Hey Folks- First post for me and it comes out of some frustration. Recently had problems installing the Microjig Steel Pro system in Leecraft phenolic ZCI’s. I had previously installed their regular splitters in an UHMW ZCI without a hitch, but drilling the phenolic insert(s) has left me with unusable results.
Before I go into my travails, I just want to throw out there that my woodshop is my business and that my wife describes me as ‘beyond anally retentive’. In other words, I didn’t just get off the boat.
Though the instructions are lengthy, they are straightforward for this system. After following everything to a ‘T’, I commenced drilling the first insert. Drill straight through, with no stops to clear waste they say. This, of course, is counterintuitive to everything you ever knew if you’ve been in a shop more than one day. I started, but immediately had to back off to stop the bit from overheating. Result…...holes too big as they warned. OK, shame on me. One ZCI and $28 gone.
Second attempt…..damn the torpedoes! They must be right, so I throw all caution and common sense to the wind. Result…....lots of smoke, melted phenolic jamming the bit, and a melted drilling jig. One set of holes too big, the other (inexplicably) too small. Think that I’m starting to see a pattern here. Now, I’m out close to $90 for two inserts and the jig.
Of course, Microjig’s video on installation uses an UHMW insert and they drill through like it’s butter. Sooo….has anyone else run up against this wall with the phenolic inserts? Or, conversely, have you had success? Many thanks in advance for you thoughts/advice.
-- Erik, bauernhof holzwerke, Fayston, Vt.