Jessem dowel jig fixture

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Project by mummykicks posted 04-10-2016 10:52 PM 1555 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve used the dowelmax extensively, and recently bought a jessem dowel jig because it appeared to offer some advantages. The dowel max works, but you have to use shims when you change part thickness, and the thumb screws come loose over time, are a pain to use. It does have an integral clamp which is good, and really the only thing lacking on the Jessem.
Anyway, got to playing around and finally came up with a jig that lets me use it without having to figure out how to clamp the thing or stand pieces up on end.
I had some scrap oak lying around and a few pieces of T-track. There are 1/4” holes in the jessem jig that they were kind enough to add that I used.

So the pieces being dowels are always flat on the workbench. The top of the jig is flush with the top of the bench.

When doing the through holes you mount the jig with the holes in the right angle piece that provides the reference edge, slide your piece in until flush and lower the jig and then use the knobs to tighten it down.

When doing the blind holes the T-studs and knobs get transferred to the plate with the drill bushings. Since the spacing is different, only 3 T tracks are necessary. The middle one is offset so you don’t drill into it when doing the through holes.

This is good for 3/4” stock/plywood, which is just about all I do. For thicker stuff I think you’d have to add a 3/4” piece and screw the jessem jig to it to ‘move’ the mounting holes down enough to reach the t-track.

I’m guessing some custom jaws in a front vise might also perform the same function.

2 comments so far

View scott0317's profile


58 posts in 1697 days

#1 posted 04-11-2016 02:21 AM

Hey Mummy, thanks for posting this. I am really interested in this setup. Any chance you could shoot a video on how you use it. I’ve used my Jessem a fair amount but every time I do, something seems off a bit, meaning, I feel like there has to be a better way to use the tool.

One of the things that come to mind is if you are trying to match “holes” exactly, how do you accomplish this with your jig. I may have to get my tool out and look at your pic’s and the tool, and it will probably become obvious. Thanks again for taking the time to post.

-- I've almost got all the tools I need, almost.

View mummykicks's profile


109 posts in 2044 days

#2 posted 04-12-2016 01:27 AM

I can try to blog post a video this weekend, maybe.
If you are having issues with plywood make sure you are referencing the right faces for the jig, since the plywood is undersized the 3/8” mark will put the holes in off-center. If you get the faces flipped then it won’t be flush.
With the jig I just line the board up with the edge of the jig for each piece, or do the blind holes first, put dowels in and use the center slot to line up the through holes.
In my case the jig is stationary and the pieces move.

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