New: DJ-1 Universal Jaws and Other BIG News…

With the help of several DJ-1 owners, most notably Roger Savatteri and Rutager West, Universal Jaws for the DJ-1 Drilling Jig are now a reality. Full details and pre-order information will be posted on our website by weeks end.

This is an exciting addition to the DJ-1 and allows for easy drilling of round, square and other shapes at any angle up to 45 degrees.  Here’s how it works;

Say you want to drill holes at 17 degrees in square or plank stock.  Using whatever protractor device you own, set a T-bevel to 17 degrees (or 73 degrees depending on how your protractor reads).  Set one of the orange jaws to this setting (using the purple jaw edge as a reference) and lock the jaw in place.  To get the other jaw precisely aligned to the first, simply clamp a dowel between the “V” grooves and the second jaw automatically is aligned and can be tightened. This is FAST and dead-on.

Our website will explain the full capabilities but I will share that we are really coming close to eliminating the need for a drill press in most shops. No, the DJ-1 will not hold single wing circle cutters (“knuckle busters” to most) but it will out perform a drill press in accuracy (not much beats the accuracy of bushed twist drill) and in speed.

If you own a DJ-1 these jaws dramatically increase functionality. They also serve as a nice foundation for whatever shop-made jaws you might require. These will be made on a pre-order basis and should be delivered by July. As mentioned earlier, our website will be updated later this week.




Speaking of the DJ-1 Drilling Jig, we just completed a run and we have a few extras (less than 20 I am told)  and they should be available on our website today or tomorrow. The next DJ-1 run will be either the last quarter of 2010 or the first quarter of 2011. FYI.

Now for Something Completely Different…

It looks like we will ship Commemorative Tool #16 next week (the Black Chrome Palm Brace). I think we shot ourselves in the foot making this a Commemorative Tool because not only is it completely sold out, we have a lengthy wait list for the overruns. I might rethink how we can remedy this down the road.

It’s a good thing we are shipping the 2008 Commemorative Tool soon because I just finished the design work on Commemorative Tool #17 for 2009 (yes, I am behind).  All I can spill at this point is the CT-17 is going to be tough to top.  You will get to be the judge sometime next week when this tool becomes available for pre-order.

The KerfMaker Inventory Update Report…

Did you know there are approximately 700,000 table saws in America?

Although I go to great lengths to keep our inventory to an absolute minimum, sometime in the next 4-5 days we will have a substantial inventory of KM-1’s available. (FYI: We made less than 700,000 units.)

If you are one of those 700,000 owners and do not have a KM-1, something is wrong with you. Seriously. OK, just kidding, but this tool will pay for itself many times over. Check our website later this week.

Speaking of Kerfmaker’s, we are in the process of making a movie to demonstrate the yet to be named “Tenonator“. This tool is awesome–gauge a mortise, cut the the tenon to fit PERFECTLY without once consulting with a ruler/caliper/tape measure/GPS device/or a pedometer.  How cool is that?

Lastly…
We mentioned a couple of weeks ago our intent to make 50 Stainless Steel Shoulder Planes. We are now accepting pre-orders for the remaining units (those that bought the larger version last year had first crack at this year’s run). I believe we have around 17 units left until we sell out. We know this tool is not for everybody, but it is awesome.

We will announce pre-orders for the skeletonized HP-7 soon.

Lastly Again…

I will post the syllabus for my Design/Creativity Workshop before weeks end for those of you on the fence or for those who may be able to get reimbursed as a continuing education expense.

I’m tired.

–John

28 comments on this post:

  1. Hi John,

    Great news on the DJ-1 jaws, I think they will add even more functionality to an already versatile tool!

    Just this last week I needed to mount a rectangular box to my lathe and it had to be perfectly centered. So using the DJ-1, I put a hole in the dead center of a false bottom, and a hole in the center of some MDF, and by lining up the holes with the same twist bit I used to drill them, I was able to screw them together and use a face plate centering tool to get the whole thing mounted to the lathe, and I’m thrilled to report that the final result was perfection!

