Jessem 8350 doweling jig, holes are very tight

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Forum topic by SteveT posted 09-18-2019 11:14 PM 218 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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38 posts in 1754 days

09-18-2019 11:14 PM

I have been using this jig and like it. I saw in a review here that there was disappointment with the 3/8” drill bit, and concur with that. I think that I will try buying another bit from a different manufacturer.

My biggest struggle is with assembly. The dowels fit VERY snugly in the holes. It is very difficult to remove them, and even harder to take apart a joint during a dry assembly. I don’t even attempt dry assemblies any longer with these joints. The final assembly is also difficult. I often have to use strong clamping power to get the two boards to join. Often, hitting with a rubber mallet does not bring the boards together.

Do others notice the same? Or is it something that I’m doing.

I emailed Jessem awhile ago, but never got any reply which was disappointing.

4 replies so far

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38 posts in 1754 days

#1 posted 09-18-2019 11:59 PM

I just watched a Jessem video on youtbue, and their joints just slide together without much force.

Hmmm, I don’t understand why mine don’t.

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2957 posts in 2486 days

#2 posted 09-19-2019 12:03 AM

Try drying the dowels. They probably grew due to humidity. Try an oven at about 200deg for 20 minutes.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

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5001 posts in 1100 days

#3 posted 09-19-2019 01:56 AM

Paul is right. They swell. His tip for drying them is a good one too, though I might go one or two hours. You can check them along the way to see if they’re inserting easily.

It’s best to store them indoors in ziploc bags or even mason jars. I actually vacuum seal mine. It also helps to toss in a couple of desiccant packets. They’re inexpensive and you can find them on Amazon.

It’s a great jig. Very easy to do dowels for panels etc. It’s very clumsy though for face frames, due to the design where you index the board being drilled off of the one it’s going to join with.

I did a blog post about a fixture I made for mine that simplifies the operation. You can find it here.

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38 posts in 1754 days

#4 posted 09-19-2019 02:02 AM

I just tried a Dewalt brad point 3/8” drill bit and the hole is bigger. Very noticeably bigger. The dowels went in with some wiggle room. Strange, because both the Jessem drill bit and the Dewalt are marked as 3/8”. The Jessem is not a brad point though.

I will try drying the dowels. I do keep them in a plastic container with a screw on lid. And have a dehumidifier in the basement. But will try it anyway.

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