OK woodworkers, time to sell off your biscuit jointer, this new tool from Freud will make it almost obsolete. What Freud has done is taken the carcass of their biscuit jointer and made it into a dowel cutting tool. The unit that we tested uses two different drill sizes, we elected to use the size that was in the unit on receipt. On first looking at the tool we see that it has all the same tool adjustments and settings of any top quality biscuit jointer so this tool can be used almost anywhere a biscuit can be used. We were very excited to test this tool as we were looking for a tool that could do what a biscuit jointer could do, but with more accuracy and this is the tool that can do it. Basically it works the same as any biscuit jointer except that instead of cutting a semi round slot in your wood this unit drills two exact holes. The problem I have always had with biscuit jointers, or at least the biscuits that are used with them is they are far from precision when compared with dowels.
Biscuit jointers are used primarily in aid of joining boards together. The whole problem of joining boards together is that they are often mis-aligned with one another, then we go and add glue to the edges and hope they will glue together perfectly even so that there is little or no sanding needed and the boards align beautifully. Sadly this never happens, no matter how hard we work at it because between the slots cut by the biscuit jointers and fact that the biscuits themselves fit very loosely into the slots, there is lots of room for movement, and once the boards are clamped together they tend to move even more.
Click below to read more and see pictures of the Freud Doweling Tool.
The beauty of using the doweling tool is that the dowels (we used the fluted ones) are much more accurate and fit tightly into the holes made by the dowel cutting tool. We wondered about being able to join long boards together as they would require many holes to be drilled along the length of the both sides. Freud has thought of this too, they have built in a plastic magnified see-through guide that allows a very accurate alignment of the holes to be drilled. We actually found that if we took a moment to ensure we were aligned, the doweling tool made the dowels exactly where they needed to be. When we joined the boards together the dowels lined up perfectly on both sides. This alone is reason to buy one of these tools. Then we tried the tool to see what it would be like for making doors, butt joints, T-joints etc. WOW ... what a fantastic tool. With a bit of glue on the dowels this tool takes door making to a whole new level.
We could only find one problem with the tool, we found it took a fair bit of energy to actually drive the drill bits into the wood. I expect a new designed drill bit would cure this minor problem.To say we loved this tool would be an understatement. I believe this could be the next revolution in tool purchases and certainly, for anyone who is making quality furniture this tool will be a must have.
Copyright Colin Knecht