Pros: Easy to use and accurate
I hated the part of woodworking where the best way of joining two pieces of wood was by using wooden dowels.. The problem is that both parts have to have very accurate holes drilled in them so that the dowel fits snugly and the parts are aligned the way you want them. Even with a very good drill press and a horizontal boring machine (Shop Smith) I found myself hating to make dowel joints. They were just very difficult to get right for the fine projects I wanted to use this joinery method on. I probably wasted more money than most in ruined wood and various jigs that promised to make the doweling job easy. Then I found the Wolfcraft Dowel Pro and doweling suddenly became a good method for me.
Wolfcraft Dowel Pro
With my Wolfcraft jig and a selection of brad point bits the mystery of perfect dowel holes was solved. The package included two clamps that would handle wood up to 1 1/4" thick. It also, of course, included the Dowel Pro itself. The hole guides in this jig have pre-aligned hardened steel bushings for long life. The guide holes accommodate dowels of 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8" diameter. Also included in the package were an assortment of Wolfcraft wooden dowels in the same sizes. Another important part of making holes for dowels is that they be of correct depth. For this the kit includes three stops to place on your own provided drill bits, also in all three sizes. Wolfcraft recommends brad point bits. There is also a brief manual that clearly, with words and illustrations, shows how to accomplish edge joining, corner (box) joinery , and T joinery (for shelves to a side board for example.) The jig and its associated clamps are precision built. The jig and clamp are designed so that each can be clamped to a work table edge for most of the operations. The board clamp is removable for T-joints. In edge to edge joining, perhaps the best place to use dowels, both boards can be drilled at once.
Let's take a woodworking operation that requires two boards to be placed side-to-side to get enough width for a project. Place the two boards in their joined position with the good faces up. Mark one board "A" and the other "B". Making sure the ends of the boards are aligned, use a square to draw lines across both boards where the dowels should be placed. Clamp board "A" to a work table with its good face up using the jig and the support clamp. Place board "B", good face down, above board "A" on the clamp and jig. After making sure the ends of the boards are aligned and one of the drawn lines are centered with the correct jig hole size, clamp it down. Select the drill bit diameter that matches the diameter of the dowels that are being used. Fasten the provided stop to the bit. This is one place I messed up early on. The stop should be rotated until its set screw is over one of the grooves in the bit before it is tightened. I set it over the thick part and it moved when drilling. Not a good way to make even depth holes. Finally, select the proper hole diameter in the jig and drill. The provided dowels have grooves down the sides. This gives excess glue a place to go when inserting the dowels.
Wolfcraft was started in West Germany in 1949. It grew to become one of the two top providers of woodworking accessories in Europe. In 1979, Wolfcraft expanded to cover North America, where their innovative and well built accessories have also made them a leader. Wolfcraft has made some very innovative accessories over the years. This one is no exception.