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  #21  
Old 04-30-2014, 09:28 AM
Mad Mac Mad Mac is offline
 
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Default Miller Dowels

For dressed up butt joints try Miller Dowels. Simple and easy to use. Once glued their almost indestructible.

http://millerdowel.com/about-us/index.html

mac
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  #22  
Old 04-30-2014, 10:29 AM
jgowrie jgowrie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goblu View Post
I never use the impact driver with pockethole screws, and rarely use it when I'm making furniture for regular screws. I'd use it for 2x4s, or putting up curtain rods, things like that. It's too easy to wreck a piece of cherry or maple. The last time a ph screw broke I was babying it along, trying not to crack the wood. I've read some folks saying that the Kreg screws are not as good as they used to be, breakages and stripping are more common. Not surprising, if so, since few things are as well made as they used to be.
I always use my impact driver for just about every screw I drive, pocket hole or other. A lot of it comes down to feel, I think. If you have an impact driver that has a variable trigger it's pretty easy to get it to drive a screw very accurately. When I first used an impact driver it was like I had a life changing experience and I rarely use a standard driver for anything but drilling now.



But, like you so accurately pointed out - very few things are made as well as they once were... This could start a whole new rant/discussion but I'll just say that the sooner companies start to get control back by manufacturing products in their home country, the better off the consumer will be. This is on Festools page concerning making their products in Germany - “we want it to be good and therefore we do it ourselves.” - I see most American companies more concerned about high profit margins than making a product that will last a "working" lifetime for the end user... they used to care but not so much any more as my pile of "failed" power tools will show when looking at country of manufacture. My American Made products which are twice the age of failed tools are still going strong. Yes... I understand not "every" company that outsources manufacturing is guilty of this but I think the majority of them are. EZ is of course one of the shining lights for the American woodworker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Mac View Post
For dressed up butt joints try Miller Dowels. Simple and easy to use. Once glued their almost indestructible.

http://millerdowel.com/about-us/index.html

mac
I posted this recommendation also. This is a nice system.
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  #23  
Old 04-30-2014, 04:24 PM
Lex Lex is offline
 
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I recently pulled the trigger on a Dowelmax and I love it. The price has come down so that it's competitively priced with the bigger Jessem Paralign dowel jig. I still sometimes use my PC biscuit joiner, but usually it's the Dowelmax. For nice drawers in solid wood, I like box joints. I think they're more attractive than standard router dovetails (by "standard" I mean that the pins and the tails are the same width.) There are times that I will use pocket hole joinery. BTW: McFeely's has better quality pocket hole screws than Kreg.

Last weekend I built two more raised beds for my vegetable garden and this time I used the Dowelmax to join the two-bys together instead of Simpson brackets and screws. I used Titebond III glue and it pulled together very tight with no gaps. I expect that the joints will stay tight for the life of the raised bed.

When I made an entrance door, I used a tradition mortise and tenon joint. I created the tenon with Freud's doormaking router bit set, and cut the mortise with a Forstner drill bit and chiseled out the waste. Now that I have the Dowelmax, I'm considering using two or three rows of dowels in lieu of the M&T.
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  #24  
Old 04-30-2014, 10:44 PM
Goblu Goblu is offline
 
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I've always thought the Miller dowel system looked good. But they don't have a dowel jig to go with it, so I imagine you have to just measure and mark, right? Or maybe one could use an existing jig and the miller bit. Any thoughts from those who like Miller dowels. I like the decorative feature, unlike pocket hole plugs which I just can't bring myself to use as a decorative element. I just don't like the shape of them.
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  #25  
Old 05-01-2014, 08:23 AM
jgowrie jgowrie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goblu View Post
I've always thought the Miller dowel system looked good. But they don't have a dowel jig to go with it, so I imagine you have to just measure and mark, right? Or maybe one could use an existing jig and the miller bit. Any thoughts from those who like Miller dowels. I like the decorative feature, unlike pocket hole plugs which I just can't bring myself to use as a decorative element. I just don't like the shape of them.
Not sure if they came out with a jig to index the hole... when I bought it all you get is the stepped drill bit and a bag of birch dowels. It does require a good eye to line up your drill bit and keep it at the proper angles for a good straight hole. The dowels are about 2-1/4" long that I have and it could be easy enough to mess up a hole on 3/4" material if you aren't paying close attention. It seems like it would make sense for them to offer a guide like the pocket hole systems and hidden dowels offer. It is a stepped drill bit though so maybe it isn't possible for a guide now that I just pictured it in my mind

You need to drill through both pieces at the same time with the Miller system - different from the hidden dowel systems. So it sometimes makes sense to attach the two pieces of wood with 23 gauge pins or a brad nailer to hold their alignment while you concentrate on handling the drilling operation. Sometimes I will glue and brad nail a butt joint and then insert the Miller dowels later.
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  #26  
Old 05-01-2014, 08:33 AM
mjs1 mjs1 is offline
 
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Hi All

Will a dowelled butt joint like the Miller or single row Dowellmax support a good bit of weight such as in a bookcase shelf or will it rip through the upper surface of the horizontal board? That is, does it behave like an integral part of the board as if welded with the weight being transmitted to the dowell portion in the vertical members or not? I can't figure this one out on my own. Thanks.

Marc
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  #27  
Old 05-01-2014, 08:50 AM
Lex Lex is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjs1 View Post
Hi All

Will a dowelled butt joint like the Miller or single row Dowellmax support a good bit of weight such as in a bookcase shelf or will it rip through the upper surface of the horizontal board? That is, does it behave like an integral part of the board as if welded with the weight being transmitted to the dowell portion in the vertical members or not? I can't figure this one out on my own. Thanks.

Marc
The short answer is "it depends". If you are doweling 1/2-inch particle board it won't be as strong as 3/4-inch plywood or solid wood. It also depends on the depth of the dowels and how much material you have left between the dowel and the surface of the shelf. Dowels are plenty strong enough when used properly. The maker of Dowelmax has some videos on YouTube that compare his joints versus other types of joints, such as mortise and tenon, pocket hole screws, biscuits, etc. Suffice it to say that if you use good quality glue and materials, the dowels will hold and be as strong or stronger than the substrate.
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  #28  
Old 05-01-2014, 10:17 AM
TooManyToys TooManyToys is offline
 
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My thoughts are truly a mirror of what John posted above.

I've not had a problem using my impact for home repair, furniture, cabinets, etc. I've probably have more hours with it on motorcycles and automotive use.

Mine is the first 12v 1/4" DeWalt came out with and it's probably 15-20 years old, not as many lb-in as the newer units which may be reason for the lack of issues.

Like John stated, it changed the way I fasten things together and rarely use the drill-drivers like I used to. And it less tiring and stressful to my hands and wrist, something I keep in mind after having to do all the EHS workplace assessments I used to do in the past corporate life.
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  #29  
Old 05-01-2014, 11:46 AM
Dustin B Dustin B is offline
 
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Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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Lex if you like box joints check out this jig.

http://woodgears.ca/box_joint/jig_improved.html

This guy has also done some interesting joint testing (not prompted by any manufacture).

http://woodgears.ca/joint_strength/

And this one is interesting, I'd bet the unnamed dowel jig is the Dowelmax.
http://woodgears.ca/joint_strength/dowel.html

I've got the cheaper Jessem dowel jig and find it works really quite well.

Oh and this test he did had results I didn't expect.

https://woodgears.ca/joint_strength/glue_methods.html

Last edited by Dustin B; 05-01-2014 at 12:15 PM.
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  #30  
Old 05-01-2014, 03:25 PM
mjs1 mjs1 is offline
 
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Thanks Lex

Marc
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