woodsmoke

Dowelmax ... Accurate?

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I was reading some posts that had a ford/chevy tone comparing the Dowelmax and Domino tools. Several guys accused the Dowelmax of not being accurate.

I found this surprising since it is self clamping, where the Domino is not.

The Domino may cut tenons on complex angles (I really don't know), but for plain vanilla joints, the Dowelmax looks like a great tool for the money.

Am I missing something? Thanks

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It's more like Ford/Ferrari...but they both get you to the same place eventually.

Nothing wrong with the Dowelmax if that's the route you wanna go.  It's a nice jig and will create nice joints.  But it's not nearly as fast or versatile as a Domino.  Two different animals.  In fact the only thing they have in common is they both make joints.

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I've used my dowelmax about twice and my domino hundreds of times.  I find the dowelmax to be accurate but, about 100 times slower than the domino.  

I also find the domino to be every bit as accurate as anything else I've used.  As long as long as you work from the same reference surface, it's plenty accurate.

There's also a pretty big difference in cost!

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Thanks for the replies.

I have not seen how the Domino sets up, but looking at Dowelmax videos, it does not appear particularly time consuming to set up and drill holes.

On a production shop, I can imagine the Domino being much faster.

My guess is that the Dowelmax works well for the hobbyist shop for speed, accuracy and solid joint results.

The domino for a 100 piece panel job, a boat load of joints, and a paid operator.

 

 

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Even as a hobbyist, I value my time and that's why I have the domino.  The price difference is a tough pill to swallow so, can appreciate the lure of the dowelmax. 

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I think the real difference is, the domino is essentially a mortise and tenon joint (that also replaces the need for biscuits). Where the dowelmax is well...dowels. There is a distinct difference if you look at it that way. Not to mention the domino can easily do mortise and tenons in angled stock that would traditionally be very time consuming. Dowels have their place, and an argument can be made that they would work just as well in most situations, but fast accurate mortise and tenons without sacrificing strength has a price tag. As far as a domino goes, I've yet to hear one person say, after buying one, they wish they didn't.

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I don't have a dowelmax, but I do have a Jessem Paralign which works the same way by referencing a single edge of the work piece.

These types of jigs are extremely accurate.  They have to be or you would never get all the dowels to line up.

The domino has a function that allows you to make the width of the mortise wider than the tenon.   This is to allow for inaccuracy in the length placement of a string of dowels.

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1 hour ago, Hurricane Dry said:

 

The domino has a function that allows you to make the width of the mortise wider than the tenon.   This is to allow for inaccuracy in the length placement of a string of dowels.

This is to allow one side loose tenoning in cross grain wide joinery such as bread board ends. I cannot make your two sentences in this paragraph make logical sense. You seem to confuse the two systems. Can you clarify what you intended?

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1 minute ago, C Shaffer said:

This is to allow one side loose tenoning in cross grain wide joinery such as bread board ends. I cannot make your two sentences in this paragraph make logical sense. You seem to confuse the two systems. Can you clarify what you intended?

Second sentence should have stated a string of loose tenons not dowels or in the case of using the mortise widening feature that would be loose loose tennons.

If you want a long string of dowels with a Dowelmax or Jessem Paralign such as joining a frameless cabinet, the distance can be spaced using a pin in a dowel hole to space the jig linearly.

The domino can be used in similar fashion with the outrigger.  On shorter joints the domino uses the outboard alignment pins on each edge of the work piece, so the linear placement is only as accurate as the width of the work piece.  The domino can be set to make the mortise longer so that any variance in the work piece width will still allow the joint to be asembled. 

Dowelmax and Jessem Paralign use either the built in spacing from the drill bushings or the linear pin spacer that is analagous to the Domino outrigger.  The dowel jigs must put the holes at precise distance or you would never get the joint together since there is no way to make a loose dowel hole and end up with a good dowel joint.

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I install my dowels with another jig, not the Dowelmax. Let's me make 6 holes in a row, without indexing.

Dowels are a good jointing method. So are Dominoes.

But Dominoes are easier to set. And more expensive. And Festool.

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22 minutes ago, shaneymack said:

How many times a month are we going to do the dowels vs domino debate?? Sheeesh......!!

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

As long as it takes...

 

 

(...for all of us to get a Domino)

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How many times a month are we going to do the dowels vs domino debate?? Sheeesh......!!

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

As long as it takes...

 

 

(...for all of us to get a Domino)

Well that's worth it! Please proceed....

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

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My local woodworking studio (which has since closed - boo) had a domino. I would load up all my milled stock and drive the hour to pay $8/hr to use it and considered that a bargain! I am not looking forward to my next project when I am back to normal mortises...

