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Thread: Jessem's new dowelling jig

  1. #1
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    Default Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Has anyone bought the new jig from Jessem.

    Its the 8350, which looks to be a somewhat improved version of their paralign jig,

    I know the paraling jig and the dowelmax are considered to each be good jigs. Any comments on the 8350? It is significantly cheaper, especially since they are doing an intro price of $99, or $160 with the 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" guides. The align off another dowel trick seems kinda handy.

    Scott

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Hello Scott, JessEm's new doweling jig is much easier to use and a more versatile than anything I have seen to date.

    The fence remains attached to your work piece and only the part that carries the drill guides is moved to make parallel holes, with this method you don't lose your indexing as you do with jigs that have to be taken apart to insert spacers. Their method of indexing is very precise and repeatable.

    It is one of the only Doweling jigs that has 1/2" drill guides.

    The jig uses standard size drills and will fit standard size dowel pins.

    Trevor

  3. #3
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    Martin

    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    I don't see it on Jessem's Website, do you have a link for it ?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Quote Originally Posted by Bidule View Post
    I don't see it on Jessem's Website, do you have a link for it ?
    Not easy to find:
    http://www.jessemdirect.com/JessEm_D...ig_p/08350.htm

    I watched the video. I agree it has some nice features (such as how to align a hole with a dowel already in place using that groove) but the rest is using the same principle.
    You can use the older version in the same way, just remove the on-board clamps, keep only the fence and it's the same jig as this one.
    The benefit of the new jig is you can remove the fence with one screw/knob instead of two in the older version but then again you need an external clamp.
    So I'm not sure there is a clear winner. The price of the new one is for sure attractive at $100.

  5. #5
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    Martin

    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Thank for the link mreza
    I was looking for it on Jessem.com and it's not there.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Sorry for not including the link. I was looking at the site since I don't have any doweling jig currently and have been debating between the dowelmax and the Jessem paralign.

    Jessem's old jig was a bit cheaper then the dowelmax, and sometimes he does promos via the jessemdirect site.

    The new 8350 is very attractive at the price point, its almost half of the price of dowelmax, and if you get the full kit and compare it to the full on the dowelmax then it is still a big price difference.

    Might have to put this on my Xmas list.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    I think this could make a good second dowling jig to complement a Dowelmax or the older Jessem.
    I think the older style is better overall because of the integrated clamp, which makes it more convenient for the most common joints.
    But this one looks like it would be better when you want multiple rows or edge joining long boards. Those joints on the Dowelmax or older Jessem require careful alignment and looks like they would be faster and more foolproof with this one.

    The 1/2" options also looks handy for large pieces.

    I own a Dowelmax but I'm considering getting this one as a second jig. I think I would keep using the Dowelmax most of the time but on some joints I could see this being better. The low price makes it tempting.

    Chris
    Last edited by ckowal; 11-21-2012 at 11:18 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Quote Originally Posted by ckowal View Post
    I own a Dowelmax but I'm considering getting this one as a second jig. I think I would keep using the Dowelmax most of the time but on some joints I could see this being better. The low price makes it tempting. Chris
    Ditto for me. I was thinking the same thing as I watched the Jessem video.

    ...Wayne

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    I was wondering if anyone has bought one yet. I have the paralign and would like to know if the 3/8 drill hole spacing is identical between it and the new one. I have tried contacting Jessem through their website and have even called directly to get an answer. I never did received a reply via the contact us link on the website and nor from the customer representative who took my email address.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Quote Originally Posted by Justanotherbloke View Post
    I was wondering if anyone has bought one yet. I have the paralign and would like to know if the 3/8 drill hole spacing is identical between it and the new one. I have tried contacting Jessem through their website and have even called directly to get an answer. I never did received a reply via the contact us link on the website and nor from the customer representative who took my email address.
    I have the paralign and bought the new one as well. Haven't used it tough (just tried it) and it works fine. I will take measurements tomorrow and let you know, but one ODD difference I noticed is that the drill bit (and the holes) are slightly different between the two. I noticed this when I couldn't fit the drill bit from the paralign in the holes of the new one. After measuring the two with my caliber I noticed the drill bit of the Paralign version is 0.379-380" and the new version is 0.372-0.373". The 3/8" dowels I have fit Ok (maybe a bit loose) in the holes of paralign and are very snug in the holes of the new one (cannot take them out by hand). I contacted them and they said that the drill bit of the Paralign was supplied by a supplier and it is in fact metric!!
    Anyway, I will probably use the smaller drill bit for both or just find a true 3/8" drill bit to use in both.
    One other note: the main reason I got the new one was the ease of aligning holes in two boards (like panel glue-ups) using the middle slot; that would eliminate the care required to space the dowels exactly the same in the two boards. You gain that but the need to use an external clamp (instead of the on-board clamps like in paralign) makes it a bit cumbersome to work I think.
    Again, I'll have to use it in a project to have a good sense of which one is better, but at $99 I thought it's a good deal.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Jessem's older jig uses 9.7 mm drills, the new jig uses standard 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" drills.

    Even if the spacing is the same you would have difficulty using both, one for each side of the joint because of the drill difference, particularly if you used the 3/8" drills in the older jig.

    I have both and prefer the new one.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    I noticed that some dowels were loose on my paralign, but I have dowels from two different sources and there is slight difference in their diameter so I assumed it was just the dowels. Upon reading the above I went and tested the drill bits.

    One that comes with the paralign is indeed a little larger than the true 3/8" bit. The dowels from my "thinner batch" are very loose inside hole drilled with the Jessem drill but they are nice and snug with a true 3/8".