    Oh, one final thought, that comment about not being able to use a single wing cutter with the DJ-1, is that a challenge?

    -Rutager

  2. Ok, I’ll use the knuckle buster on the lawyers not the DJ-1! Those things are seriously scary, and so are the knuckle busters!

    -Rutager

  3. Wow.
    Double Wow.
    The DJ-1/UJ is a beauty,
    and will really expand the use of the DJ-1 !!
    I can’t wait to put my order(s) in.

    Roger

  4. On that note…
    If one wanted to double the height capabilities of the UJ,
    (and since you have those 3 countersunk holes on the bottom)
    If I were to flip the second set so that the two ends with the 3
    countersunk holes were butted up against each other.
    (So that the V grooves would align) At that point the 3 plus 3
    screws would then be fastened to a backer plate that would
    be equal to the two UJ plates stacked on top of each other.
    (to ease in the vise function that the DJ-1 would be placed in)
    Am I thinking straight?
    (and no this is not an opportunity for a witty reply!)

    cheers,
    Roger

  5. Roger;

    At some point, lengthening the plates is going to create issues with the DJ-1 unit. Your suggestion, and we can certainly test it, is going to create fairly long levers that worry me. What is it you are trying to do?

    –John

  6. John,

    At the moment, it is pure speculation,
    as I am trying to anticipate my need in advance of the window that “additional” Universal Jaws will not be available any longer.
    I am thinking more in line when I would need to take the DJ-1 to a sculptural project and having an extended reach may be more beneficial. (with the additional aid of some gentle clamping) In the next week I’ll try and think of a particular situation and I’ll email you a photo of a mocked up scenario with my DJ-1.

    Roger

  7. Gentlemen,

    The use of two or more of the universal jaws stacked up was brought up on the forum a while back, and at the time I couldn’t think of a reason or situation for doing this. I have since thought of one, and that would be if you wanted to drill at an angle on the edge of a wide board. You would set your angle on the lower jaw, but do your clamping up high to avoid tweaking the DJ-1.

    -Rutager

  8. …..As well as larger cylindrical objects that would be placed inside the “double-decker” purple jaws in the same direction as the orange slider-jaws, at whatever angle. (a half round cradle/jig would be affixed inside to insure a tight hold.) Again as Rutager mentioned clamping on the upper deck to avoid tweaking the DJ-1 would be a good approach.

    The curved form will play a large part for using this approach.

    I have a feeling that an avalanche of “double decker” ideas/ uses will soon befall us.

    Roger

    As I said before, I like the purple!

  9. Rutager,

    I happened to peek inside my crystal ball last night.
    I could have sworn I saw you opening your Bridge City package order this summer and seen you pull out two sets of Universal Jaws. …….just thought I’d let you know.

    .

  10. Some thoughts,,,

    I like the fact that the orange jaws are over-extended beyond the purple jaws. If one had a parallel workpiece one could use those arms with small clamps to secure it in a vertical manner as well.

    Some narrow strips of sandpaper double-taped to the upper portion of the “shelf” of the orange jaw could also prove useful.
    (or thin strips of neoprene rubber if the scratching aspect of sandpaper doesn’t suit the job at hand.)

    I’m sitting at home looking out at my wrought iron fencing drinking my morning coffee and thinking that if one had bar stock that you had to put holes into, lets say every couple of inches – one could take a scrap piece of ply run a dado that fits the iron stock set it on the orange jaws – tighten up the purple jaws and just set the unit up on the workbench and run the bar stock through every couple of inches drilling merrily along the way.

    -Roger

  11. Wouldn’t it make more sense to put some angled blocks on the jaws of the DJ-1, rather than putting the angle guide down at the bottom of the board on the stacked universal jaws? What if the two edges of the board weren’t parallel?

    – Peter

  12. Peter-

    By keeping the universal jaws simple, one can adapt those plates to whatever esoteric needs arise.

