Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: My Dowelmax Experience So Far -UPDATE

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    2,332

    My Dowelmax Experience So Far -UPDATE

    After a little more than a week of use, I am happy with my Dowelmax. It took me some time to decide that the Dowelmax was something that I wanted. I first heard about it four years ago and, at that time, I put it on my long “tools to investigate in the future” list.

    Then early in 2007 I did a lot of research on both Festool’s new Domino and the Dowelmax deciding that I wanted to get one or the other. Not only did I read about them, but I tried them. I have a friend who let me try out his Dowelmax briefly and a group of Hafele Canada reps came to my shop where they demonstrated the Domino and other tools in the Festool line to about 20 of my fellow woodworkers. In the end, I decided that:
    _ -both the Domino and the Dowelmax are very accurate, well designed, and well made
    _ -the Dowelmax is at least as easy to use as the Domino
    I was sure that either one would do the job for me and that I would be happy no matter which I acquired. Since the Dowelmax is about one third the price of the Domino and since it made in Canada rather than Germany, this made my decision easy. The Dowelmax went right to the top of the tools that I would like for Christmas.

    My wife, Margaret, called Jim Lindsay at Dowelmax in Vancouver, had a long chat, and ordered the Dowelmax, and I opened it Christmas morning. I experimented with many different test joints and they all worked well. Then last weekend, I did my first real project –attaching a solid oak face frame for a display cabinet to a oak plywood carcass. 32 dowels spread over 13 feet had to be in the right place for a single glue-up.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	32 Dowels in carcass about to plug into holes in the frame -small.JPG 
Views:	76 
Size:	101.9 KB 
ID:	16378

    They were in the right place and the face frame fits very well.

    As part of my research, I spent a couple of hours looking at the DVD where Jim illustrates how to use the Dowelmax. At one point My 5 year old grandson, Ethan, was in the room with me and wanted to know what I was watching. When I told him it was about a tool that helped joining pieces of wood together, he said that he wanted to watch. I thought that he would listen and watch for about 30 seconds but, no he watched and entire segment and got right into what Jim was showing. Here for example, you can see that Ethan is using his hands to simulate what Jim's hands are doing on the DVD.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ethan watching a Dowelmax Demo -small.JPG 
Views:	65 
Size:	105.4 KB 
ID:	16376

    As you might gather from this, Ethan is quite interested in woodworking and he spends a lot of time with me in my shop.

    Before closing, I thought that some people might be interested in a simple jig I built to help set the drill collar to appropriate depth. I found that, with my face frame, I needed to drill holes at depths of 3/8”, ¾”, and 1-1/8” and that, having only one drill bit and collar, I was switching back and forth. This was tedious to measure each time, so I made the set of measuring bocks shown in the picture below:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Dowelmax depth setting blocks -small.JPG 
Views:	99 
Size:	95.5 KB 
ID:	16377

    The Dowelmax documentation does not say much at all about depth setting. Under Tips in the booklet shipped with product, it mentions briefly that different depths must be set sometimes. I have been in contact with them and they do plan to say more about this in a soon to be published update of the booklet.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 01-19-2008 at 10:30 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,807
    Looks good Frank, nice to see that some things are still made in Canada, I'll have to have a look at one of these.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Don Taylor is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,289
    Great idea for the depth jig Frank.

    DT

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    Thanks for the review, Frank. I'll be keeping my eyes open for a project that would justify its purchase for me.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Frank:
    Thanks for the idea, have a Dowell Max, now would you send me some oak blanks so I can steal your idea............

    WoodWorking, Crappie Fishing, Colts, Life is good!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    2,332

    Question Can multi-dowel joints replace mortise and tenon joints?

    Mack Cameron told me that, once he started to use his Dowelmax, he decided the mortise and tenon jopints were a thing ot the past for him.

    I decided to give this a try on the gless door of a display case that I am making. Normally, I would have used mortise and tenons in all six joints of this door:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Installing the glass -small.JPG 
Views:	42 
Size:	78.2 KB 
ID:	16921

    Instead, I used two two inch dowels at each joint. The door went together fast and well and it passed the strength test that I gave it. My strength test was to stand on the middle rail for about a minute with the two stiles supported about a foot off the ground (before installing the glass ). For those interested, the rail is 2cm thick, 7cm wide and 65cm long (that's about 7/8 inch by 2.75 inch by 25 inches for those stuck back in Imperial measurements )

    I wouldn't go so far as Mack and say that I won't be using mortise and tenon joints any more, but I will say that I will be employing far fewer of them.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 01-19-2008 at 10:31 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    Glad to see it's meeting (or exceeding) your expectations, Frank.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    1,099
    Nice review Frank. I have heard nothing but good about the Dowelmax.
    "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
    friend...if you have one."
    --George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

    "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second..if there is
    one."
    --Winston Churchill, in response




  9. #9
    The jig is an excellent idea.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Monroe, MI
    Posts
    470
    Frank, why did you decide on the Dowelmax over the Domino? Just cost or other reasons? I have been looking at the Dowelmax, but I'm also seriously looking at the Domino.

Similar Threads

  1. Dowelmax with extra guides
    By Rick Beko in forum Classified Ads
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-03-2012, 01:47 AM
  2. For Sale -- Dowelmax
    By Mack Cameron in forum Classified Ads
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-10-2011, 08:02 PM
  3. Dowelmax - first look
    By Art Mulder in forum New Tools
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-10-2008, 12:30 PM
  4. Using Dowelmax's Index Bar to Index Domino...in a pinch.
    By Thomas Smith in forum Jigs and Fixtures
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-20-2007, 07:26 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •