The 2nd Best Joinery Method That Can Do It All!

I have actually been on a quest to discover an alternative option I can suggest to my audiences who don't want to invest the money on a Festool Domino. The Classic 3/8 is the closest thing I can discover that can do whatever the Festool Domino can do plus more!

Get the jig here (affiliate link):.
The majority of people will want the " Classic 3/8 Just".

Here's a playlist I've made on my journey to discover a good system:.

The 2nd Best Joinery Method That Can Do It All!

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  1. the domino comes standard with an extra support to put it upright on a board. But this looks like a pretty good cheaper alternative. You”l loose a bit more time, but it seems reasonable with this one. And for a hobbyist time is not a big issue.

  2. I have been using the Dowelmax for a few years now, I’ve used it in many of my project build videos and it always gets good comments. I love it, it’s my favourite tool in the shop, high quality and very acccurate every time 👍🏼

    1. But it cant self center, right? Feels like you will never drill the holes exactly in the center… since the thickness of a board is never exactly a round number even if its supposed to. So flipping one board and then joining them together would result in the surfaces not aligning exactly anymore in my mind…

    2. ​@@martinsvensson6884 I think the point is the dowelmax references off the same face, no need for self centering.

    3. I think the benefit/advantage is that the check marks remind one of the two reference surfaces so the offset of the holes is consistent for mating pieces. It doesn’t matter if they are 100% on the centreline. I bet a doughnut that no Domino mortise is ever 100% centred…and it doesn’t matter. What matters is the consistent offset to the reference surface of mating pieces for either a tool, (say even biscuit joiner), or a jig, (Dowelmax or home grown). Having used a Domino, and put several mortises where they don’t belong, I can see how this jig can work effectively and better in some ways to ensure alignment and placement. The Domino wiggles as every user will tell you and that is where some error will come in. Do I want both? Yes. Will I buy the Dowelmax and all its accessories before I buy a Domino? Yup.

    4. @@martinsvensson6884 Correct, that’s why you need to keep track of the orientation in which you’re drilling the pieces.

  3. Yes, I want to see a video on the Grizzley Domino machine. Thanks for reviewing this dowel jig, I’ll be getting one. Looking forward to your upcoming video’s on a less expensive shop setup.

    1. Yes also @MakeSomething! Triton also makes some of the dowlling machines and, for reference, Peter Millard @10MinuteWorkshop is on his fourth I think…not all of them the cat’s meow it seems and I would say more polarization than the Domino according to YouTube videos!

  4. I’ve used the dowelmax for years and love it. I have a tip you might like. When dry fitting if using many dowels like you did on the table, espically double rows it can be extremely hard to disassemble. I take some test dowels and lightly sand them and lightly spray paint them a bright color so dryfitting is very easy.

    1. And store bought Domino tenons are the same way. I have about 20 or so of each thickness sanded down for dry fit. I just mark them with a Sharpie. But really you can tell because they are smooth and don’t have the glue crinkles.

  5. Dowelmax is the real deal, the level of precision on the machined parts is insane. The only cons I have comparing it to the Domino is speed, dust collection, and maybe ergonomics. Setup and prep is similar between the two, marking reference faces. Clamping and unclamping slows things down, and the brass knurled knobs and the threaded rods can bust your knuckles if you rush.

  6. Have had the Dowellmax for years. Expensive but worth every penny. Joint comes out perfect every time. I love this tool!!!

  7. That’s a pretty fantastic jig indeed, Dave! 😃
    Thanks for the review!!!
    Stay safe there with your family! 🖖😊

  8. I ve had a dowel max kit I bought on eBay and absolutely love it. It’s not a Festool Domino but it’s solid !!! Great video. And I think we need a video on the grizzly double banger!!!

  9. I love the Wen tools. I have the spindle sander, disc and belt sander and track saw. My next will be the 4214 variable speed drill press. This dowel jig is awesome. So glad you did this video

  10. In addition to the grizzly dowel tool, I would love to see a comparison of the dowelmax to the JessEm. They both seem great and it’s so hard to decide between the two. Maybe one for your nice shop and the other for your budget shop??

    1. Avoid the Jessem. I own one. I bought the Domino to replace it. Unless you only use standard board sizes and never need angled joints.

  11. I have the much older version of the Dowelmax and it’s never let me down. Great video David & yes I would like to see a video about that Grizzly tool. 👍👍🔨🔨

  12. TBH I’m super excited about this wen video! I’ve been trying to kit out my garage shop and those prices are super appealing compared to other brands… the concern is always quality.

  13. My friend and mentor talked me into getting the domino. He was right when he said I’d spend a bunch of money and still always want the domino. Hasn’t got used much lately but it’s amazing when I do need it. However there are times where dowels would make a bit more sense. This looks like an amazing option

  14. I too have used the DowelMax for several years, and love it as well. It’s my go to tool for joinery if I’m not using dados and grooves. For the ‘casual’ user, I suggest keeping the instructions handy. I find that unless I use it regularly I need to remind myself how to set up and align the jig properly to assure good results.

  15. Dave is one of the few people I can actually trust when they are sent something for free to review it

  16. David, one of the best things I did for my DowelMax is taking a set of calipers and scribing centerlines on some of the reference faces. That way you can use it like a typical dowel jig as well.

  17. I’ve owned and used the dowelmax for years and love it. Not only is the tool great but the customer service, in my experience, was great. I bought it years ago and before buying, I contacted the website to ask questions. Not only did they respond BUT they called me on the phone so I could get instant feedback and he answered all of my questions. Great company/product and great video Dave! Happy New Year and stay healthy and safe!

  18. I’ve said it in all the videos comparing the domino to the other joinery systems: I love the dowelmax. It’s literally the only thing keeping me from buying a domino. Amazing jig. Worth investing in extra drill bits so you don’t need to adjust depths as often, and also the 1/4″ guide and block set, and the 1/2″ guide and block set if you’ll be doing bigger or heavier duty projects. I like 1/2″ for big boi seating and things like doors. I can’t say enough good things about this jig.

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