28 May 2011

Modern Joinery

This Is Carpentry has an article by William Thomas about the construction of a number of historic cabinets.  The cabinets are all made out of solid wood,  with mortise and tenon joints and tongue and groove panels.

What caught my attention was that he compares the more traditional approach to alternatives.  The two and more days to make the frames with a mortise and tenon are compared to a 4 hours pocket hole job or a full day Domino job. Domino needs this extra time for clamping.  A dowel job with his unused Newton double spindle borer is estimated to a day and a half.
Looking for other similar systems,  Mafell has the Duo-Dowel System with a very good positioning system,  I see no reason it would not perform as well as the Domino.  This gives a good positioning system half a day advantage over the more traditional spindle borer . And a biscuit joiner is probably in the same time line, positioning happens here partly after cutting.

There is also the new Lamello P-System with its T profile biscuits, making clamping unnecessary.  Lamello seems to say it is so fast that it can be the cheapest.

Not much new here but the article started by mentioning SenClamps (Senco small corrugated fasteners SC1),   I had never heard about them, so I looked further.  I found an article by  Paul Allen Senclamps: The Faster Fasteners (p4) and another setting pocket holes and the Senco corrugated-fastener (SC2) side by side by Jesse Wright  Fast Job-Site Joinery,  with a youtube complement. Both fasteners clamp and hold the workpiece while the glue dries.  The Senclamp can work in corners, and favors harder woods and when set along the grain is very clean.  The corrugated fastener is probably at its best in MDF. And even if the joint can look cheap and I read somewhere that they look unprofessional compared to the workmanship of pocket holes (...),  they must be faster than anything else.

What about me?  With cheaper biscuit joiners, pocket-hole kits and maybe Miller dowels as an exception ,  most of these tools are too expensive for the occasional use and user or it should be that it fits well a style one intends to use repetitively.  I also can justify the acquisition of a Festool Domino if it means that it makes the acquisition of a tablesaw, dado blade, tenoning jig, hollow mortiser, ...  unnecessary.