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MLCS Fast joint system

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Blog entry by woodsmithshop posted 10-13-2013 04:06 PM 1448 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just purchased MLCS fast joint system, after trying it out a few times I am a bit disappointed, so far the joints come out so tight that they either won’t go together or I have to pound them together with a heavy mallet and then I can’t get them apart. that is no way to build a box.
I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem, and what did you do to solve it. I remember someone on LJ’s mentioning how they had to do some tweaking on this jig,but can’t recall who it was.

I believe that either the guide bushing needs to be a few thousands smaller in diameter or the router bit needs to be a few thousands larger in diameter.
I emailed MLCS yesterday but they have not responded yet, seeing as how this is a weekend, but being impatient, I was hoping someone could help a little sooner. I really don’t want to return this jig, unless this problem is solved that will be my only choice.

-- Smitty!!!



29 comments so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

13051 posts in 1991 days


#1 posted 10-13-2013 04:37 PM

I have no experience with the system you mention, but I would suggest you clamp the joints together whenever possible. I think it will make the job vastly easier when you have a tight fit (unless it is so tight that it would split the mortise piece).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5658 posts in 2085 days


#2 posted 10-13-2013 04:41 PM

Maybe have the bushing turned down a mite?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View woodsmithshop's profile

woodsmithshop

1153 posts in 2202 days


#3 posted 10-13-2013 04:55 PM

I think if the bushing was turned down it would be too thin to have enough strength to work
if I can get the joint together, all glue would be squeezed out.

-- Smitty!!!

View MarkwithaK's profile

MarkwithaK

370 posts in 1835 days


#4 posted 10-13-2013 06:33 PM

Not being familiar with this product I Googled it. Apparently this is a problem with these, at least according to the reviews on Amazon. Some are too tight while other are too loose. Looks like a neat system but I think I’d stay away.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3409 posts in 1169 days


#5 posted 10-13-2013 07:41 PM

Smitty, I don’t have the fast joint system but I do have the Multi-Joint Spacing System, It took me awhile to figure mine out and to get perfect joints, yours works different then mine but keep playing with it it’s a matter of trial and error, By all means don’t listen to the MLCS video on youtube on how to use it that guy is an idiot and has no idea how to operate nor a clue on what he’s talking about in the demo. I found that out the hard way when I viewed one of my mags on how to do box joints that guy in the video was way off.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View woodsmithshop's profile

woodsmithshop

1153 posts in 2202 days


#6 posted 10-14-2013 01:02 AM

I like the different joints that MLCS offers but unless they have a good solution for my problem, I am going to return it.
it seems that the sizing of their guide bushing varies so much that there is no consistency with it.

-- Smitty!!!

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3161 posts in 2480 days


#7 posted 10-14-2013 02:20 AM

Extend the bit a little longer than the thickness of the stock….

View Loren's profile

Loren

7567 posts in 2304 days


#8 posted 10-14-2013 04:08 AM

If you want to mess with it, think about getting the bushing
centered in a drill press somehow and turning it down with an
emery board.

I do all kind of ridiculously fussy things to get the results I
want. I have a lot of machinery but I don’t have anything
that cranks out perfection without me tweaking setups as
I go about my work. I would not hesitate to modify the
jig or bushing if I saw potential in what it could theoretically
do, but I am deeper down the rabbit hole than you may
want to go.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View patron's profile

patron

13034 posts in 1998 days


#9 posted 10-14-2013 09:01 AM

seen this too smitty
wondered
tempting

thanks for asking about it
i will keep checking here
to see how everyone likes theirs
and how they got them to work
maybe tuesday someone will be there (MLCS)
to respond to you needs

right on loren
excellent advise

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3409 posts in 1169 days


#10 posted 10-14-2013 10:31 AM

I too have seen it and considered buying it thanks for posting this smitty, I’ll keep an eye out on this thread before ever buying it.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View woodsmithshop's profile

woodsmithshop

1153 posts in 2202 days


#11 posted 10-31-2013 07:38 PM

MLCS sent me a new bit that was a couple of thousands bigger, the joint was still too tight, I emailed them back and and asked what else to do, I never heard back from them again. so I returned the whole thing. I may get one of the Isoloc jigs and try that. I already have the Leigh dovetail jig, so that should fit right in.

-- Smitty!!!

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

497 posts in 697 days


#12 posted 11-22-2013 11:17 PM

I just bought one of these systems after seeing a demo of it at the Woodworking show in Sacramento. I haven’t used it yet, but when I was talking to the guy and looking at him put some of the joints together, I was kind of under the impression that you got one shot at putting them together. He was using a mallet to put them together and although we didn’t take one apart, I just made the assumption that wasn’t going to happen without breaking things. I understand your desire to pre-fit things, but I think this is one of those tools where you need to make sure all looks right, go ahead and put some glue on it, and pound it in and what you have is what you have. If something didn’t work right then toss it out and start cutting again. If you made the joints so loose that you could put them together and take them apart easily, then you may end up with gaps. But I haven’t had mine out of the box yet so I guess I’ll see more when I get to playing with it.

One thing I do think I can do is make my own templates for this. The ones it comes with looks like they are made from some type of press board that is 1/4” thick. I have a Laser engraver/cutter and I think I can cut these templates out of acrylic. If I can do that then I can adjust the cut by .001 at a time with the Laser so I can make the joints tighter or looser when cutting out the template. Not to mention I’ll be able to make whatever shape joint that I want. I hope that works.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View woodsmithshop's profile

woodsmithshop

1153 posts in 2202 days


#13 posted 11-23-2013 03:36 PM

when I pounded my joints together it caused the wood to split, not good for boxes. there was no room for glue.

-- Smitty!!!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112103 posts in 2234 days


#14 posted 11-23-2013 07:11 PM

I don’t own one of these systems but I believe one of the things you brought would be the solution to make the joint a little looser ,that would be to sand down the router guide just a little,I think Loren brought up the same Idea .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

497 posts in 697 days


#15 posted 11-24-2013 12:01 AM

Yes if the wood is splitting obviously it’s too tight. I think of a number of ways to fix it some of which have already been listed regarding the router bit and bushing. But adjusting the template at the joints could also do it. I didn’t look closely at them but they looked like they were made from some type of press board that is painted. Sanding them down a little could fix the problem too. But if you sand too much there is no going back. Sanding out the joint itself could work but that sounds like too much of a pain. I’ll give mine a try and see how it works. Like I said earlier I think I can make these templates on my laser so if that works out I can adjust the cut on the laser to make a perfect fit.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

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