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Well now, that's just really alright. Had no idea Rockler had one like that. Probably solves the problem of the guide getting wallowed out with use, too. Off to see Rockler's offering.


Just looked. A three size kit is $69. Not cheap but lots cheaper than all but Harbor Freight's Domino jig. And, dowels are way cheaper than dominos, I'd think. 

Thanks, Dan.

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I always squint my eyes at fast-talkers (still haven't used that veggie juicer).  Testing shows that dowels/biscuits/pocket screws are roughly in the same strength range, depending on how you set up the test.  Wood is such an inconsistent material that it's hard to say definitively the absolute strength of any joint, so "in a class" is probably about as close as you get.  One thing that tests do not address:  longevity and creep.  What happens over time?  I have a cheap dowel jig (HF), and I like the way it works on picture frames.  A support stand ("learning tower") that the g-kids will use for years, I used pocket screws, and simply went 150% of reasonable.  The den door that I want to sell the house with, design life 30 years (the buyers', not mine!), I used Mortise and Tenon joint has been used for thousands of years by woodworkers around the world to join pieces of wood, mainly when the adjoining pieces connect at an angle of 90°. In its basic form it is both simple and strong. Although there are many joint variations, the basic mortise and tenon comprises two components: the mortise hole and the tenon tongue. The tenon, formed on the end of a member generally referred to as a rail, is inserted into a square or rectangular hole cut into the corresponding member. The tenon is cut to fit the mortise hole exactly and usually has shoulders that seat when the joint fully enters the mortise hole. The joint may be glued, pinned, or wedged to lock it in place">M&T.  Drawers?  No way I"m doing dovetails!  So "anything but".  I haven't seen any one method that met all needs. 

On the issue of tenons (and expense of Domino tenons):  I just make my own out of Big Box 1/4" material, often oak.  I don't obsess about it because joints actually tend to fail at the bottom of the mortis/hole where the discontinuity of the mortis wood (any sharp corner) will propagate failure. 


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2 hours ago, Stick486 said:

never met a doweled joint that haden't loosed over time...


There was an article many years ago in FineWoodworking about why glue joints fail.  And I've repaired hundreds of them in chairs.


IIRC, it comes down to two points:


1.  There is minimal glue contact area, a circle having minimum circumference per cross section area.   And most of that in one part of the joint be end- or short-grain surfaces.


2. There is a lot of cross-grain construction.   The dowel will shrink and expand in its diameter seasonally.  The part of the wood it's glued into will not shrink and expand in its end grain orientation.  So it tends to pull the already weak glue joint apart.


When I've re-glued chairs, usually by the time I get the corner blocks off, the dowel joints pull apart and often I can pull the dowel pins out with a pair of pliers.







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No argument here. Dowel joints are not the strongest. They work well for alignment purposes, however.

As an aside, as John's Buchannan video illustrates, Windsor chair joints are all dowel type joints.  A well crafted Windsor will last several generations. 

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  • 1 year later...
2 hours ago, BillyJack said:

He seems to be showing something most us already knew. Now I refuse to use a dowel jig that isn't fastened or locked because as drill bits get dull they tend to wonder


Couldn't agree more.  I have one of these and have hated it since the day I got it.  It wanders even with new bits



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