LumberJocks

Storage for JessEm Dowel Jig

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Project by Calmudgeon posted 01-11-2021 09:42 PM 562 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I owe a debt to Ron Stewart for goading me to get at this project with his post. His implementation is rather different than mine, but his post reminded me to get to this task. Ron also linked to earlier posts by Bob Penoyer and Manuka. By tracing back through those projects, you can find four quite different implementations.

I made this box as a first attempt at box joints back when I bought an Incra box joint jig five or six years ago. At some point, I threw the JessEm jig into the box to corral the many parts, but for a couple years now, they’ve just been rattling around in there.

While I liked Ron’s box, the box I was working with was shallower than his, so I had to come up with a single-layer solution. I began with laying a couple scraps of 3/4” cherry ply as a base and then inlaid the unused inserts in the ply. The jig itself rests in a groove on one end and on a dowel on the other. The depth is such that with the lid closed, the jig cannot shake loose from its moorings; the lid holds the jig in place.

Note: one potential downside of my design is that the distance is fixed between the groove the jig rests in and the dowel that keeps it level, so the jig must always be set to the same depth. Not a huge deal for me, but others might find that an annoyance.

I wanted to make sure that the bits didn’t shake loose from their cradles either, so I fashioned the toggles.

The 3/4” bit and the sleeve stored below it aren’t part of the jig, but this seemed like the place to store them.

As always, questions, constructive criticism, and comments are welcome.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang





12 comments so far

View pottz's profile

pottz

13687 posts in 1952 days


#1 posted 01-12-2021 01:06 AM

man that is sweet way too take care of a quality tool.i cant wait for the littleblackducks comments on this one,he is a high quality tool eficionado.and loves making very nice boxes too hold them.that is a beautiful box.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

7233 posts in 3377 days


#2 posted 01-12-2021 02:54 AM

Great build!!! Bet that took some time to lay out and set up. End result is fantastic!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

1798 posts in 2078 days


#3 posted 01-12-2021 02:57 AM

Yes, that is great that, Having made a box for my Dowelmax set I know what is involved.
I do own a Jessem also so I may get the measurements of you someday.
Cheers
Anthony

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

261 posts in 3472 days


#4 posted 01-12-2021 04:08 AM

Great job! I like the pin in the big dowel that fits into the jig’s corner hole to help lock it in place.

Designing a box for this jig is a good mental exercise, and it’s interesting to see different approaches. Having all the parts organized makes it so much easier to use the jig too.

-- Ron Stewart

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

6171 posts in 1789 days


#5 posted 01-12-2021 08:50 AM

Great “little box” there ’mudge’... Bloody annoying when the manufacturer doesn’t provide a decent box for quality tools.
I love my Fe$tool and Woodpecker$ tools, not because of the tool but the systainers they come in…
not having to make a box for them.

This was my first dowelling jig,

my second,

and I always had my eye on this JessEm jig... However, by then I had a Leigh FMT and a DeWalt biscuit joiner, I couldn’t even justify a Domino until Fe$tool release their breakdown hardware for it… bought the day after announcement.

Now if/when JessEm announce breakdown dowels I’ll be 1st. in line and plagiarising your box design.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

2829 posts in 2918 days


#6 posted 01-12-2021 10:33 AM

That is a well organized box. The jig looks really cool too.

I have the “Dowel it” jig as well. Recently used it too.

-- Petey

View Calmudgeon's profile

Calmudgeon

412 posts in 2396 days


#7 posted 01-12-2021 12:38 PM



Great build!!! Bet that took some time to lay out and set up. End result is fantastic!!

Thanks. Truth be told it was kind of an organic process. I began by creating the insets for the unused inserts and then just worked from there/

- woodbutcherbynight


-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View Calmudgeon's profile

Calmudgeon

412 posts in 2396 days


#8 posted 01-12-2021 12:56 PM


Great “little box” there mudge ... Bloody annoying when the manufacturer doesn t provide a decent box for quality tools.
I love my Fe$tool and Woodpecker$ tools, not because of the tool but the systainers they come in…
not having to make a box for them.

This was my first dowelling jig,

my second,

and I always had my eye on this JessEm jig... However, by then I had a Leigh FMT and a DeWalt biscuit joiner, I couldn t even justify a Domino until Fe$tool release their breakdown hardware for it… bought the day after announcement.

