|Review by Marcus||posted 01-25-2013 01:24 PM||5436 views||1 time favorited||5 comments|
I just completed my first project using this jig after picking up the master set from JessEm . At the introductory price, it was a very appealing setup compared to what else was on the market.
JessEm shipped it out quickly and it arrived at my home safely a few days later. First impressions were that this was a very solidly made jig. Previously, I had been using the small clamp on beadlock jig from Rockler and was expecting something of the same heft. This jig will shock out when you see how robust it is…definitely no worries about flexing.
Using the jig is very intuitive and easy. You just have to mark your centerline and both pieces and then line it up with the centerline of the jig. I found this to be very easy and as accurate. The pieces I were working with just happened to be the right size so that I could use the side of the jig as a reference and still get the dowels centered. This proved to be an extremely quick and accurate way to align the pieces and I will probably do this going forward even if I end up with dowels not exactly centered.
When I started getting in the swing of things and really putting the jig to use, I ran into a couple minor annoyances. The first being the drill bit. The included bits really seemed to struggle chewing through some maple compared to the bit that came w/ the beadlock setup. I would really have to push down to chew through 3/8” and clean the bit very often to remove debris. Not a deal breaker, but to me, I know there are other bits out there. My biggest complaint is with the adjustment. It is extremely accurate (measured within the margin of error on my el-cheapo digital calipers), but its in 1/8” increments. I was really hoping for 1/16” to be able to fine tune the dowel placement. If it wasnt for this lack of fine tuning, I would probably call this a 5 star jig. Its extremely well made, as accurate as you can hope for, and priced right especially while on sale.
My final complaint is more of a personal one, but it may apply to some other people as well. When I have jigs with multiple parts, I like a nice case to keep them in. This just came in a cardboard box. It will be a fun project making a nice box to keep everything in, but I would have preferred a nice molded plastic case to keep everything safe and secure. Of course I know this is personal preference as some people hate these cases.