Quantcast

Doweling jig advice needed

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Raymond UK

Established Member
Joined
19 Jul 2018
Messages
335
Reaction score
0
Location
South Yorkshire
Not very often I use dowels but sometimes I need to.

I have bought the starter set Wolfcraft makes (http://www.wolfcraft.com/en/products/p/ ... index.html ) which is OK but awkward when a dowel near the edge of a board is needed.

Then I recently bought one of these (https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/323777435492?chn=ps) which doesn't actually self centre at all.

Bought one of these this morning of ebay. Got to wait and see if that will work. (https://www.banggood.com/Self-Centering ... 52856.html)

What doweling jig do others use that does work?
 
Joined
13 Jul 2015
Messages
2,683
Reaction score
63
Location
Suffolk
I've used a few of the cheaper doweling jigs and not found them to be very good. Most are difficult to clamp or require hand pressure. The problem with dowels is that they have no wiggle room, so everything has to be spot on.

Unless you're going to spend a fair bit on something like the dowel max jig, I would recommend making your own. I have found that the key to making your own dowel jigs is to not rely on being able to make it perfectly symetrical (unless you have very accurate tools which I don't). Instead, design it so it can be used from both sides of the bushing. That way, any error is counteracted.

Here is an example : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZRZTXYKiJE
 

Steve Maskery

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2004
Messages
11,709
Reaction score
50
Location
Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Can I ask you why you need a dowel jig at all? Dowel joints have to be the worst choice of any, except perhaps for a butt joint.
A much better choice would be a loose tenon. You don't need to sell your granny to buy a Domino machine, you can do the same thing with an Aldi router. You will have a much better result.
Maybe you really do need a dowel, in which case a bit of context would be of interest.
 

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury
Steve Maskery":3e72u86q said:
Can I ask you why you need a dowel jig at all? Dowel joints have to be the worst choice of any, except perhaps for a butt joint.
It's a myth. Some years ago Derek Jones from F&C showed that a dowel joint, properly constructed with a Dowelmax jig was stronger than the equivalent m&t joint. Strange, but true - Rob
 

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury
Steve Maskery":g2m52cb8 said:
I find that very difficult to understand, Rob. I'd want to see the evidence and methodology.
Steve, if you care to search on UToob, there's a couple of vids. Basically, Derek was as gobsmacked as me but what he did was to set up a number of joints (m/t, doweled, biscuit etc) using identical sectioned timber and then test them to destruction in a hydraulic jig.
Unsurprisingly, the biscuit joint failed first and the m/t was fairly strong, but the one that failed under the greatest force was the dowel joint.

The thing that gives dowel joints a poor reputation IMO lousy fitting dowels, such as Silverline which fit only where they touch :evil: and sometimes not even then. Really good fluted dowels (as supplied by Ax) are a whole different kettle of worms; once you insert a dry dowel it's nigh on impossible to get the thing out again - Rob
 
Joined
13 Jul 2015
Messages
2,683
Reaction score
63
Location
Suffolk
If you have enough dowels, I don't see how it's drastically different to a floating tenon.
 

Steve Maskery

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2004
Messages
11,709
Reaction score
50
Location
Kirkby-in-Ashfield
It's not just about area, although, of course, that matters. It's also about the quality of that area.
Face-grain to face-grain is much stronger than anything to end-grain, and dowels are 50% end-grain.
Of course, if you have a row of 20 dowels compared with one little tiny tenon, it will be stronger, but my guess is that this test was more sensible than that. I have a lot of respect for Derek, so I am open to be convinced, but I just don't see how with my present level of knowledge and understanding.
 

powertools

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2011
Messages
1,596
Reaction score
16
Location
Bedfordshire
Rob
Are you still being paid by Axminster to promote their products?
If not would you care to explain the problem with Silver line dowels, I have been using them for a long time along with the plywood biscuits that they sell and can see no reason to change.
 

Raymond UK

Established Member
Joined
19 Jul 2018
Messages
335
Reaction score
0
Location
South Yorkshire
I'm making some kids table and chairs. Usually fully assembled but a few people asked about flat packing these.

The only reason I want to use dowels is so that the panels align and the recipient can just mindless screw them together .
 

