Add one more to the list of red-anodized aluminum tools you just have to own: the cross dowel jig. Cross dowels are used in assemble-it-yourself furniture that you might find in stores like Ikea. They create a really strong joint because you are mating a bolt with another piece of metal rather then threading into plywood or particle board.
Woodpeckers’ jig lets you precisely line up the three holes necessary for installing #10 or 1/4″ cross dowels. You can locate the cross dowel either 3/4″ or 1″ from the edge, depending on the length of the bolt and thickness of the material. To guide the drill bits, they press stainless-steel guide bushings into the solid aluminum.
To use the jig you need a 1/4″ bit for the bolt and 7/16″ bit for the cross dowel, preferably brad point bits. First you drill a 1/4″ hole into the end of the piece that will receive the cross dowel. Then you drill the cross dowel hole through the face of the same piece. Finally, drill the hole through the face of the mating piece.
Woodpeckers’ Cross Dowel Jig will run you $30 and you’ll drop another $10 on shipping.
Cross Dowel Jig [Woodpeckers]