Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 28 of 28

Thread: Dowels, Krenov and new FWW

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia.
    Posts
    91
    When I was purely a hobbiest woodworker I would have possibly agreed with the anti-dowel brigade, but now, having worked in the industry for a few years I have moderated my views on 'lesser' joinery. While he was an 'idealist' cabinet-maker, Krenov did earn a living from his work so expediency must have always been at least at the back of his mind. Remember the old engineering adage: "Anyone can build a bridge that will stand up, it takes an engineer to build a bridge that will just stand up." I personally have to resist the urge to over-build everything myself.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South of Houston
    Posts
    96
    Man, you guys make me feel better already.

    I guess I will go buy that Festool Domino after all.

    I have made a few M&T joints in my life and I still do but after reading this thread and eyeing what the Domino can do, I think I may just pull the trigger.

    I have started to put a premium on my time since I have less and less of it, the older I get!!!!

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Posts
    2,041
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post
    Not picking on you Cody, but I'd like to use that perspective to ask something. If JK did it wrong, does it make it right?
    First, I'm not exactly a Krenov acolyte but I do admire the man's accomplishments, his opinionated manner and his contributions to woodworking.

    Secondly, Steve, this is a forum and as such, differing opinions are not only inevitable but necessary to keep things interesting. I certainly don't view your opinion as "picking on me."

    Now, to answer your question; no, if JK did it wrong it would be wrong...period. But, in this case, I do not believe it is wrong.

    Someone made a comparison of a modern bridge to an older bridge. I'll take that comparison further...a modern bridge to a Roman bridge. There are bridges still standing that were built by the Romans. They were and are very strong, even after a couple thousand years. But, they were overbuilt and were wasteful of material and labor compared to a modern bridge.

    I look at Krenov's use of dowels the same way. If a faster, easier method of joinery, that is still plenty strong and aesthetically correct will work, why use the more laborious method?

    Remember, Krenov was first and foremost a cabinetmaker and his entire life's reputation was based upon quality work. The reason I wrote that I would take his word on the joinery was because I feel he could not afford, both professionally and personally to use or recommend an inferior joint for a specific application.

    Now, if someone chose to use dovetails for the same application because their superior strength satisfied a desire to use the strongest joint possible, regardless of need, then that's not wrong, either. It's simply a personal choice.

    BTW, I don't really like doweled joints, myself.

    Oh yeah, I did know what "acolyte" meant.
    Cody


    Logmaster LM-1 sawmill, 30 hp Kioti tractor w/ FEL, Stihl 290 chainsaw, 300 bf cap. Solar Kiln

  4. #19
    Just FWIW, I don't think JK used dowels for reasons of expediency or efficiency. He was well known for being a meticulous artisan who absolutely would not compromise either his designs or his ideals. One might question this looking at the planes he made and ask "Then why didn't he cut his plane bodies out of solid blocks instead of taking the "easy way" out and laminating them?" But he had a different way of looking at tools just as he had a different way of looking at everything else. He was unquestionably unique in both his style and his approach.
    David DeCristoforo

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, Md
    Posts
    1,785
    An I say again, Krenov did not say dowels were the 'only joint I use' he always stated he used them where they seemed appropriate. And if you read any of his works, in all of his work he considered SO many things before assembly. seasonal movement, what the piece would be used for, the type of wood....so when he used dowels, they were good for that joint. Arguing it _vs_ dovetails is silly. They are both good joints when used properly and at the correct time.
    "The element of competition has never worried me, because from the start, I suppose I realized wood contains so much inspiration and beauty and rhythm that if used properly it would result in an individual and unique object." - James Krenov


    What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say. -R. W. Emerson

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Darien, Ga
    Posts
    166
    Why fight it.........buy a dowelmax or joint genie and get on with it!! I got the joint genie and love it.........

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South of Houston
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by James Manning View Post
    Why fight it.........buy a dowelmax or joint genie and get on with it!! I got the joint genie and love it.........
    Because I prefer the larger gluing area and added strength of the Festool tenons, the adjustability of the size, and no loose jigs required to line up your cuts. In many ways, it performs like a bisquit joiner and we all know how fast it is to use a tool like that.

  8. #23
    I'm with Brad. I don't own a Domino but I would grab one in lieu of a doweling jig any day. I have never liked doweling jigs. Too fussy. As Brad points out, the Domino is fast, easy to use and the wide "tenons" offer much more "long grain" gluing surface. I cannot see how dowels could ever be considered more "respectable" no matter who uses them.
    David DeCristoforo

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    66,194
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Willard View Post
    Wouldn't a dowel be considered just a variation of the mortise and tenon? A type of loose tenon?
    Bingo!
    ------

    Folks, sometimes I think that many of us attribute too much to certain techniques over others and even over-analyze things in an attempt to identify "which is better". We even confuse "looks good" with "does the job".

    There is no one "best way" to build most projects when it comes to woodworking. We have many choices and within certain limits, if we execute the method we choose well, the end result will be just what it needs to be.

    We idolize the dovetail (and when done well, it's not only beautiful, but very strong) but sometimes forget that there is beauty in totally hidden joinery, too. Some makers purposely hide their joinery and I wouldn't be surprised in the least that there are many, many pieces of fine furniture "out there" that are constructed in ways that we might say, "Huh??" to if we only knew. I really got a chuckle from some comments in another thread about the non-dovetail drawer article in the same issue of Fine Woodworking. It's an attractive and strong method for building drawers, yet because it's not the worshiped dovetail, it's a ridiculous thing to have in a magazine by that name. Sorry, I disagree...it's just different. And I may just try it for my next furniture project.

