Make your Dowel Jig WORK
You don’t need to modify the jig. Just change how you use it.
Your Self-Centering Dowel jig probably has critical flaws that make it impossible to get accurate results. Maybe you blame yourself, or maybe you toss the jig. But if you ignore the instructions, you CAN get good results.
YouTube “gee whiz” product demos are great. Everything works so flawlessly! After looking around for the best possible combination of accuracy (I thought) and price, I bought the TASK self-centering dowel jig.
It’s a nice jig, better than many in this genre. But try to use it they way they show in the demo, and you’re doomed. Let’s start by examining the critical flaws that make it impossible to get good results that way.
(Some of the issues can be overcoming by drilling one hole at a time. But what’s the point of investing in a jig that gives you multiple drilling slots if you have to do that??)
Note: This article contains Amazon affiliate links. And it needs pictures to make the points more clearly. If you know of any I can borrow, send me a link. Full credit will be given to the source and to the kind soul who pointed me to them.)
Critical Problems with the Recommended Procedure
With a totally accurate jig, the recommended procedure might work. But a version you can actually afford introduces critical problems:
- Line width
- Movement while tightening
Let’s deal with them in order…
1. Line Width
Line width matters! There are nice little lines on the jig that can be seen through an opening. Those lines show where the dowel hole will be drilled, and they line up nicely with the center of the drill guide hole. So what’s the problem?
Well, there are two problems. The first is a simple matter of width. The lines on my jig are a lot wider than the .5mm pencil lead I use for precision layouts. So I switch to my wider rough-layout pencil. But does it match? Almost…
In the demo, of course, the width of the pencil line exactly matches the width of the line on the jig. (I…