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Advice on Doweling Jig

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Forum topic by DannyW posted 11-22-2019 11:30 PM 482 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


11-22-2019 11:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question oak

Hi everybody, looking for a little advice that I am sure the knowledgeable folks here can answer. I am building table leaves for an extension table and am having problems drilling the dowel holes for the locating pins. I have 2 cheaper doweling jigs (Milescraft and General) that are useful for different purposes but each has its own issues. The General seems to be the best for this purpose and would work great as it clamps solidly to the work piece except that for some reason General made the bushings out of some kind of super soft metal. The first one lasted for about 5 holes on another project, and the manufacturer sent me another for free; however this one is just as soft and wore out to the point that the 5th positioning hole was way off. I think this tool would work work like a champ for this project if the bushings did not wear so quickly; both bushings now have oval holes instead of round.

Does anybody here know of a doweling jig (or other method) that works reliably and is accurate? I know about the DowelMax (sp?) but I can’t afford that kind of money right now for something that should be simple. I need to drill 40 positioning holes (5 per side, 10 per leaf, 4 leaves). I have been practicing on scrap until I get the right tool and technique.

-- DannyW


20 replies so far

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ArtMann

1446 posts in 1378 days


#1 posted 11-23-2019 12:05 AM

The JessEm doweling jig is a little cheaper than the Dowelmax (which I use) and is reported to work just as well. I have tried several of the cheapo self centering doweling jigs and found them to be worse than worthless because I wasted a lot of time trying to get them to work satisfactorily.

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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#2 posted 11-23-2019 02:29 AM

Woodcraft has that on sale for Black Friday but I can’t wait until then, the leaves are for a Thanksgiving dinner party. What’s the chance of talking them into honoring it early (probably zilch)?

-- DannyW

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WoodenDreams

830 posts in 473 days


#3 posted 11-23-2019 04:40 AM

I have a older version (all cast metal) and the newer version (mostly plastic) of the General 840. Just made a table leaf for a customer and used the General 840 (older version) and had no troubles.

You my consider the JessEm or Dowelmax. The Rockler Dowel Pro Jig is one you might also consider for edge dowelling. https://www.rockler.com/dowel-pro-jig

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realcowtown_eric

619 posts in 2499 days


#4 posted 11-23-2019 07:46 AM

you should look out for a marples m148 dowel jug. used price is around 100$ or less

Similar to this…...

https://forum.canadianwoodworking.com/forum/the-swap-meet/the-swap-meet-aa/34790-record-marples-m148-dowelling-jiigs's an easy matter to find rods of the diameter/ length you’ll need for a table leaves.

To my mind it is the bestest dowel jig suitable for any kind of cabinet/furniture making when you need accurate dowel placement

But maybe that’s just my klutzness with trying to use dowel centres. I don’t know. All I know what is what gave me good results when I had to use dowels for case-work, where 24”-ish widths are required.- with good precision.

So much entused was I with these devices, that I have acquired more than one of them. Alas, they are not sold any longer, so it’s only on the used marketplace you will find them

Eric

-- Real_cowtown_eric

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JackDuren

544 posts in 1521 days


#5 posted 11-23-2019 02:47 PM

I use a regular turret doweling jig. Hasn’t failed me yet. Around $20-25 dollars on ebay.

It is one of the original woodworking tools I started with the the early 80’s…

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WoodenDreams

830 posts in 473 days


#6 posted 11-23-2019 04:06 PM

JackDuran+1, Good pics of the General 840 in action, If anyone doesn’t know this jig. the screw clamp is removed and holding it in place by hand. Both of mine, I leave the screw clamp on the jig.

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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#7 posted 11-23-2019 04:36 PM

I got the JessUm unit today from my local Woodcraft and am very pleased with it. It is very heavy and well made unlike my other jigs. I drilled the first leaf and it came out great with a perfect fit. I should have spent the money in n this one originally instead of wasting money trying to save a dime. Thanks for the suggestion! I can always rely on the great folks on this forum and have learned so much in my time here.

-- DannyW

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LeeRoyMan

422 posts in 289 days


#8 posted 11-23-2019 04:40 PM


I use a regular turret doweling jig. Hasn t failed me yet. Around $20-25 dollars on ebay.

It is one of the original woodworking tools I started with the the early 80 s…

- JackDuren

I started my career with one of these. (late 70’s) Drilled hundreds, if not thousands of holes with it.
It put blisters on my hands, but the holes lined up.

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JackDuren

544 posts in 1521 days


#9 posted 11-23-2019 04:46 PM

Ouch…..$200

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MrRon

5783 posts in 3805 days


#10 posted 11-23-2019 05:22 PM

In the past, I have made my own doweling jig; just a block of wood with a thin piece of plywood on both sides of the block which forms the letter H. The block is the exact thickness of the wood being doweled. Place the jig on the work and drill the hole approximately where wanted; then reverse the jig and drill from the other side into the second piece. Regardless of the angle of the hole, the 2 doweled holes will always line up. Cost: 0

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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#11 posted 11-23-2019 06:36 PM



Ouch…..$200

- JackDuren


You got that right but I am tired of wasting money on cheap tools that don’t do the job. I bought the 3/8” version for only $130.

-- DannyW

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LeeRoyMan

422 posts in 289 days


#12 posted 11-23-2019 06:48 PM

You got that right but I am tired of wasting money on cheap tools that don’t do the job. I bought the 3/8” version for only $130.

- DannyW

How does it clamp to the work piece?
Do you hold it or use a separate clamp?

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JackDuren

544 posts in 1521 days


#13 posted 11-23-2019 07:40 PM

As long as it does what you expected you nobody to answer to but the wife…

Now a word from our sponsor. ...

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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#14 posted 11-23-2019 08:57 PM



How does it clamp to the work piece?
Do you hold it or use a separate clamp?

- LeeRoyMan


I used the clamp that came with my Kreg jig, worked great.

-- DannyW

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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#15 posted 11-27-2019 03:25 PM

Thanks for all of the advice here. I went with the JessEm jig and everything came out perfectly! Yes it costs money but I am very impressed with the quality and rigidity of the unit, not so impressed with the junk bit that came with it (but I can use my good bit).

Will finish edges and stain and finish after the holiday. This project was more work than I expected but I am so pleased with the way it turned out.

-- DannyW

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