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Thread: Rockler Beadlock

  1. #1
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    Rockler Beadlock

    I bought the Rockler Beadlock to experiment with. Any reason I shouldn't just use three separate 3/8's dowels as opposed to buying Rocker's wood or their $70 bit to make my own stock?
    Looks like the small thin strip of wood between the dowels on their stock adds no extra strength anyway.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Seems to me the three separate dowels will give you less side-grain gluing surface (inside the mortise) than the Beadlock loose tenon stock does - so perhaps a weaker joint. With the dowels, roughly half the surface of each dowel is contacting end-grain inside the mortise. With the Beadlock stock almost all the contact is side-grain to side-grain.

  3. #3
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    The strength of the system comes from having tenon stock that matches the profile. If you're only going to use dowels, it's best to just drill for dowels. Every joinery system has its costs and with Beadlock, it's either buying tenon stock or making it with the available tooling. The tooling is actually a good investment if you plan on using the system fully.
    --

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

  4. #4
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    What Jim said. Separate dowels wouldn't have the web connection between the dowels that makes the beadlock piece a solid tenon.
    Hobbyist

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    The strength of the system comes from having tenon stock that matches the profile. If you're only going to use dowels, it's best to just drill for dowels.
    Maybe I misunderstood, but my impression was that the OP was proposing to use the Beadlock jig like a doweling jig - just drill the first three holes and not bother with the 3/16" shift and the second set of holes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Ragatz View Post
    Maybe I misunderstood, but my impression was that the OP was proposing to use the Beadlock jig like a doweling jig - just drill the first three holes and not bother with the 3/16" shift and the second set of holes.
    If he does that, then it would certainly work for dowel. I honestly didn't read it that way, so good point.
    --

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

  7. #7
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    I could use it both ways. As a doweling jig and then when I need the extra strength use the beadlock stock.

    Thanks for the replies

  8. #8
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    I own the jig and originally made to projects with it. It worked well but seemed to be more time consuming than other methods of joinery. It's an unknown whether using a bit other than Rockler's bit would provide the same results. That is something probably only Rockler can answer and, I guess, that they have some interest in you buying their bit.

    I tend to use jigs and tools according to the manufacturer's directions and with their equipment as i have found that, when I substitute parts and bits for the specified ones, things tend to lose precision and the result isn't the intended one. It is not designed to be a standard dowel jig so I would guess that it wouldn't work as well as with the setup and equipment that comes with it.

  9. #9
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    Its complete junk, dont buy it!!! Get a dowelmax, its excellent

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Mayer View Post
    Its complete junk, dont buy it!!! Get a dowelmax, its excellent
    The dowelmax only does dowels while the beadlock does the beadlock tenons. What's your complaint about the system?

  11. #11
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    I don't have the Rockler beadlock jig but I don't see any reason you couldn't use it as a dowel jig and a beadlock jig. I suspect the beadlock tenon could provide some additional strength but how much that extra is really needed would depend on the application and I suspect typically wouldn't be required.
    I'm curious if my Jessem dowling jig has the same hole spacing as the Rockler unit and if I could use the beadlock tenons with it. I'm not sure that I would use them but curious to know in the event I decide to pick some up to try it next time I'm near a Rockler.
    Can you determine what the spacing is on the beadlock jig?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Arnsdorff View Post
    I don't have the Rockler beadlock jig but I don't see any reason you couldn't use it as a dowel jig and a beadlock jig. I suspect the beadlock tenon could provide some additional strength but how much that extra is really needed would depend on the application and I suspect typically wouldn't be required.
    I'm curious if my Jessem dowling jig has the same hole spacing as the Rockler unit and if I could use the beadlock tenons with it. I'm not sure that I would use them but curious to know in the event I decide to pick some up to try it next time I'm near a Rockler.
    Can you determine what the spacing is on the beadlock jig?
    1/2" center to center on the 3/8" holes

    beadlock.jpg

  13. #13
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    The Beadlock jig may not be the highest quality but it isn't junk; just not that quick a way to join pieces of wood. There are better ways for sure.

  14. #14
    I remember the original Beadlock had overlapping holes in the jig. There was only one set up, you drilled all the holes and you used their tenon, or got the router it to make your own tenon. The Rockler version has the user drill three holes and then shift the jig to create the overlapping holes. This seems like a way less efficient method and increases the chance of misalignment.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Young View Post
    I remember the original Beadlock had overlapping holes in the jig. There was only one set up, you drilled all the holes and you used their tenon, or got the router it to make your own tenon. The Rockler version has the user drill three holes and then shift the jig to create the overlapping holes. This seems like a way less efficient method and increases the chance of misalignment.

    Maybe after using it a 1000 times you might get some slop in it and have trouble. It also may be slow but if on a budget WAY cheaper than a Domino..

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