    -John

  13. What do you folks think about adding a laser etched reference protractor to one of the purple plates?

    This way you could set your T-Bevel to .5 degree increments and then easily transfer to the orange jaws.

    Let me know.

    –John

  14. Peter,

    If you were to drill into a board that didn’t have parallel sides,
    that’s not an issue. You would simply place a sacrificial board between the purple jaws that “is” parallel and then attach your wiggly board to that with a couple of little clamps.

    John,

    I like the idea of the laser etched protractor to the purple plate as a reference point. (even if it adds a few dollars to the cost) I take that it will be on the outside of the purple jaw?

    While we are on the subject of laser etching, (…you started it!)
    What do you think of incremental markings on either edge of the purple jaw plates to assist in the set up of the movable orange jaws? No numerical markings, just short and long dashes, as an easy reference for alignment.

    -Roger

  15. Roger;

    Thanks for the feedback. Personally, I would always set one orange jaw with a square or t-bevel–the mate is indexed via round dowel. Edge alignment marks, in my opinion, are not as attractive as aligning to a known reference.

    Yes, the protractor will be on the outside. I will mock one up and see if it is worth doing.

    John

  16. John,

    My 2 cents, and I’m pretty sure you’ll want change, is that if the protractor doesn’t add much cost or slow down delivery it might be nice to have. In my shop if I had an exact angle I wanted, I would use the AMP, but more often then not, I would transfer my bevel gauge directly from another part/mating part of my project to the DJ-1’s jaws.

    One other comment or question is; on the forum you mentioned using drill rod rather than a dowel to index the jaws to each other. I’m sure I could source some of it, but is there any chance a short length could be included with the universal jaws? Or, would the sharpening rods for the HP-6 irons work well?

    Thanks, Rutager

  17. Rutager;

    The added cost is about $10–I will add it IF it is large enough to be of use. I will know tomorrow.

    Actually, you could use wooden dowel, or square stock. I don’t think it will make a bit of difference accuracy wise.

    –John

  18. John-

    Would it be the same drill rods that one uses for the Miter Stitch?

    -Roger

  19. Roger;

    Those would work. ANY dowel or rod (think acrylic), or any square stock, and….

    the second jaw will self-align with the first.

    –John

  20. I do not have the DJ-1 yet (on pre-order; very soon!) so I don’t have experience with it to base this opinion on, but I like the idea of the etched protractor. Maybe in real life, I’ll never use it, but I think I’d rather pay $10 up front and not use it than not and wish it was there.

    I love the color scheme, too.

    P.S., Megan’s gonna dump me, too; we lost our playoff final tonight… no beer for me; just losermeister…

  21. Paul-

    If all goes well today, I will know if the protractor is a good, functional idea–not candy window dressing.

    Your DJ-1 should be at your door soon, they hit our warehouse this week.

    You may be a losermeister at home but you are a winner here!

    –John

  22. John,

    From the picture, it appears that the hardware for holding the adjustable jaws will work as “buttons” for indexing curved work pieces, is that the case? and will you be having mating buttons like in the early prototype for keeping them planer?

    -Rutager

  23. Yup–with the Universal Jaws comes 2 pair of self-mating (there are two words that should not be used together…) pins. Holding curved work will be easy in most cases.

    –John

  24. The UJs will greatly improve stability and acuracy when end-drilling dowel stock. Count me in.

    I like the idea of protractor engravings on the jaws, too.

  25. The protractor on the Universal Jaws is not going to work–I have completely re-designed them and will release the new images later this week.

    As for accuracy while end drilling dowels, try this trick;

    To drill a 3/16 diameter hole dead down the center of a 1/4″ dowel, place the 3/16″ dowel into the 3/16″ dia. bushing (because dowel is never perfectly round) and clamp the bushing into the DJ-1. The results are perfect.

    As far as converting the DJ-1 into a bigger CS-2, use a pencil that will fit into one of the bushings. I will post how to convert the DJ-1 with a scribe point soon.

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