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Thread: Is the Beadlock Pro a good doweling jog?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Euless, TX (DFW)
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    Is the Beadlock Pro a good doweling jog?

    I am considering a doweling jog for a project, but don't see myself using dowels as my "go to" method.

    It seems that the Beadlock Pro Rockler sells would serve as a dowling jog as good as any $100 or under doweling jig, except it is limited to 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" sizes. The flexibility to do loose tenon joinery is appealing, too.

    Any thoughts, experience, or other input?

    The dowel max is out of the question, but is there another jig worth looking at? The HF model gets horrible reviews.
    Last edited by Jay Jeffery; 03-11-2011 at 1:58 PM. Reason: add link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Redmond, OR
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    It took me ten years of hunting to find a horizontal boring machine in my price range (A Davis And Wells for $100 that only needed bearings). Now EVERYTHING gets dowels! AND everything lines up much better! QUICK and easy is the key for me. I can add a dowel in less time than it used to take me to debate whether I need to add a dowel or not.

    The bead lock pro doweling stock looks a little expensive to me. I think they sell a cutter head to cut your own but that seems time consuming to me. I do like the copious amount of gluing surface the beadlock pro seems to have. Mounting and aligning dowleing jigs was always tedious and seemed too time consuming for me. On my horizontal boring machine I put a couple of removable stops so I don't even have to draw a line for alignment on many joints with a common edge.
    Last edited by Mike Schuch; 03-11-2011 at 5:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Bakerville, CT
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    I picked up the older 3/8" BeadLock jig with the added 1/4" & 1/2" accessories, several lengths of all 3 size stock and a new 3/8" BeadLock router bit off of eBay a few years ago for not much money (can't remember how much it was now) and have been happy with it. The last project I used the BeadLock on was for floating tenons on a router table stand and it worked well. I'm sure the more expensive jigs (Dowel Max) & tools (Domino) are fantastic, but for the amount of doweling & small loose tenon joinery I do this jig is more than adequate. It is far superior to the any of the other jigs I had (a vintage turret style Craftsman & a couple different styles made by General). If I had any extra cash when Woodcraft was closing out the Jessem Zip Mills I probably would have picked one up. A buddy snagged one at the Woodworks Show a year or two ago and it's a nice little jig.
    "Nothing worse could happen to one than to be completely understood" - Carl Jung

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
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    I use the Rockler FF doweling jig:

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...hlight=rockler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
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    Phil,

    Thanks for resurrecting that Rockler dowel jig thread. I bought one a while back, tried it out and put it away in never, never land when it sliped, as you reported. Now I will dig it out and try some of your mods. Is there a reason you didn't just put sticky sandpaper on the plastic support rather than making a hardboard one?

    Also, I would like the additional information you mention.

    Jay, sorry if this hijacks your post.

    Rick Potter

  6. #6
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    Sep 2009
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    Euless, TX (DFW)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    Phil,

    Thanks for resurrecting that Rockler dowel jig thread. I bought one a while back, tried it out and put it away in never, never land when it sliped, as you reported. Now I will dig it out and try some of your mods. Is there a reason you didn't just put sticky sandpaper on the plastic support rather than making a hardboard one?

    Also, I would like the additional information you mention.

    Jay, sorry if this hijacks your post.

    Rick Potter
    Actually, I was looking at that less expensive jig, too. It should meet all of my immediate needs. If this thread goes in that direction, that's not a big deal at all.

    I'd love some feedback as to how the Beadlock compares to dedicated doweling jigs, but it looks unlikely to materialize in this forum.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    Phil,

    Thanks for resurrecting that Rockler dowel jig thread. I bought one a while back, tried it out and put it away in never, never land when it slipped, as you reported. Now I will dig it out and try some of your mods. Is there a reason you didn't just put sticky sandpaper on the plastic support rather than making a hardboard one?

    Also, I would like the additional information you mention.

    Jay, sorry if this hijacks your post.

    Rick Potter
    The sandpaper on the plastic would work great. I thought the hardboard would be more stiff, I don't think it was.

    These days I'm actually using 3/8" BB plywood. It is nice and stiff, and doesn't really need any sandpaper, the plywood isn't so slippery that the clamp can't hold it still.

    I've actually marked a center line right on the jig itself and often use it with a reference mark on each piece.

    I actually make two center lines on the jig. I set my square to half the width of the jig, and scribe a line from each side of the jig, so I have a || on the jig and the center of that is dead center. This is much easier, for some reason, to line up with a single mark on my workpiece.

    I'll review that thread and see if I have anything else to add.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
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    I have made a few jigs to install drawer pulls that are shaped like this. On them I put a hole in the side so I could locate the center of the workpiece, if this makes sense. Maybe this would help with the dowell jig too.

    Uhhh, I better explain that better. I mark center on the SIDE of the workpiece, thus the hole on the side of the jig makes it visible. probably no better in this case than marking the center on the back side of the workpiece, and using your scribe line to line it up.

    Rick Potter

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