Now if/when JessEm announce breakdown dowels I ll be 1st. in line and plagiarising your box design.

- LittleBlackDuck

Thanks for the positive feedback.

I do have dowel centres as well and still find uses for them on occasion. I have a Porter Cable biscuit jointer that gets pulled out when that seems the more appropriate solution. AND, nothing as sweet as an FMT or Domino, but when I’m looking for a super-strong joint, I have homemade loose tenon jigs that get pressed into service. Oh, and I have a Kreg pocket hole jig which is my goto for functional, utilitarian drawer assembly.

I think when we start out, we find a solution we can afford, and for a while it’s “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” but then as we can afford them, we expand our options and we’re able to tailor our joinery to the demands of the situation. At least that’s how I rationalize spending the money. Others may have their own excuses.

Now, let’s see, that FMT is $1,500 at Lee Valley … hmmnnnn … time to get back to the stuff that brings in the money that allows me to indulge in such things.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View Calmudgeon's profile

Calmudgeon

412 posts in 2396 days


#9 posted 01-12-2021 01:01 PM



Great job! I like the pin in the big dowel that fits into the jig’s corner hole to help lock it in place.

Designing a box for this jig is a good mental exercise, and it’s interesting to see different approaches. Having all the parts organized makes it so much easier to use the jig too.

- Ron Stewart

Thanks, and thanks again for your post. It got me off my arse. I printed it off with the full intention of following your design and then subsequently ignored it when I began to realize I didn’t have the headroom for it with the box I wanted to utilize.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View Calmudgeon's profile

Calmudgeon

412 posts in 2396 days


#10 posted 01-12-2021 01:11 PM



Great “little box” there mudge ... Bloody annoying when the manufacturer doesn t provide a decent box for quality tools.
I love my Fe$tool and Woodpecker$ tools, not because of the tool but the systainers they come in…
not having to make a box for them. I always had my eye on this JessEm jig... However, by then I had a Leigh FMT and a DeWalt biscuit joiner, I couldn t even justify a Domino until Fe$tool release their breakdown hardware for it… bought the day after announcement.

Now if/when JessEm announce breakdown dowels I ll be 1st. in line and plagiarising your box design.

- LittleBlackDuck

Serious questions, LBD:
  • Did you purchase the DF500 or the DF700?
  • What went into the decision which to purchase?
  • Do you think you’ll ever use the Leigh jig now that you have a Domino?

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

6171 posts in 1789 days


#11 posted 01-12-2021 03:02 PM



Serious questions, LBD:

  • Did you purchase the DF500 or the DF700?
  • What went into the decision which to purchase?
  • Do you think you ll ever use the Leigh jig now that you have a Domino?

- Calmudgeon


I’m getting too old to make large woddie stuff so I opted for the DF500. If I didn’t have the FMT I might have considered the DF700, however, with the FMT, I could use tri/quad tenons for larger joinery (if I ever made anything big enough to require large tenons).

I do love the Leigh FMT and over time have become quite proficient with it, however, now that I’ve got the Domino, I try not to consider never using it again. Nevertheless, on deep soul searching I’m inclined to believe I won’t… but, I will keep it and not consider selling or giving away.

I think that the knowdown hardware of the Domino was the game changer for me… If you consider making large furniture requiring knockdown, I’d have opted for the DF700 just for the strength of the larger hardware and fallback on the FMT. Fortunately it wasn’t a hard decision.

Having experience both the Domino and FMT, if they both got stolen, I’d only replace the Domino (500).

Actually if I bought the Domino 11 years ago (with no FMT), I probably would have gone out and bought the “other one” so I’d have both… but then again, I also love my Fe$tool… currently hoping that mongrel drunk Santa can find my address and belatedly deliver my Fe$tool VAC SYS... bloody C19 has hindered stock replenishment in Australia.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

261 posts in 3472 days


#12 posted 01-12-2021 04:23 PM



Thanks, and thanks again for your post. It got me off my arse. I printed it off with the full intention of following your design and then subsequently ignored it when I began to realize I didn t have the headroom for it with the box I wanted to utilize.

- Calmudgeon

I’m happy to have been a catalyst.

-- Ron Stewart

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