Old-School Joinery with a New Tool

Freud invited us to an early meeting to present a number of new woodworking related products. Some were router bit designs, some were geared to industrial consumers and one was a new machine designed to properly cut and position holes for dowel joinery, appropriately named a Doweling Joiner.

Dowels aren’t a new concept, but this machine is, at least to the United States market. The best way to explain this tool is to think a biscuit joiner, but for dowels. The tool operates in much the same way and is designed for many of the same uses, such as face-frame construction.

We feel this tool may have more of an impact in the kitchen cabinet area or for those building projects with adjustable shelves. The bits for this joiner are the same bits used in straight-line boring machines; they lock into the tool with set screws and are exactly 32mm or 1-1/4″ apart.

Does 32mm sound familiar? That’s why we think kitchen cabinet builders might jump on this tool right away. The 32mm system is a complete European kitchen cabinet concept that’s been in this country for some time.

As for adjustable shelving, this Doweling Joiner is great for installing the 1/4″ holes for shelf pins. This tool drills two holes at a time (one if you remove and work with a single drill bit) and uses two retractable pins that are fully adjustable to maintain alignment as the holes are drilled. Like with a biscuit joiner, place the base of the tool against a straight edge to keep the holes in a line.

The Doweling Joiner has a 6.5-amp motor, drills for dowels that are from 3/16″ to 1/2″ (5mm , 12mm) and is adjustable for depth up to 1-3/8″. Look for this tool to sell for $329. We’ve been told the Doweling Joiner will be on the market very shortly. And we also noticed that Triton was showing a similar machine in its booth.

– Glen D. Huey