Used the new DJ-1 today, first impressions

Moderator: Michael

Used the new DJ-1 today, first impressions

Postby r131@mac.com » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:07 pm

Got the jig a couple days ago and had occasion to use it today. Let me say first that I am a high-end professional custom woodworker, building stuff for 20 years or so. In our shop, we have drill presses, a horizontal morticer, and various drilling jigs. A lot of dowelling gets done. I purchased the DJ-1 thinking that it could serve in some unique, but not super-rare situations, not really as an everday tool for us. If we do a large run of identical parts that are not to huge to handle easily and the job can be set up on the horizontal morticer, that is the best way for us to go; one set up, lots of holes, not having to clamp a jig to a piece over and over again....but if the work is too physically large, it's easier to bring the jig to the piece. Or, if working on a one-off, that requires a lot of different holes in various ways that would require many different set ups....now were talking. And of course there's all the wacky special little tricky holes that this jig will be good at. All that being said, I drilled about 20 holes today, there was a little learning curve, and I made some errors at first, but the more I used it the better I liked using it. I tried drilling without clamping it on at first. As far as I'm concerned, it absolutely demands that you clamp it in position or it will most likely move. I found that disappointing. I have another drilling jig with built in thumb screws and its great in that respect.It also has a row of holes fairly close together which is is great. It took a little getting used to, this need to clamp every time and move the jig for every hole. A couple pieces were wide enough that I could have used both holes but the jig ships with one 5/16 bushing, not two. That annoyed me. Pairs of bushings in a two hole jig just seemed pretty straight forward to me. I have my doubts about the bushings only being 3/4 deep. I wish they were deeper. I found the guidance provided by these short bushings to be a bit lacking. I found myself changing my drilling technique to be able to use it without getting the drill to catch on the bushing and pull the whole affair around. I slowed the drilling speed way down, and increased the pressure, so it was more like screwing the drill in than drilling it in. I was happy with the results I got that way, they were great, but I was using poplar, a very soft wood. I'm not sure how this will go on harder wood. Perhaps I need to try a more undersized drill bit. Are the bushing holes dead on or are they oversized? Any thoughts or recommendations? Anyway, This is not a negative review. I really liked it, and I do feel that it will be a go to tool for some situations. I know I will probably order some more bushings and get some bits set up and set aside and all kept together. I'll experiment with the best little clamps to use. I just want stuff to be at the ready, quick, unfussy, and accurate. Wow, that would be something....

Regards,

Ross
r131@mac.com
 
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Re: Used the new DJ-1 today, first impressions

Postby Michael » Wed May 04, 2011 12:33 pm

Hi Ross,
Thanks for your review.

I'll try to answer some of your questions and concerns.
I tried drilling without clamping it on at first. As far as I'm concerned, it absolutely demands that you clamp it in position or it will most likely move.

I recommend using clamp when drilling holes over 1/4”. You could probably hand hold, after locking down the knobs with smaller bits. Of course with mission critical stuff, clamping is your best option.

enough that I could have used both holes but the jig ships with one 5/16 bushing, not two. That annoyed me.

Additional individual bushings are available from us. Please call or check our site.

I have my doubts about the bushings only being 3/4 deep. I wish they were deeper. I found the guidance provided by these short bushings to be a bit lacking.

For the larger bits, we are indeed pushing the envelope for the bushing length. I personally have had good results with it though.

I found myself changing my drilling technique to be able to use it without getting the drill to catch on the bushing and pull the whole affair around. I slowed the drilling speed way down, and increased the pressure, so it was more like screwing the drill in than drilling it in.

I recommend trying the opposite; Light pressure with high speed. Let the chips escape the bushing frequently. For larger bushings, you may find it helpful to use a hex key and lock down the knobs that hold the bushings. Be certain the screw hits the flat on the bushing.

Perhaps I need to try a more undersized drill bit. Are the bushing holes dead on or are they oversized? Any thoughts or recommendations?

You will not get good results with a differently sized bit than the bushing. The bushings are made to work with their associated bit size.

I'll experiment with the best little clamps to use.

I try to put the whole unit in a vise. It is the fastest clamp. Of course it depends on what you are drilling. The Jorgensen/Adjustable clamps work well otherwise. Or those small Besseys. Let us know what you find out!

Again, thanks for the review. Let me know if I need to clarify anything here.
Michael
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Re: Used the new DJ-1 today, first impressions

Postby r131@mac.com » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:42 pm

Thanks Michael,

I wanted to follow up. This could be titled "Used the new DJ-1 today, second impressions". The jig sat in a drawer for a few weeks, as I thought it might. I didn't expect this to be a daily tool for my particular situation. Today, a co-worker found that he needed to drill some holes perfectly centered in the ends of turned cylinders, that were actually in two halves, lengthwise. He had to do some operations to the work before the cylinders could be glued together. I saw him staring at the horizontal morticer, trying to figure how do do this accurately. Doing it inaccurately would be easy, but no good. DJ-1 to the rescue. The holes were drilled in short order, it definitely started to pay for itself today.
r131@mac.com
 
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