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I have a dowelmax and have used it quite a bit. There was almost no learning curve. It's dead accurate, very easy to use and quick. I buy the larger dowels from woodcrafters for bigger joints and the smaller dowels for alignment panel glue ups.

I read the discussions on strength testing and ease of use before buying it and I'm happy I did. For most real world applications I think the arguments of which joint is stronger don't matter. Dowels are essentially loose tenons just like dominos. The jig makes it pretty easy to line up multiple dowels if you want to go over kill.

I may eventually get a domino down the line but really can't justify the benefit of a minute faster at this time. I can see there would be a benefit in a production type environment

The dowelmax is also much easier to use and much better made then any other doweling jig I have ever used. It's also much more expensive but still much cheaper the domino.

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11 hours ago, logos said:

 

I have a dowelmax and have used it quite a bit. There was almost no learning curve. It's dead accurate, very easy to use and quick. I buy the larger dowels from woodcrafters for bigger joints and the smaller dowels for alignment panel glue ups.

I read the discussions on strength testing and ease of use before buying it and I'm happy I did. For most real world applications I think the arguments of which joint is stronger don't matter. Dowels are essentially loose tenons just like dominos. The jig makes it pretty easy to line up multiple dowels if you want to go over kill.

I may eventually get a domino down the line but really can't justify the benefit of a minute faster at this time. I can see there would be a benefit in a production type environment

The dowelmax is also much easier to use and much better made then any other doweling jig I have ever used. It's also much more expensive but still much cheaper the domino.

Logos, I think you nailed it. From what I have read so far, your post makes perfect sense.

Thanks for the conformation and clarity.

 

 

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On 1/2/2016 at 4:10 PM, TIODS said:

Even as a hobbyist, I value my time and that's why I have the domino.  The price difference is a tough pill to swallow so, can appreciate the lure of the dowelmax. 

This is something for everyone to answer, how much is your time worth?

On 1/3/2016 at 10:32 PM, logos said:

 

I have a dowelmax and have used it quite a bit. There was almost no learning curve. It's dead accurate, very easy to use and quick. I buy the larger dowels from woodcrafters for bigger joints and the smaller dowels for alignment panel glue ups.

I read the discussions on strength testing and ease of use before buying it and I'm happy I did. For most real world applications I think the arguments of which joint is stronger don't matter. Dowels are essentially loose tenons just like dominos. The jig makes it pretty easy to line up multiple dowels if you want to go over kill.

I may eventually get a domino down the line but really can't justify the benefit of a minute faster at this time. I can see there would be a benefit in a production type environment

The dowelmax is also much easier to use and much better made then any other doweling jig I have ever used. It's also much more expensive but still much cheaper the domino.

I suspect that by the time I can afford a domino the patent will have run out and there will be competitors versions of it available for much less.

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16 minutes ago, ponderingturtle said:

This is something for everyone to answer, how much is your time worth?

I suspect that by the time I can afford a domino the patent will have run out and there will be competitors versions of it available for much less.

I value my time, perhaps not as much as I should though.

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On 1/3/2016 at 6:02 PM, shaneymack said:

How many times a month are we going to do the dowels vs domino debate?? Sheeesh......!!

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

Every weekend til everybody owns one, apparently...

2 hours ago, ponderingturtle said:

I suspect that by the time I can afford a domino the patent will have run out and there will be competitors versions of it available for much less.

Just curious, does anyone know when the patent ends, or how long tool patents tend to last?  Someone mentioned the other day that the ridgid patent for their spindle sander was up, (grizz is now making a similar one) so it was on my mind...

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It's very much a personal decision.  Only you can decide what your time is worth, what your pocketbook has in it, and if it's right for you.  

Yes, I own one (both actually ;)) but, I don't own stock in the green koolaid so you buying does nothing for me.

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I have the jessem paralign (very similar to the dowelmax) and domino 500. I first purchased the doweling jig and used if for several years before getting the domino.  When I want extreme accuracy, I reach for the jessem jig.  I may still have a learning curve on the domino but can't quite get the same accuracy with it.  The jessem paralign doweling jig is a great tool, if I had limited funds and could only pick one, I would chose the doweling jig over the domino. The doweling jig is however much slower.

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19 hours ago, JosephThomas said:

Every weekend til everybody owns one, apparently...

Just curious, does anyone know when the patent ends, or how long tool patents tend to last?  Someone mentioned the other day that the ridgid patent for their spindle sander was up, (grizz is now making a similar one) so it was on my mind...

20 years.  Of course there are issues with when the patent was issues vs introduced to the market.  But I figure it will run out in 10-12 years.

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