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Thread: Doweling Jig for Narrow Stock?

  1. #1

    Doweling Jig for Narrow Stock?

    Or, yet another doweling jig question.....there's quite a price range for doweling jigs, I see 70-ish all the way to 200-ish, and I really can't sort out the differences based on all the glossy brochures. My specific need is narrow stock: 1 1/2" wide, 3/4" thick, and a need to perfectly register and join two pieces (like a "T", not building panels). I see some of these have some sort of means to see the pencil registration mark thru the jig so you can align the holes drilled in the two separate mating surfaces, but which, in the very broad field of doweling jigs, allows the most precision/accuracy when moving it to the second piece to be drilled? I'm having a hard time justifying the 200$ jessem, but if the Jessem will consistently be close to perfect while the dowelit will be consistently off by more than a few thou, I'll spend it. No, a Domino is not for consideration. One idea I'm having is to use a thin mechanical pencil to draw the registration line to eliminate whatever slop I've recently learned (and experienced) is due to a fat pencil tip, would that help the 70$ jig compensate? I could really use any saved money to put into my "saving for a sheet of plywood" jar. I could be perfectly happy with nothing other than doing 2 3/8" holes

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    178
    How are these T shapes formed - are the flat like a face frame or are they oriented vertically? I bought the jessem jig to join the same size stock - and because my pieces were oriented vertically I couldn't use a self centering jig. Once thing I really appreciate about the jessem is all the reference dimensions are spelled out on it, so setup is a breeze.

    The other thing I appreciate about the jessem is because I'm joining these pieces to a 1.75" table leg, I can adjust the offeset on the jig instead of making a spacer out of scrap for a self centering jig to get the holes in the right position.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Redmond, OR
    Posts
    327
    I used the General dowel jig for MANY years and it always did a good job for me. I have a horizontal boring machine that I use for doweling now and only occasionally use the General Dowel jig. I have a couple other dowel jigs but always preferred the General jig.

    s-l1600.jpg

    It does have an easy to see mark on the jig to line up with a pencil mark on the stock you are drilling. You should be able to pick up a used one for about $20. These were also sold under the "Craftsman" name and probably some other names as well.

    I have a self centering clamping Dowelit jig but always found it hard to line up. The General jig is easier for "me" to line up. One of my first jobs when helping my father in the shop as a kid was to drill the dowel holes (with the Craftsman version of the General jig) for face frames. I always got good, straight, lined up holes even when I was just 10 years old.
    Last edited by Michael Schuch; 11-29-2021 at 3:15 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Myles Moran View Post
    How are these T shapes formed - are the flat like a face frame or are they oriented vertically? I bought the jessem jig to join the same size stock - and because my pieces were oriented vertically I couldn't use a self centering jig. Once thing I really appreciate about the jessem is all the reference dimensions are spelled out on it, so setup is a breeze.

    The other thing I appreciate about the jessem is because I'm joining these pieces to a 1.75" table leg, I can adjust the offeset on the jig instead of making a spacer out of scrap for a self centering jig to get the holes in the right position.

    yes, flat like a face frame. So end grain to edge grain connection

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    178
    Given that it'll be flat like that, I think a self centering jig would do the trick for you, as long as you don't see needing any of the extra features the jessem offers in the future. I would measure the distance from the edge of the jig to the drill bushings, and align it on your stock by measuring to the edge of the jig rather than trying to use a pencil mark.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    1,109
    I have and use my Jessem for almost every project I do. Even jusr simple shop cabinets. Mine allows for 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2" dowels and is very easy to use with accurate results. I can't remember if I looked at others prior to purchasing this, but I do utilize the "cry once" philosophy.

  7. #7
    Thanks! everyone! I ended up ordering the Jessem, it was 125$ on woodcraft, and some fisch brad point bits...and some dowels....and some split ring stop collars.....and......I had to hit the submit button I could have kept going.

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