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the dowl joint

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Jonny Wilkes23/10/2007 17:59:00
6 forum posts
At the last wood working exhibition at alexandra palace I bought a dowl jig called the 'joint genie' I have used it a number of times on various funiture projects and have found it extremely acurate. The dowls line up exactly which forms a well fitting joint but i've read in various books and mags that dowls don't make good joints and in other articles people say as long as you don't have to trim the dowl to get the holes to line up then they are ok. What are other peoples oppinions on dowls or has any one ever had a properly fitting dowl joint foul up?
Mike Riley23/10/2007 20:57:00
337 forum posts
5 photos
5 articles

Dowels are hard to "do" because they require absolute accuracy and precision. If you can pull that off then in my opinion theres absolutely no reason not to use them. IMHO they make a perfectly appropriate joint in some situations. For example Ben Plewes recently posted wall hanging cabinet. In that example there is a back panel in the cabinet adding more strength. But as I say in a case where there is little stress on the carcass, dowels are entirely appropriate I think. Not to mention they were good enough for Mr Krenov...

Cheers Mike

Matthew Platt25/10/2007 07:51:00
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347 forum posts
9 photos

Hidden dowel joinery can be difficult if you don't have the right jigs etc to do it accurately, it is however, an excellent fixing method - especially for man made sheet materials.

Traditional through dowel joinery is a completely different art and is meant to be seen. The joint (usually some variation of a mortice and tenon) is assembled first and then drilled through from the outside. A dowel of similar or contrasting hardwood is inserted and then trimmed off at the end. The results can be stunning; google up some pictures of Sam Maloof's work and you'll see what I mean.

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