112 – How to Build a Drill Charging Station using the DowelMax

Original post on our site with additional information, plans, questions & comments:

During my recent shop healing session, I realized I needed a better way to store my drills and chargers. This simple wall-hanging box did the trick. I also wanted to make the project fast and easy, so I decided to try out the DowelMax for the first time. The system is a breeze to use and produces strong reliable joints in just a fraction of the time it takes to create a traditional mortise and tenon.

Fee free to download the SketchUp Drawing for this project if you want to make your own. But I encourage you to use this as a starting point and build upon it. If I had more time and space, I definitely would have added a few drawers for additional storage. Also, be sure to check out the new Enduro-Var Water-Based Urethane I used on this project.

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24 Comments

  1. i like the jessem better

  2. Price, of course, is just awesome! For that kind of money, I am ready to make a jig similar quality! In Ukraine 300 dollars – it’s a little less than the average monthly salary.

  3. Wolfcraft’s Dowelmaster (20 euros) or Silverline’s 508819 pocket jig (7.50 euros) are cheaper and get the job done faster. Their only (arguable) disadvantage is that they don’t work as spacers, but you can drill the holes with any spacing and then just transfer their position from one piece to the other using the jig itself (so that’s actually an advantage if you want full control over the dowel spacing).

  4. If it went on that side, it wouldn’t increase the distance between the fence and the holes.

  5. you didn’t understand my point

  6. Been using the Dowelmax as my primary joinery system since it was first introduced years ago  … goodbye biscuits.

    If you convert, just make sure you do a better job applying the glue to the holes and dowels [I prefer fluted over spiral].

    For strength and alignment, WW went overboard with the dowels.  But, at $0.03 apiece, when you’re having that much fun, who cares.

    WW should have mentioned that the “check marks” are there to register the holes off the important references surfaces.  For example, with glue ups you want the reference surfaces to be the top such that any variations [not the jig’s fault] are underside.

    There’s also an “extender” to register the jig down the length of board, e.g. two dowels, skip a foot, two dowels, skip a foot, etc etc.

    The DowelMax is limited to 3/8″ diam; I have the 1/4″ inserts too; you can make a similar jig for 1/2″ and 5/8″ dowels for 4x projects but I find myself using two or three row of 3/8 plugs.

    Also those alum spacers … anything will do.  I have made a set from hardwoods in 1/16″ increments to complement those in the package.

    Great tool.

  7. Hey Marc this is an interesting project and love the whole buiding process; just wanted to tell you that some times there are some moments in any video that can lend to some sort of distraction or even a miss leading info in a worst case scenario, thing is when you are sight following all of the details that come around the step you are showing in, and something gets kinda in the way and disrupts the principal idea to show at that precise moment and it comes clear or resolve by the time the images move on or change the focus angle and then we says it was nothing, problem is that in some videos we don’t get lucky and come stranded with and erratic idea, not in this particular video, for instance in time line 6:47 there’s the helping pin of the doweling jig just laying there at the table but for some reason I got stuck with the idea that it was some kind of hexagonal head bolt screwed onto the working piece and thaugth that I missed a step of the process, and there you have it, just a little sillyness of mine to share, but to glorify the way and the intention of yours when doing this woodworking taping. I don’t want to be rude by ending up in a comparison to other fine woodworkers that post this type of videos, but I think that we can always add up ideas to make things better. In the other one of your videos I asked for the model of your powermatic table saw, what it mostly impressed me was the amount of sound it makes, it’s almost like a cat’s purring, but then again I thaught you were doing some soundvideo editing for those loud moments and diminsh those annoying bursts and the sudden moments to lower the volume. There are other youtube videos that I love to watch but they are a lot careless in this matters, I mean they don’t have any kind of video edition before uploading them, for instance if you want to see how a sword it’s made or some blacksmith action and that you want to pay attention to what the autor is telling in between the ear blasting hammering. So there you have it, I hope I could be in some help with my “love letter” size comment, just to poin that, maybe, you want to have “in frame” just what you need (tools, accesories, props, etc.) to explain at the moment of the director’s yelling “action” so that no other idea can get in the way. Please don’t get me wrong, I’ll always enjoy learning form your work and as also I want to follow the warm human touch example you have set and that we all have seen in all of your videos. De caballero a caballero… muchas gracias!! (Y) (Y)

  8. too much bla bla

  9. This seems great if you have enough spare batteries to keep your drills sitting upright, sterling job, thanks for sharing.

  10. £240 for dowelmax wow

  11. I think I you could make nice, sturdy cabinets using this ‘model’ as basic.
    keep the good work up bud!

  12. Great video. I have a dowelmax and use it for everything. Super low tech and extremely precise!

  13. what’s wrong with using a drill press, stop blocks and a collar to stop the bit?

  14. The OCD in me is hating the way you put the DeWalt drills under the Festool chargers and vise versa. Awesomely simple piece though…

  15. Yes, the full blown DowelMax is expensive, $249 right now, but the DowelMax Jr. will do all the same jobs at on $99.00.  Not a bad option if you are cash strapped like me. 

  16. I’d love to hear if the timer system for the chargers proved to be successful for you

  17. +Jordan Kiener Not really. I pretty much stopped using it. Not because it wasn’t working but because I moved into the new shop and totally forgot to set it up again.

  18. +Matthew Cyhanick Drill press won’t work for the long boards that exceed the table to chuck distance.

  19. Haven’t seen dowels or the Doewlmax used again, in the WW Chanel or guild. In any project. Or mentioned in any video whatsoever. Any specific reason?

  20. The Wood Whisperer

    Because I have other preferred ways of doing joinery. The DowelMax is great but you have to specifically want to do dowels for it to be useful.

  21. I’m so making this for my Step-Dad & my shop. We have drills laying around everywhere and about a million chargers.

  22. A french cleat incorporated in back would have eliminated the need for ugly screw holes to mess up that beautiful wood.

  23. Jacques Tube et vous

    It’s discouraging to see you use a $250 jig that is essentially a little bit of a uni-tasker. For the average, garage shop wood worker, this seems so unattainable. I’m just saying. http://www.rockler.com/dowelmax-classic-doweling-jig

  24. I wouldn’t pass judgement on what others consider a reasonable purchase. There are lots of budgets and lots of opinions out there. Yes, this jig is a unitasker, but when that task is something that might come into play on every project, the unitasker argument is out the window. The Festool Domino is also a unitasker. Yet for the folks who can afford it it’s probably one of the most used tools in the shop.

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