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post #1 of 7 Old 01-18-2015, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Dowel Joints

I wanted to try using dowels when making furniture, so I bought a dowel jig from my local Lowes. It was easy to use but couldn't make a straight hole for nothing. The joints would not line up very well. I am currently making a mantel clock. I wanted to use dowels so I went to Harbor Freight. Now before anyone laughs, this 14 dollar dowel jig is very easy to use and allowed me to make six dowel joints in no time. The jig is self centering and does five different size holes. The only that would have made it nicer, is something like sandpaper on the inside of the jaws. Larger parts are held in place quite well. The smaller parts tended to move a bit. A disc from my sander solved this issue. This goes to show you, not everything they sell is junk.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-18-2015, 08:31 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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I have the same one

You will get a reply from Steve Neul saying that they are "junk" but if it works for you then great. The issue is the centerline mark is or may be off center. Maybe we got luck and got 2 good ones, but even if so, you can always scribe a new mark in the center.
I thought it might make a self centering mortise jig and I'm still trying to sort that out. I looked at a General Tools mortise jig and was shocked to find out it was $99.99 at the Performance Tool store. That just seemed like too much.

Doweling is always a bit tricky. Have you used the marking points that fit in one hole and leave a mark on the joining piece?

From http://www.ptreeusa.com/doweling_jigs.htm


Dowel Accessory Kit


Doweling Accessory Kit Stock up on supplies for your next doweling or joinery project!

Kit Includes
3 Brad Point Drill Bits: 1/4", 5/16", & 3/8"
3 Drill Stops: 1/4", 5/16" 3/8" & Hex Wrench
3 Steel Drill Bushings: 1/4", 5/16", 3/8"
6 Dowel Center Points: 2 each of 1/4", 5/16", 3/8"

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-18-2015, 08:31 PM
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" not everything they sell is junk "

That's my opinion also... they have jewels and they have junk. The trick is sorting it out. I picked up their 12" sliding compound miter saw last year to use for my outdoor construction projects and it turned out to be an excellent value. The deWalt rolling stand I put it on cost more. I also like their hand tools (wrenches) and automotive hydraulic jacks. Before the flames begin, I always use jack stands with hydraulic jacks regardless who made it.

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-18-2015, 09:00 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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I have the same one

You will get a reply from Steve Neul saying that they are "junk" but if it works for you then great. The issue is the centerline mark is or may be off center. Maybe we got lucky and got 2 good ones, but even if so, you can always scribe a new mark in the center.

I thought it might make a self centering mortise jig and I'm still trying to sort that out. I looked at a General Tools mortise jig and was shocked to find out it was $99.99 at the Performance Tool store. That just seemed like too much.

Doweling is always a bit tricky. Have you used the marking points that fit in one hole and leave a mark on the joining piece?

From http://www.ptreeusa.com/doweling_jigs.htm


Dowel Accessory Kit


Doweling Accessory Kit Stock up on supplies for your next doweling or joinery project!

Kit Includes
3 Brad Point Drill Bits: 1/4", 5/16", & 3/8"
3 Drill Stops: 1/4", 5/16" 3/8" & Hex Wrench
3 Steel Drill Bushings: 1/4", 5/16", 3/8"
6 Dowel Center Points: 2 each of 1/4", 5/16", 3/8"

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-18-2015, 10:38 PM
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That harbor freight set is crap. That said, I own one and use it regularly. For $24 it can't be beat, especially once you consider the next step up quality wise is $50ish.

Couple things to remember, the tick mark on the side of the drill hole is never perfectly centered on the hole, and the bloody thing never actually self centers on the work piece. Both are easy to work around however, if you remember to reference off the correct faces. To illustrate what I'm referring to, imagine a cabinet face frame. If you have the side with the handle of the jig on the outside of the cabinet on one piece, do the same other, that way the pieces line up flush even if the dowels aren't on center.

I really hope that made sense...

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post #6 of 7 Old 01-18-2015, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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I have the General Tool 840 Pro Doweling Kit from Lowes. The jig itself is going in the trash but, I will continue to use the accessories that came with it. The jig I just got from harbor freight turned out to be a good buy.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-18-2015, 11:41 PM
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I'm glad you found a HF doweling jig that was good. I still look every time I'm in the store and haven't been able to find one that the center line mark is centered with the hole. Other than that it appears to be as good of a doweling jig as any. Maybe they have corrected the problem. I did a thread a couple of months ago in tool reviews about the jig. http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f24/h...ing-jig-66107/
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