    I really enjoyed the articles on Krenov's techniques and liked the fact that he was perfectly happy to do things his own way. We should all try to keep an open mind when it comes to joinery and other techniques...and also try them. Even if we don't prefer something new in the long run, the mere fact of trying it out is an opportunity to learn something.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, Md
    Posts
    1,785
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Bingo!
    ------

    Folks, sometimes I think that many of us attribute too much to certain techniques over others and even over-analyze things in an attempt to identify "which is better". We even confuse "looks good" with "does the job".

    There is no one "best way" to build most projects when it comes to woodworking. We have many choices and within certain limits, if we execute the method we choose well, the end result will be just what it needs to be.
    ....We should all try to keep an open mind when it comes to joinery and other techniques...and also try them. Even if we don't prefer something new in the long run, the mere fact of trying it out is an opportunity to learn something.
    Jim,

    Well said.

    Keith
    "The element of competition has never worried me, because from the start, I suppose I realized wood contains so much inspiration and beauty and rhythm that if used properly it would result in an individual and unique object." - James Krenov


    What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say. -R. W. Emerson

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Western Nebraska
    Posts
    4,680
    Jim, Keith, I have to disagree, cordially of course. I do think there is just one best way to complete any given project. Given no limits on time or money, there will most certainly be an optimum. In reality though, that utopian ideal may not fly. That's why I framed the initial question the way that I did. I was curious what the jury thought of my self taught assumption that dovetails where best for this joint using the criteria that it was to be used on an heirloom, not some short lifed trinket.

    I have an answer for that, and I do want to compliment you folks for your level headed respones to what could have turned into quite an argument.

    My new theory is, I was right, I'm going to keep doing it the way that I have been.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    5,046
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Bingo!
    ------

    Folks, sometimes I think that many of us attribute too much to certain techniques over others and even over-analyze things in an attempt to identify "which is better". We even confuse "looks good" with "does the job".

    There is no one "best way" to build most projects when it comes to woodworking. We have many choices and within certain limits, if we execute the method we choose well, the end result will be just what it needs to be.

    We idolize the dovetail (and when done well, it's not only beautiful, but very strong) but sometimes forget that there is beauty in totally hidden joinery, too. Some makers purposely hide their joinery and I wouldn't be surprised in the least that there are many, many pieces of fine furniture "out there" that are constructed in ways that we might say, "Huh??" to if we only knew. I really got a chuckle from some comments in another thread about the non-dovetail drawer article in the same issue of Fine Woodworking. It's an attractive and strong method for building drawers, yet because it's not the worshiped dovetail, it's a ridiculous thing to have in a magazine by that name. Sorry, I disagree...it's just different. And I may just try it for my next furniture project.

    I really enjoyed the articles on Krenov's techniques and liked the fact that he was perfectly happy to do things his own way. We should all try to keep an open mind when it comes to joinery and other techniques...and also try them. Even if we don't prefer something new in the long run, the mere fact of trying it out is an opportunity to learn something.
    Agreed. To me after 34 years of making wood smaller, I believe that there is always a better way, and what keeps me going is the persuit of perfection, using the knowledge of others "and" what I have observed myself.

    I respect what Krenov accomplished but I do not believe in putting people on a pedestal. It obscures objectivity. Maloff may come as close to a woodworking god as anyone for me, he had a way of making everything flow naturally that I truely admire. Either way it is important for all of us to learn lessons from our own work, rather than following blindly.

    For example the vaulted dovetail joint is far from perfect, and I would say it is visually interesting but not the strongest joint. For on there is no long grain to long grain gluing surface, by its design it is a end grain to end grain joint, and end grain does not make a strong joint. I will go with the simple box joint for my own projects, but as customers expect dovetails on peices that cost as much as mine, I do dovetails on commisions. In looking at countless peices of old furniture over the years one thing stands out, dovetails fail. Because of their cuts they do not just fall apart, but they are loose most often and I do not find them to be ideal. In my shop I have a bench with dovetailed drawers, and one with box joints. The dovetailed drawers are relitively small, and so carry little weight, the box joint drawers are 2' square, and carry well over 100#s, especially the drawers with the clamps. I treat them roughly because I am trying to make a living here, both sets of drawers were built to the same standards of fit [tight], same species and yet the dovetail drawers are all loose, and the larger box joints are still intact, every single one. So what conclusion should I draw?

    The most impressive joint I have seen in drawer construction is the Pin and Cresent joint. I have not seen one that was loose, and all of the pieces that have it are old. The machines that performed them in the eighteen hundreds were huge, and it is a hard joint to do with hand tools efficiently, but someday I am going to make a jig setup.

    In my spare time.......

    Just my opinion, and in no way affiliated with this station.....

    Gotta get to work....

    Larry

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, Md
    Posts
    1,785
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Edgerton View Post
    ...

    The most impressive joint I have seen in drawer construction is the Pin and Cresent joint. I have not seen one that was loose, and all of the pieces that have it are old. The machines that performed them in the eighteen hundreds were huge, and it is a hard joint to do with hand tools efficiently, but someday I am going to make a jig setup.

    In my spare time.......

    Just my opinion, and in no way affiliated with this station.....

    Gotta get to work....

    Larry

    http://woodworker.com/fullpres.asp?P...1&LARGEVIEW=ON

    Here ya go !
    "The element of competition has never worried me, because from the start, I suppose I realized wood contains so much inspiration and beauty and rhythm that if used properly it would result in an individual and unique object." - James Krenov


    What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say. -R. W. Emerson

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •