Furniture & Cabinetmaking
shopnotes dowelmax 
New review from the prestigious UK magazine Furniture & Cabinet Maker

CWW Strength Test
shopnotes dowelmax 
Canadian Woodworking Strength Test: Dowel joints are fast, easy and flexible to make, but how strong are they? We put this popular joint through some tests to figure out if they are as good as they seem.


The Complete Project Wood Joinery System | Professionally Strength Test Proven Stronger than Mortise and Tenon | Changing the Way People Build Furniture and Cabinets | Free Step-by-Step Furniture Project Instructions

  • Dowelmax Kit
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  • View Tape Gauge
  • Crown Moulding
  • Dresser Construction 
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  • Amazon 5 Star

Dowelmax multiple dowel wood joinery system package contents.

The Dowelmax Classic package is comprised of the main Dowelmax jig device and accessory parts as shown above, and is a highly adjustable and versatile wood joinery system enabling the professional and amateur woodworker to create precision wood joints for entire fine furniture and cabinet projects in the fastest time possible, with complete accuracy and amazing strength. Dowelmax wood joints can be of any configuration from 3/4"x3/4" to 4"x4" and of any length. The Dowelmax is assembled using top quality CNC machined parts made from 6061 aluminum, furnace hardened steel and hard yellow brass. All Dowelmax parts have a toleranceof +/- .001" to ensure accurate function, ease of application and stability.
  • 3 Times Stronger than Biscuits
  • 90% Less Time than Mortise and Tenon with Proven Greater or Equal Strength
Dowelmax dowel jig in 4x4 type wood joint configuration.
Dowelmax in the 4x4 configuration as shown is used to precisely locate closely spaced dowel holes in thick workpieces up to 4"x4" such as for a coffee table leg or bed head/footboard . The supplied spacers are used to create different offsets for the mating workpieces that are attached. The index pin can be used to extend the joint along any length with practically no measuring required. The workpiece thickness capacity of Dowelmax can be increased from 4 inches by use of standard 5/16-18 x 36" threaded rod. Optional 1/8 spacers or extra 3/8, 3/4 or 1-5/8 spacers can be purchased, or additional shop made wood spacers can be utilized for an infinite variety of widths and offsets.


Dowelmax dowel jig in face type wood joint configuration.
Dowelmax in the face joint configuration as shown is used to precisely locate closely spaced dowel holes into the face of a board such as used when constructing a cabinet carcass. The distance gauge accessory is used to position the Dowelmax along the length of the board to position multiple groups of two dowels every 6-8 inches for strength with practically no measuring required. To set up the face joint configuration from the normal configuration, the clamp bracket is detached from the reference block and re-attached to the underside of the reference bracket.

Dowelmax dowel jig in T-type wood joint configuration.

Dowelmax in the T-joint configuration as shown is used to construct frameworks where there are T type joints inside the framework to provide additional stability and strength. This configuration enables the use of Dowelmax where it is not possible to clamp on the full configuration. The reference block can be detached from the angle bracket to be used for shelving inside cabinets by clamping it directly to a straight edge which is itself clamped to the face of a board. Further instructions and pictures can be found on the navigation panel to the left under "shelving". The angle bracket can be used to mount a shop made accessory for purposes of creating angled joints. Further pictures and instruction on this can be found on the navigation panel to the left under "angle joints".

Dowelmax dowel jig in edge type joint configuration.

Dowelmax main body components are made from 6061 T6 aircraft aluminum processed on CNC machines in multiple separate operations. The 1.750" long drill guides are CNC bored, furnace hardened to 57 Rc and black oxide coated requiring multiple processes. No Dowelmax guides in the field have found to be worn in ten years of production and use. The clamp and adjustment screws are custom machined from top quality hard yellow brass. Current Dowelmax units have improved larger 7/8" clamp knobs for greater clamping force that is easier to apply.


Dowelmax Jr. multiple dowel wood joinery system package contents.
The new Dowelmax Jr. package consists of the core jig components of the world famous Dowelmax Classic, and is the best system on the market for creating flush, miter, face type, t-type and edge-to-edge lamination joints. Using the included precision machined spacers, or using simple shop made spacers, the Dowelmax Jr. can be adjusted to complete any offset joint, and center on any thickness. Additional precision machined spacers are available as optional parts. The Jr. is fully compatible with, and upgradeable to the Dowelmax classic system using optional precision machined parts from Dowelmax.