    As for the other jig, I was considering it solely because it also offers 1/2" option which is great for heavier joinery. I spend some time looking for reviews and the only one I found was overall positive, but with one negative remark about clamping the jig to the material. As shown in the promo material the clamping is in reality too weak to keep the jig in place while a hole is being drill - the jig moves defeating its purpose. This is not a serious issue as two, and stronger clamps could be used.

    I settled for paralign since the main reason for me buying the other one would be the 1/2" capacity, which is available only as an add-on to the 3/8" default configuration. So at the $150 price point I decided I'd be better off with the $160 (on sale) paralign. For the occasiona 1/2" dowels I will use my old self centering jig. Not as convenient but does the job.
    In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Quote Originally Posted by darius View Post
    I noticed that some dowels were loose on my paralign, but I have dowels from two different sources and there is slight difference in their diameter so I assumed it was just the dowels. Upon reading the above I went and tested the drill bits.

    One that comes with the paralign is indeed a little larger than the true 3/8" bit. The dowels from my "thinner batch" are very loose inside hole drilled with the Jessem drill but they are nice and snug with a true 3/8".
    Darius, standard 3/8" pins would be loose in the Paralign holes just as they are in the DowelMax jig holes. I have heard Jessem has 3/8" guides for the paralign, but can't confirm this.
    Jessem's new jig uses standard 3/8" drills and guides so that any standard pin will fit. The fit is important, if a joint using multiple dowel pins can be taken apart easily it is too loose.
    I had made larger 9.7 mm pins to try to solve the problem of loose joints with jigs using the 9.7 mm drills and have found little interest.
    This problem also exists with the 1/4" drills and guides, they are also oversize in the Paralign and the DowelMax.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Quote Originally Posted by TH LWC View Post
    Darius, standard 3/8" pins would be loose in the Paralign holes just as they are in the DowelMax jig holes. I have heard Jessem has 3/8" guides for the paralign, but can't confirm this.
    Jessem's new jig uses standard 3/8" drills and guides so that any standard pin will fit. The fit is important, if a joint using multiple dowel pins can be taken apart easily it is too loose.
    I had made larger 9.7 mm pins to try to solve the problem of loose joints with jigs using the 9.7 mm drills and have found little interest.
    This problem also exists with the 1/4" drills and guides, they are also oversize in the Paralign and the DowelMax.
    I measured the drills and I have some strange results.
    The Jessem one shows 0.375 right on.
    The 3/8" shows 0.3715. I know this bit to be from a quality manufacturer.

    I measured a few times to make sure there aren't issues with the caliper. The caliper may be off but the measurements are consistent and repeatable.

    The aforementioned thinner dowels are loose with Jessem's bit without question. In fact I can make them fall out just by turning the piece upside down. This leads me to believe there is also an issue with that batch of pins. The other batch is snug with either bit, snugger with the 3/8" I had.
    In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    I got the new Jessem jig for Christmas. It was the set with the 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2. I have only had a chance to use it on one project but it worked flawlessly.

    The project was regluing a piece from the neighbours piano. It was an ugly break and the joint hidden. (This is part of the assembly that covers the keys when not in use)

    Drilled my holes in the first piece, then clamped it to the 2nd piece. Used the jig to align the holes. Worked great, but a single clamp wasn't enough, A pair of 'quick' clamps seemed to be sufficient, and I picked up one of the kreg 'vice grip' style clamps today to see if it will work well.

    The pins are a tight fit. I had made one hole that was from the wrong side of the board, and I didn't want to chance that it wasn't perfectly centered so I was going to abandon the hole, but then when I was putting dowels in, I put one in that hole. The dowel was a good hard pull to get out. The dowel pins had been around my shop for a bit, and not in a sealed bag so they may have swelled. I have since bought some good quality dowels from LV, which coincidentally appear to be manufactured by Laurier woodcraft, will report back when I get a chance to use them with the Jessem.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    I tested making a joint with paralign jig using the smaller 0.373" drill bit that comes with the newer jig and it did fit fine. So even though the guides are a little bit larger (meant to be used with
    the slightly larger bit) I don't think they will mess up the alignment of the joint if you instead use a true 3/8" bit in them. So I'll probably use a true 3/8" bit in the paralign (to get tighter fit for dowels)
    or simply use the supplied bit for the new jig in both.
    Clamping is the weakest point of the new jig, but I do like the fact that you can just eyeball the location of dowels you put in a sequence on a board and to drill the matching holes in the other board you don't need any measuring; just line them up. This way it MUCH faster than using those alignment rods that come with paralign or dowelmax.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Quote Originally Posted by Justanotherbloke View Post
    I was wondering if anyone has bought one yet. I have the paralign and would like to know if the 3/8 drill hole spacing is identical between it and the new one. I have tried contacting Jessem through their website and have even called directly to get an answer. I never did received a reply via the contact us link on the website and nor from the customer representative who took my email address.
    Ok, I put the two jigs back to back and pushed a dowel in all 5 holes and they fit, although they were a bit tight on the new jig (maybe the holes are slightly smaller than 3/8" as I said).
    One difference is that the two holes to the sides of the jigs in paralign are 3/8" from the edge whereas in the new the spacing from the edge is 5/8".

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Thanks for all the useful information. I just checked on their website and it's currently $129.99. I still might pick it up but I would have preferred to do so when it was on sale. Unfortunately I waited too long for an answer that never arrived. I originally sent an email back on December 12 and followed up with a phone call several weeks later. At that time the price was $99.99. I guess you win some and lose some.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    look at thetoolstore.ca
    it's still $99
    http://www.thetoolstore.ca/viewItem.asp?idProduct=16721
    In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Jessem's new dowelling jig

    Quote Originally Posted by darius View Post
    look at thetoolstore.ca
    it's still $99
    http://www.thetoolstore.ca/viewItem.asp?idProduct=16721
    Thanks Darius, I just ordered one.

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