Woodchips2

Established Member
Joined
22 Mar 2010
Messages
1,359
Reaction score
0
Location
Newton Abbot,Devon
I use a Joint Genie http://www.joint-genie.com/shop/index.p ... ommon/home which is very well made and seems good quality. I've made a lot of joints with it and never had one fail. I ensure the timber is square with a shooting board and you need to think of face sides and face edges when clamping the jig. I've found it an excellent bit of kit and very quick to use after a bit of practice.
Regards Keith
 

MikeJhn

Grunkel
Joined
2 Sep 2014
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
26
Location
Kent mostly and France the rest
Steve Maskery":2wbk508q said:
Face-grain to face-grain is much stronger than anything to end-grain, and dowels are 50% end-grain.
Dowels are no where near 50% end grain, but loose tenons are more end grain than a dowel, taking length to dia/thickness as a percentage.
 

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury
powertools":38ru7k75 said:
Rob
Are you still being paid by Axminster to promote their products?
If not would you care to explain the problem with Silver line dowels, I have been using them for a long time along with the plywood biscuits that they sell and can see no reason to change.
Clearly you haven't read my sig block. No, I no longer work for Ax and haven't done so since 2017. Silverline dowels are appalling...when I bought my Dowelmax some time ago the chap importing them from Canada told me that they were 'DIY quality' (his words) even though he supplied them with the jig. They vary in diameter so some are a reasonable fit and others are slack.
The Ax dowels on the other hand (and there are probably plenty of other makes out there) are consistently very tight in the holes and regardless of where they come from are a very good product - Rob
 

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury
Steve Maskery":27eq5h85 said:
It's not just about area, although, of course, that matters. It's also about the quality of that area.
Face-grain to face-grain is much stronger than anything to end-grain, and dowels are 50% end-grain.
Of course, if you have a row of 20 dowels compared with one little tiny tenon, it will be stronger, but my guess is that this test was more sensible than that. I have a lot of respect for Derek, so I am open to be convinced, but I just don't see how with my present level of knowledge and understanding.
Steve, a thirty second UToob search came up with this little clip which ought to convince you. The dowel joint was the strongest on test by a considerable margin - Rob
 

Steve Maskery

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2004
Messages
11,709
Reaction score
50
Location
Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Thanks for that. I've just watched it. It doesn't convince me at all.
The M&T joint did not fail. It remained completely intact. It was the wood of the rail which failed, was it not? All that that tells anybody is that some pieces of red oak split more easily than others.
There is the world of difference between joint failure and grain failure. But I'm not going to argue any more. I'm sure that dowel joints are perfectly adequate for some applications, but I have other joints at my disposal which I can create more easily and provide me with what I need in a piece.
I hope the OP finds what he is looking for.
 

deema

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2011
Messages
2,145
Reaction score
11
Location
chester
Dowels are used in many applications and form a good joint. There are numerous external doors that are just dowelled together as an example. They are after all a round ‘Domino’, you just need a few more to achieve the same cross sectional area.

I’ve found that a Record 148 dowel jig is a superb bit of kit. They aren’t made any more and sell for very little on auction sites. Just make sure you get a kit with the clamp and all of the dowel inserts sizes. I ended up buying two to get more fingers. I bought a couple of silver steel bars to extend the size of what I was jointing without the need to use one finger as a reference to move the jig along the work piece.
 

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury
Steve Maskery":3ewljnbq said:
Thanks for that. I've just watched it. It doesn't convince me at all.
The M&T joint did not fail. It remained completely intact. It was the wood of the rail which failed, was it not? All that that tells anybody is that some pieces of red oak split more easily than others.
There is the world of difference between joint failure and grain failure. But I'm not going to argue any more. I'm sure that dowel joints are perfectly adequate for some applications, but I have other joints at my disposal which I can create more easily and provide me with what I need in a piece.
I hope the OP finds what he is looking for.
You wins some, you loose some :lol:
As a matter of interest, Dowlmax loaned Derek J the same hydraulic rig and he did very similar tests and reached the same conclusions; his results are documented in a back issue of F&C which I've got stashed away somewhere but I can't be ar&ed to go and dig it out! :lol:...and I don't think he used Red Oak either, the UToob clip being made in Canada which is where Dowelmax is made.
Your're right of course in mentioning that dowels are perfectly adequate, but I'd go further and say that they form a very acceptable substitute for both trad m/t joints and these new fangled Domino jobbies, the caveat being that the maker needs to use really good quality, well fitted dowels - Rob
 
Top