We are starting a series of updates to our Incredible Woodworking Joints page that will include a video demonstration by Jim of the joint construction. This week features double and triple row multiple dowel joints. These types of wood joints are sufficiently strong that we consider them overkill for most applications, however we have customers that have used them successfully to build exterior doors, workbenches and large beds. For more information and a link to the video, please visit Incredible Woodworking Joints
A question arose the other day about the differences in precision between the crank type lift and the Dowelmax lift. My answer is twofold. (1) While precision is usually advantageous, it’s not always necessary. (2) With my particular router I’m able to achieve a .002 inch cut.
Regarding (1) the crank type system works well, but it’s laborious, and in my opinion over engineered. From my experience the most accurate requirement involves routed and mitered profiles. These must marry properly or a disaster will result. I mill all the rails to the same width and thickness, then I route all the rails at the same time. At that point I’m assured a perfect match. To illustrate a point I could then repeat the process with the router bit at a position .060″ higher and it wouldn’t matter, because again they’d all be identical. Repeatability is the answer in this case, not precision.
Regarding (2) I’ve been using routers for decades now and while I certainly don’t consider myself an expert I do think that a two thousandths adjustment obtainable from the router body is precision enough, and something I’ve never actually needed in years of furniture design and construction.
Hi Jim. Very observant, not too many people pick up on that aspect of the test. I suppose it’s kind of unusual, but all our tests are carried out in the most honest way possible. That one was a shock, it was carried out in the office and didn’t just fail, it exploded. Luckily my wife was out at the time.