Who made the decent Self Centering Doweling Jig? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Default Who made the decent Doweling Jig system?

My Harbor Freight one is awful, awful~

After I bought the self-centering dowel jig from Harbor Freight, I tried my first drill. The hole was not at the center at all. I had to use screwdrivers to adjust the jig many times to make a roughly centering drill.

Is this normal? I suppose the "Self Centering Doweling Jig" should be aligned correctly when I bought it?

Does anyone have experience with a decent doweling jig with reasonable price? thanks

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 09:03 PM
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Got one from Grizzly, centers well but the index markings leave a little to be desired.
Seems that the protective oil removes the white paint from the markings, can be fixed by adding more paint.
Eastern built, of course.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 08:04 AM
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I think Dowl-It Wood Tools Dowel Jigs - Welcome To Dowl-It Inc. is the one that you are looking for. I have had one of these for years and it does what it is supposed to do. There are other doweling jigs on the market that have more capability, but they are also more expensive. . For basic one or two hole doweling, this one does a good job. For more than 2 holes, this one can do it, but it will lack the repeatable accuracy of hole spacing that is needed to do it well.

Here is one of the more advanced ones for drilling larger groups of evenly spaced holes.

http://www.jessem.com/DOWELING_JIG.html

Here is another one

http://www.dowelmax.com/

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 08:11 AM
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this doweling jig looks pretty slick

Thien Sliding Doweling Jig
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Both Jessem and Dowelmax look impressive, very expensive though.
Anyone had experience to compare these two? Your comments are appreciated.

If I want to put some dowels around the center of a big board, will either of these jigs work?

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Originally Posted by CharleyL View Post
I think Dowl-It Wood Tools Dowel Jigs - Welcome To Dowl-It Inc. is the one that you are looking for. I have had one of these for years and it does what it is supposed to do. There are other doweling jigs on the market that have more capability, but they are also more expensive. . For basic one or two hole doweling, this one does a good job. For more than 2 holes, this one can do it, but it will lack the repeatable accuracy of hole spacing that is needed to do it well.

Here is one of the more advanced ones for drilling larger groups of evenly spaced holes.

JessEm Dowelling Jig

Here is another one

Dowelmax Kit Precision Engineered Multiple Dowel Wood Joinery System

Charley

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
If I want to put some dowels around the center of a big board, will either of these jigs work?
For holes in the middle of a big board, drill some holes the needed diameter in some thick wood and position it where you need to drill straight down, when not at an edge. This is a home-mad dowelling jig. If you need to be really accurate, draw lines that will intersect at your hole and use a saddle square to be able to see and align them with holes on your "big board".

The dowelling jigs mentioned above are all great, but one I rarely hear about that is my personal favorite for certain applications is [or was?] manufactured by Leichtung. I picked-up mine at an estate sale for about $5.00. I cleaned it up and bought new bushings for it in all sizes available. For edge-to-edge dowel alignments (such as a tabletop) it beats anything else I have ever seen or used. It is extremely easy to use and faster than the others.
I go through 100-200 linear feet of dowels per week and have tried many ways to do this with maximum efficiency. By the way, grooved or spiral-cut dowels are nice, but when I need that; I simply use the "big teeth" on a set of pliers & give it a slight squeeze - making glue grooves. I hope this helps!

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 07:30 AM
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The Jessem and Dowelmax jigs work well because they have multiple drill guides that are precisely spaced to each other and the jigs also have spacers and stops that allow you to precisely position the jig in relation to an edge of your work. It is the ability to precisely position the jig using spacers that gives these jigs their precision. The Dowelmax has been around for years and has a good reputation. The Jessem is relatively new, but has quickly gained in popularity. The key to making good dowel joints is precise spacing between the dowel holes and precise positioning in relation to a common edge or surface of the work. These two jigs have this ability, but it's still necessary to fully understand how to use the jigs to achieve this precision.

Watch their demonstration videos to see how they are used. Notice how they achieve positioning accuracy using spacers and fences and locating pins (no rulers) to achieve repeatable accuracy. After you learn this you will be well on your way to making good dowel joints using almost any jig.

JessEm Paralign dowelling jig - YouTube For The Jessem Video

The Dowelmax Precision Engineered Wood Joinery System Presented by Woodcraft - YouTube For the Dowelmax video.

There are other videos from both companies available on Youtube.



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Last edited by CharleyL; 04-26-2012 at 07:52 AM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 10:04 AM
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I have a $10 wolfcraft dowel jig and it's worked great for me.

Wolfcraft 4641404 Dowel Quick Doweling Jig:
Amazon.com: Wolfcraft 4641404 Dowel Quick Doweling Jig: Home Improvement

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 11:29 AM
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I have the wolfcraft one as well. It is pretty nice for the money and I've used it a bunch. You have to be careful with it though, if you're doweling two panels together, it's real easy to make a small mistake somewhere and have the dowels not quite line up. Definitely do a trial fit before gluing up!

I've often thought about getting a dowel max for a nice precise solution, but never had the $$$$ for it... some day!
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