Universal Tape Gauge by Dowelmax

(Patent Fully Insured and Protected Against Infringement)

The Universal Tape Gauge is now available in Lee Valley and Woodcraft Stores

UTG with tape measure

Universal Tape Gauge



Where did you find out about the UTG

Old Method of Inside Measurement


  • The old inaccurate method of taking an approximate inside measurement.
New Method for Inside Measurement with UTG
  • The new UTG method for taking an inside measurement that is accurate to within 1/64 of an inch.
  • INSIDE MEASUREMENT: To obtain a precise inside measurement, extend tape so outer surface of tape hook and rear stop touch inner surfaces
  • Take precise reading from crosshair, then:
Outside Measurement using UTG For an accurate outside measurement, subtract 1 inch from the measurement shown by the UTG crosshair.
  • OUTSIDE MEASUREMENT: To obtain a precise outside measurement (using crosshair) hook tape over edge of workpiece, butt forward stop against side of workpiece.
  • Take precise reading from crosshair, then:
Tape Gauge Package
  • Accurate inside and outside measurements
  • More accurate measurements for professionals, hobbyists, woodworkers, furniture makers, contractors, and many other users
  • Adjust to within thousands of an inch using rear stop
  • MSRP: $15.99

  • Precise measurements for crown moulding, baseboards, studs, cabinets, furniture, drawer openings, tapered surfaces, shelf units, area calculation etc.
  • Compatible with 99% of all existing tape measures`

  • Extend and lock tape, then install your tape measure into carrier with tape extending under lens as shown above.
  • Compatible with 99% of all existing tape measures`
  • To mark work piece for cut, hook tape over edge. Lock tape at desired size. For precise measurement, reading from the crosshair, add 1 inch to the desired size.
  • Use sharp pencil and angle pencil on 10 degree beveled UTG Forward Stop to obtain most accurate result. Mark work piece.
  • CALIBRATION: To calibrate Universal Tape Gauge for inside measurement within thousandths of an inch, use digital caliper set at (eg.) 6 inches. Reading from the cross hair, set the tape to inch and ten calibrate the UTG using the allen screw UTG Rear Stop

4 Dowel application on crown moulding

Flawless crown moulding joint ready for
priming and painting.

Dowelmax Built Dresser


Dowelmax Magazine Review Excerpts

"For about one-third the Domino's price you could get a Dowelmax, which ran toe-to-toe with the Domino for accuracy and indexing ability. ... Strength of Dowel Joint Grade: A; Ease of Alignment Grade: A-; Speed of Making a Joint Grade: B; Versatility Grade:B+".
"Loose Tenon Tools" Wood Magazine, July 2007

"A close look reveals a well-thought-out and versatile design …. the interchangeable accessories make it possible to use dowel joints in any situation. The Dowelmax produced precise wood joints for our reviewer".
Fine Woodworking Magazine, October 2004

"Best doweling jig we've ever used. The Dowelmax doweling jig is dead-on accurate and a breeze to use…completely reversible with no loss of accuracy".
BH&G Wood Magazine, May 2003

"Taking Doweling to a New Level. This meticulously manufactured doweling jig offers a level of precision, stability and versatility not previously available".
Popular Woodworking Magazine, December 2003

"The Dowelmax is a well engineered, professional quality jig that will provide years of service."
Canadian Woodworking, Feb. 2002

"First, it boosts the accuracy of drilled holes so parts come together with piston-like precision."
Toronto Star, April 2002

See one of our many great customer reviews on the Sawmill Creek Woodworkers Forum!


Dowelmax Inventor Jim Lindsay in his workshop building fine furniture with the Dowelmax dowel jig.

I invented the Dowelmax to simplify the creation of strong, perfect wood joints for building furniture. The design of  the Dowelmax, coupled with the rigorously maintained manufacturing tolerances of  +/- .001 inches for the 36 aluminum, brass and steel components making up the kit, ensures that the Dowelmax is accurate and repeatable from workpiece to workpiece and through any adjustment.

We guarantee that dowel joints made with the Dowelmax are stronger than mortise and tenon joints, and that the Dowelmax Kit is more accurate and versatile than any mortise and tenon or loose tenon wood joinery system. If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase of a Dowelmax Kit for any reason, you may return it within 60 days for a full refund.
Yours truly,

Jim Lindsay, C.Eng.M.I.Mar.E.
President, Dowelmax

The Dowelmax Kit is UNCONDITIONALLY GUARANTEED to be a 5 star wood joinery system that will create:

  • multiple dowel wood joints for fine furniture that are the strongest of any joinery system on the market!
  • multiple dowel wood joints for fine furniture that have the greatest accuracy and precision compared to any wood joinery system on the market!
  • multiple dowel wood joints for fine furniture that are of virtually any configuration providing the greatest versatility of any wood joinery system on the market!
  • multiple dowel wood joints for fine furniture that are among the safest to create!
  • multiple dowel wood joints for fine furniture that are easily created in as little as five minutes or less!