But If I did go that way, I could presumably clamp a whole "ladder" in place on a surface and drill all the holes (on one side) in one operation. It's not so much the routing or drilling that seems like it would be time-consuming, it's the clamping and re-clamping for each and every piece.
I do need 128 holes for dowels (256 actually, including the ones in the stiles), but I think I have come up with a way to greatly speed up the time between one setup and the next. I could be kidding myself (at my skill level it happens frequently). We'll see.

I do have a plate joiner, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't do FF biscuits. I briefly considered wider "rungs" in the design process (for that reason), but didn't like the look as much.
As for buying a Domino, the perversity of having a Domino but no table saw appeals to my sense of humor, but I think I'll have to pass for now.
My plan right now is to try to make the drilling jig this weekend and maybe make a Roman Numeral "III" out of scrap as a test. Likely as not my plans will be altered afterwards.
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On 5/14/2014 8:40 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

OK! You have now officially talked about how long it would take than it would have actually taken even if you had hand carved each. :~)
This is part of woodworking, not all of it is as glamorous as sanding. ;~)
Believe it or not the act of actually drilling/doweling,screwing, tenoning, etc teaches you more about the time that is actually involved than thinking it out. Don't get me wrong, thinking ahead for the next step is a good thing but there comes a point when doing the deed teaches you more about a better way to do something than planing. Doing shows the fallacy in your thinking.
128 holes is nothing. Wait till you start drilling shelf pin holes every 1.25" times 4 for a tall cabinet, and then for 2~3 cabinets. Yes it will take hours but not that many hours. A couple of years ago I built 3 book cabinets for a customer and the top portions of the cabinets alone required 667 holes for the shelves. Yes 667 holes, I was not stopping at the one lower number.
IIRC the two walnut curio cabinets required in excess of 300 holes for top and bottom cabinets.
And if you buy a Domino the time savings alone would pay for the machine. :~)

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Often one or the other is required for clearance or to take up less space in a particular application. Otherwise it's just personal preference.
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The way it is drawn, you could butt join all of the ladders, gluing and clamping them all in place, and before the glue sets, run screws in all the way through the end's stiles, into the ladders. If you drilled and countersunk them before time, it would be quick, and the screws would be totally concealed by the front and back side stiles. You get the strength of the mechanical fastening, that way too. You might not even need the glue.
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About as easy and simple as it gets. +1
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And, that's the truth. People complain about the price of the Domino, but the time it saves coupled with what it can do makes it an outstanding purchase.
The fact is, that you can't compare it to a biscuit joiner. The Domino stands head and shoulders above what any biscuit joiner can do.
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The screws would be stronger, easier and way faster. You only need two, one at each end of the slat...at one end, offset the screw slightly above center, at the other end, slightly below center...no twist possible, accuracy unimportant.
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Or hanging sheet rock. Very easy to go through a box of 1000, 128 holes is piddling.
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Why would you want to make a drilling jig? Not everything needs a jig.
Step one: Clamp the whole end in place flat on the bench. With the precision you want to end up with. You can make a story pole to make both sides and both ends identical to speed up the process. Look up story pole if you do not know what it is.
Step two: Grab the drill with a drill/countersink combination bit. Drill all of the holes by eyeball. No jig needed. You can estimate where to put the holes.
Step three: Put screws in all of the holes with your fingers.
Step four: Grab your drill or impact driver and send all of the screw in tight.
Step five: Take the clamping off. Your end is done. 30 minutes tops, after the pieces are cut.
I love jigs. I make all kinds of them. It is good to know when one is necessary or when you just get to it and build something without one. This is one of the second times.
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On 5/14/2014 1:18 PM, Morgans wrote:

The jig would be to drill holes for dowels. I agree that with screws I would not need a jig.
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