I hate dowels...

Messages
35
Location
London, England
... well I used to then somebody showed me this:



and it fits! there are 49 12mm dowels there that fit into 49 holes!

I used to avoid using dowels and had bags of them laying around for years. now they are all used up and I don't hate them as much as I did.

Do you guys use dowels much? if so how do you drill the holes in each piece?

Ralph;)
 

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,255
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
I like dowels. Dunno why. Probably because I'm not really versed in other methods. I do like the looks of them, especially when they are a contrasting color from the woods they are holding together. I use rigs, jigs and eyeball methods.
 

Don Taylor

Former Member (by the member's request)
Messages
1,289
Hi Ralph!
I have the DowelMax. I really enjoy using it and find more to use it for all the time.









This is the rolling sheet goods cart I am working on. I had to stop while the guys are installing the DC piping. The shop is a mess with everything pushed together in the middle of the room away from the walls. :huh:

DT
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
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32,848
Location
ABQ NM
I knew when I saw the thread title that Don would be chiming in. :D He's done a lot of cool things with his DowelMax. I've got an old Stanley #59 like Jeff's, but mine is only has the 3/8" guide sleeve.

Ralph, what tool/jig was used for the 49-dowel joint?
 
Messages
35
Location
London, England
Vaughn,

This is what I use, it is a Joint-Genie Craftsman. I like the tool so much I let them use some of my stuff on their website and I use it a fair bit when building for magazine articles... That is when I can get it back from Sue...




Who's shop is this anyway?...:D

Ralph:)
 
Well, I guess you are never too old to learn, huh? I always thought dowels were sloppy joints, but here I see bright people using them and making some cool stuff. What am I missing? Is it the jig?

Another puzzle, when I buy dowels or use the ones they have at school, the diameter of the dowel varies significantly, some totally loose, some too tight. Its not the holes, they were bored with a tight jig on a horizontal boring machine, and the 'bad' dowels don't fit any of the holes. Are we buying cheap dowels? Where do you get the good stuff? Or does it matter? :huh::huh::huh::dunno::dunno::dunno:

By the way Ralph, I envy your rain. We get about 25cm a year out here in the desert - at least I don't have to mow the lawn very often.:eek::rofl:
 
Messages
2,369
I enjoy dowels, though I don't use them much in my woodworking. Mostly machining steel where pins and sockets are quite common.

A bit off subject, but since you were impressed by 49 pins fitting into 49 holes, I thought you might like this story.

We built a bridge girder section here in Maine and shipped it to Las Vegas Nevada. The engineer called us up and said the holes were off. When the QC of the shop asked "how far" the engineer could not help but laugh. The holes were off by .004 of an inch.

To put that in perspective, that is the thickness of a piece of paper. The section slid right down despite being built 2 timezones, 3000 miles and being barged, trained and trucked into place.
 
Messages
35
Location
London, England
Jesse,

No you are never too old to learn. I am still a wood apprentice as I have only been doing it for forty years. I learn something new every day.

Most dowels are dried and compressed rather like biscuits. The should be a reasonably easy fit in the hole. The idea is that the moisture in the glue expands then slightly and makes a tight fit. Here in our damp climate I keep my dowels in airtight jars in the workshop and the stock next to the hot water cylinder in the ‘airing cupboard’ in the house.

If you want some rain I can download you some but it might wreck the ‘puter :D

Find a jig that suits you and dowels are the easiest and most versatile form of jointing - have fun!

Ralph;)
 

Don Taylor

Former Member (by the member's request)
Messages
1,289
Hi Jesse, :wave:

Like Ralph says, find the jig that suits you however, here is the DowelMax site. There is quite a bit to read about doweling there.

http://dowelmax.com/

DT
 
Last edited:

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,255
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Jesse,

No you are never too old to learn. I am still a wood apprentice as I have only been doing it for forty years. I learn something new every day.

Most dowels are dried and compressed rather like biscuits. The should be a reasonably easy fit in the hole. The idea is that the moisture in the glue expands then slightly and makes a tight fit. Here in our damp climate I keep my dowels in airtight jars in the workshop and the stock next to the hot water cylinder in the ‘airing cupboard’ in the house.

If you want some rain I can download you some but it might wreck the ‘puter :D

Find a jig that suits you and dowels are the easiest and most versatile form of jointing - have fun!

Ralph;)

Are those really stronger than just cutting short pieces from a long dowel rod? Granted, good hardwood dowel rods are not to be found anymore. Most are Asian mystery woods and very soft. But I am still able to find rods made from poplar and specialty shops sell maple and walnut which I use on occasion.
 

Doug Sinjem

Member
Messages
400
Location
La Habra Hts. CA
I'm building a crib and the plans call for a mortie and tenon joint between the spindles and the rails. Thanks for the link to the dowelmax Don, I'm going to use dowels to make the joint especially because there are so many spindles. I ordered my dowlmax last week.

Doug
 

Jay Lock

Member
Messages
1,037
Ralph

Just remember............ when Moma's happy EVERYBODY is happy :rofl::rofl:

It is nice to have good looking shop associates, the only one in my shop is an old guy who talks to himself --- I've got to stop doing that!

Jay
 
Messages
35
Location
London, England
OK, as I started this post I think it is only fair that I post the link to my favoured dowel jig... so HERE IT IS. Lots of stuff on here, there is a simple oak coffee table article by me and if you look carefully there is even a picture of Sue...

Ralph;)
 
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