Triton dowelling machine to debut at IWF

Triton Workshop Systems will show a hand-held double-dowelling machine it is promoting over a biscuit joiner at IWF 2008 in Atlanta

"With biscuits, getting exact alignment is sometimes difficult," says company president Marc Owen. "With dowels, it's simply a matter of aligning two holes, and there's a strength benefit as well. Plus, dowels are fairly prolific and very easy to come by."

With a suggested retail price of $189, price point is one of the main attributes of the new machine.

"We're looking to bring it down to the consumer level a little bit more," Owen explains. "There have been some products on the market which have been extremely expensive and very specialized. We want to introduce this technology down at the consumer level in some shops, while keeping the price under $200. We're trying to, I guess, bust this category wide open. If you have a shop that is currently using a biscuit joiner or a Festool Domino, this certainly might be used in any application that those are being used in."

The machine will simultaneously drill two holes, 32 mm apart, with standard bit sizes of 15/64", 5/16" or 3/8". A key feature is a rack-and-pinion system for adjusting the height of the fence.

"The fence is much like a biscuit joiner where there is a tension knob and a zero through 90 [degree] adjustment on the top plate of the unit, so you can raise and lower that angle to adjust your angle of attack," says Owen. "The knob on the other side is for height adjustment, and there is a tension knob on that rack and pinion which locks you in place. Height adjustment is zero to 50 mm [almost 2"]. The rack and pinion allows you to raise and lower the depth, not the depth of the drill or the dowel, but that plate."

The drilling depth adjustment, where a depth stop for the drilling bits can be set, is on the back of the tool. It is currently tooled on a prototype between zero and 40 mm, but will be released in final product form with measurements up to about 1-1/2".

The machine also features two retractable anti-slip pins. "On the face, where the two drill bits come through, are two Phillips screws that have four crowns on them, and they can come in and out to give you a bit of a grip on your surface of your work piece," says Owen. "They are adjustable in or out, and they are spring loaded.

The double doweller is powered by a 4.5-amp motor and weighs about 4 lbs., according to the company. It will be sold in kit form as model TC500DWL and will be available at retail outlets in September.