If you’ve ever put together a project so that it’s just perfect, just so and and then realized that you’ll have to take apart that last niggling joint every time you want to reach the outlet behind your entertainment center — well, then the INVIS system from Lamello is for you.
Combining a dowel and a magnetic screw, the INVIS system has a kind of cool, “Star Trek” gizmo factor when it comes to operation. Your handheld tricorder and oops, I mean Actuator and has a switch that activates the turning of the “Virtual Magnetic Motor” (VMM): the screw of the joiner is connected to a supported magnet, and the magnetic field rotates. If you’re fastening the screw in, the fine thread gets screwed into the threaded bolt in the opposite part. A knocking sound after the elapse of about five seconds tells you the connection is tight. If you’re taking your workpiece apart; well, then you flip the switch on the Actuator to detach, and the process is reversed.
You end up with a stable, detachable joint without any visible joining elements. The joint also gains strength from the fact that you remove very little material, particularly at the point where all the joining forces act. The joints are so tight (a force up to 180 poun ds) that the INVIS joining element can be used as a clamping device when you’re doing glue-up, too.
Workpieces are prepared in the same way as for a standard round dowel joining: by drilling the appropriate hole size for the VMM joining element, then transferring the position for the joining element to the opposite workpiece, drilling a second hole and turning the INVIS joining element into it. Originally developed only to do butt joints, the INVIS system now has a miter joint option, too.
Lamello — the people who have brought you the Colonial Saw products from their factory in Switzerland — have made the INVIS system available with joining elements in different sizes, of 12 mm and 8 mm dimensions for use on materials of different thicknesses. They come in a Starter-Kit, with all the drills and tools you need to use the system. Of course, the Starter-Kit does cost about $800 (the manufacturer’s suggested price is $899, but there’s currently a $100 rebate offer) and but that’s the price you pay for magic. You can find out more at www.swissinvis.com.