Monday, April 16, 2007
Well, I'm going to start my little tool reviews with a new tidbit called Dowelmax. There has been a ton of discussion on woodworking forums regarding the Festool Domino and Dowelmax. Dowelmax is an ultra precise doweling jig that is toted as being just that. As I'm a sucker for new tools, and while I waited for my Domino to arrive, I gave Dowelmax a call.
The phone was answered by Jim Lindsey, inventor and President of Dowelmax. Jim is one of those instantly likeable guys and as hoped, loves to talk about his tool. I was ready to buy one anyway, but the pitch was inspiring! After about a half hour of impressive descriptions of the process and the tool, I had one put in the mail. I'm in Canada, and the tool was shipped from about 1100 Km away so it arrived within two business days.
First of all, I have to say this. I hate buying tools that present themselves with a catalog of all the other attachments and pariphenalia that you need to buy in order to make it work. When you buy Dowelmax (sold in either 3/8 or 1/4) You get a boatload of stuff with it. The tool that arrived is a beautiful piece of workmanship that I've rarely come across in a tool. It's more like an expensive polished wrench, than the typical cast and rough woodworking jig. It's robust, precise, and feels like a tool that is worth every penny with the manufacturing alone.
Operation of the tool is straight forward and idiot proof. If you follow the method of marking the workpiece and indexing the tool, you can't miss. I mean, you can't miss. I had my 8 year old daughter mark her boards, line up the jig. I drilled the holes as she lined it and **poof**. Perfect joint.
The Dowelmax can be used to make any number of different variations of dowels in ajoining workpieces in several different thickness of wood. Take a look at the Dowelmax Website for some downloadable videos to see how it works. If you want to join wood in an extremely precise and extremely strong fashion, repeatably, then it's a BUY IT, rating!