|Review by David Craig||posted 12-10-2009 05:54 PM||12721 views||1 time favorited||20 comments|
I am relatively new to the field of woodworking and my experience with more complex joinery is very limited, so I appreciate any device/jig/contraption that makes my entry into this area a little more simple. I have seen many different types of doweling jigs out there, but Wolfcraft put together an item that is both inexpensive and very simple to use. The Wolfcraft 3751405 Dowel Pro Doweling Jig Kit comes with the doweling jig pictured, an extra board clamp to keep the board you are working on level, three drill stops, and a sample package of 1/4, 3/8, and 5/16 dowels. The kit retails for around 30 bucks and can be ordered from Amazon and is usually in stock at Home Depot.
What makes this jig so special is that it is designed to allow you to drill the dowel holes in both boards simultaneously. Dowels are not forgiving and any slight misalignment can cause a good deal of grief and can ruin a project. With this jig, alignment problems are not an issue. The jig is adjustable and can handle edge to edge, edge to corner, and t joints.
I am working on a project where I needed to create a panel made from big name store bought regular pine boards. I couldn’t use a planer for flattening because I would end up with a bunch of wedges and much wasted wood. As you can see, I used the two clamps that came with the kit and made the boards parallel to each other. I used the small clamp to keep the boards in position so I didn’t have to keep realigning the boards each time I moved the drilling jig. I used a 3/8th brad and the 3/8th stop that came with the kit. The dowels are an inch and a half and the jig thickness was 3/4 inch, so I set the stop at an inch and a half so each board would have a 3/4 inch deep hole. Drilling went fast and easy. The third picture shows the boards dry fitted together with a little gap so you can see how nicely the dowels align with each other. All the holes were even and there was no frustration in placing them together. After glue up, I was able to just sand down any lip where the boards imperfections stood out.
The only shortcoming of this jig, and I don’t believe it is a shortcoming just a design decision, is that the jig can only handle boards up to 1 1/4 inch thick.
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.