Joint Genie - gone out of business? Best alternative dowelling jigs?

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Bojam

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Does anyone have a scoop on the company Joint Genie?

Have been considering buying a dowelling jig for a while. I've looked at their products using the web address www.joint-genie.co.uk in the last year or so. That address now directs you to www.joint-genie.com. This site does not load and returns an error message: site can't be reached, connection unexpectedly closed. I've tried periodically over the last few weeks, always with the same result. Have they stopped trading? Shame if so.

The Joint Genie didn't look all that fancy and seemed perhaps a bit more fiddly to set up than other top quality jigs (e.g. JessEm, Dowelmax), but was well priced and by all accounts very accurate and robust.

Is the JessEm jig the best alternative or are there other quality jigs to consider that are readily available in the UK/Europe?

I know dowels aren't that fashionable anymore but I can't stump up the cash for a Festool Domino and dowels are plenty strong enough in most cases. Just need a jig that is quick(ish) to set up and delivers accurate results every time. I have the Wolfcraft Dowelmaster and it works but with quite serious limitations. Such as only being able to drill one hole of a particular size at a time before needing the move the jig; no clamping options, relies on the user holding it steady...

Any advice or recommendations appreciated.
 

Droogs

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Have look at the review of various dowel jigs that are available from Banggood that Denis of "Hooked on Wood" did on his Youtube channel. There are 2 or 3 vids (part of the China Tools series), looking at several different options. I too have the Wolfcraft and have liked using for years, Though i have to admit that having turned to other methods over the years I do have to have a good think about how to use it for T joints when I do have it in my hands.
 

Spectric

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The best doweling jig has to be the dowelmax, unfortunately no Uk distributors anymore but it is precision. The only downside to dowels is speed, it is not a fast process to drill all the holes and assembly can be tedious but it delivers a great joint. Out of the box it is far more precise than a Domino and a lot cheaper.

1651933013531.png
1651933067468.png


Take a look at it's potential, these joints use 10mm dowels and once you get used to the system of ticks then it is easy and precise.

If you wanted to you could put as many dowels on the edge as you could fit and alignment is perfect.
1651933251947.png


Perhaps @Peter Sefton who likes to sell quality tooling may become the new UK distributor!!
 

Bojam

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Lidl one a bit plastic but does the job...

Thanks James but I have the Wolfcraft jig that is plastic. It works but looking for a better built (metal), more precise and faster to use jig. Probably the JessEm or Dowelmax but there may be other high quality alternatives I’m not aware of.
 

Bojam

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Have look at the review of various dowel jigs that are available from Banggood that Denis of "Hooked on Wood" did on his Youtube channel. There are 2 or 3 vids (part of the China Tools series), looking at several different options. I too have the Wolfcraft and have liked using for years, Though i have to admit that having turned to other methods over the years I do have to have a good think about how to use it for T joints when I do have it in my hands.

Thanks Droogs. I’ll check the Banggood offering out.
 

Spectric

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Firstly the Jessem and Dowelmax are both well engineered, been a while since looking at the Jessem at Harrogate, thanks Covid. The Jessem is adjustable, whilst the dowelmax uses spacers so once assembled nothing can shift or be a gnats cock out and the clamping is built in. Like the Jessem you need to spend money to get a different size dowels, but I have managed well with 10mm although there have been times a six may have helped.

With a group of dowels it does not take much of an error to prevent the joint closing up, so with a 100% success rate I have to prefer the Dowelmax, maybe if I tried the Jessem and it delivered then my opinion may change.

Just watched this and the Dowelmax has a major advantage, there is no drawing lines or alignment by eye as this video shows trying to get the jig on the centre line of the workpiece of which he fails! This means although the two pieces may assemble the edges will be out of line. The dowelmax body is just aligned with the edge of the work piece so it is flush, simple and quick plus because it is aligned to the same edge on both workpieces alignment is guaranteed.
 

Spectric

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I have been thinking about dowels, something you have time to do when mostly retired and re watching that video which may not do the Jessem jig any favours.

There is no reason why you cannot work of either end of the drilling block providing it is 100% symetrical and therefore align the jig the same as the dowelmax which just leaves the positioning in the other axis. With the dowelmax you set this by placing spacers between the drilling block and the reference frame, (the side without the clamping screws) and the jig sandwiches the workpiece. The Jessem does offer more flexability in that it is not set using spacers.

There is also a Jessem jig, the JessEm Paralign doweling system that closely resembles the Dowelmax in that it has the clamps built in and what looks like to be more positive alignment and very clear markings, maybe a better doweling jig than the Dowelmax because it eliminates the need to undo screws to fit or remove the spacers.



Infact I am liking this jig a lot and hopefully will see one at Harrogate this year if Peter brings one along, and the pandemic has not re-ignited. If this can deliver faster results than the dowelmax then it could make my Domino XL almost redundant, I have never really liked it anyway but the theory / concept is good just the alignment issues.

Perhaps @Peter Sefton can add further info about the Jessem doweling jigs and the different versions.
 

deema

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Have a look out for a Record 148 dowel jig, no longer made and secondhand usually very cheap, excellent build quality and very accurate.
 

Peter Sefton

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The best doweling jig has to be the dowelmax, unfortunately no Uk distributors anymore but it is precision. The only downside to dowels is speed, it is not a fast process to drill all the holes and assembly can be tedious but it delivers a great joint. Out of the box it is far more precise than a Domino and a lot cheaper.

View attachment 135276 View attachment 135277

Take a look at it's potential, these joints use 10mm dowels and once you get used to the system of ticks then it is easy and precise.

If you wanted to you could put as many dowels on the edge as you could fit and alignment is perfect.
View attachment 135278

Perhaps @Peter Sefton who likes to sell quality tooling may become the new UK distributor!!

Thanks @Spectric I will look into the product and availability.

Cheers

Peter
 

Peter Sefton

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So the Dowelmax is superior to the JessEm jig? I’ve never used either so have no opinion but curious what it is that you think makes the Dowelmax the best?

@Peter Sefton sells the JessEm jig which reviews well.

It is a steady seller and has 22 five star reviews, students have used it over the years and we have never had any issues.


Cheers

Peter
 

recipio

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I have the old Record 148 and never use it now. Dowels have some limitations. They have a very snug fit and usually need sash clamps to get the joint together. I have yet to see someone using doweled miter joints. ! They are simply too weak to use in chair construction and tend to shrink as the glue dries out..
For occasional use using those dowel centers/pops and drilling the holes on a drill press will work quite well. Have a look at the Beadlock system sold by Rockler is the US which is a poor man's Domino. Eventually you will splurge for a Festool Domino and you will wonder how you ever did without it ! ;)
 
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monster

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Its quite interesting to see that these dowel jigs reference off the workpiece in the same way the domino does. The domino however gives you the additional advantage of allowing for a loose fit in one axis which brings huge advantages when joining more complex pieces.
 
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