|US Patent #5,832,977 & 6,116,303
Canadian Patent #2,286,763
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KatieJig Tool System
Manufactured by Machining Center, Inc.
5719 Kopetsky Drive, Suite F
Indianapolis, IN 46217
The Katie Jig tool system was designed by Terry Hampton, a woodworker and toolmaker, in Greenwood, Indiana.
Why did Terry create the Katie Jig system?
In Terry's own words:
I've been a woodworker for a long time. I demand excellence from myself in the woodworking I do and in the tools I use. The Katie Jig system is for people who want to use tools of uncompromising quality.
I have had just about every one of the name brand jig systems in my shop trying to make heirloom grade furniture for my house. Being a Tool and Die Maker, I finally decided I could design a tool that would meet my specific desires better than all the tools I had tried.
The Katie Jig system was created out of frustration with tools that were of poor quality, limited capabilities, or too complex because the jig was designed to create every joint imaginable.
When I set out to design the Katie Jig system, I wanted a jig system that:
- Allowed variable spacing of through joints.
- Was capable of producing different-sized Dovetail pins.
- Did not require test cuts each time it was used--it had to work right out of the drawer every time.
- Was a tool of very high quality.
- Was of a convenient size to handle and use, but capable of furniture encasement-sized joints when needed.
- Did all of this in one set-up for the joint.
What is different about the Katie Jig system?
The first difference is QUALITY
- The Katie Jig system is an industrial grade tool. The guide/tuning forks, spacers, and edge stops in the Katie Jig System are manufactured from high-quality 6061-T6 aluminum, bright dipped and anodized for long life.
- Katie Jig parts are computer controlled milled to tolerances of ±. 002"--that's the thickness of one sheet of printer paper!
This level of quality allows a gap of .006"-. 010" on each of the three sides of the pin to slot--this is the ideal slip for a dovetail joint according to the experts. Not too tight, not too loose, the right amount of gap for glue--right out of the box.
- The two router bits included with the Katie Jig system are made in the USA, industrial grade and equipped with ball bearing guides. Most of our competition use Pacific Rim bit suppliers and use a guidebush to guide the router bits. Guidebushings are an inherently flawed design for the accuracy needed to route dovetails. Bearings allow you to work off the center line of the bit, which is THE most accurate location method for the cutting bit.
- The fixture base is extruded from 6105-T5 aluminum, then hard coat anodized. All T-slotted structural extrusions have a drop lock feature a - 2 degree decline from the extrusion corner to the T-slot centerline. This feature acts as a lock-washer to spring load the fastener as it is tightened making the system vibration proof. Once the guide/tuning forks are properly tightened, they are made vibration proof and will not loosen--even under heavy vibration. This vibration proof feature is unique among the variable spaced jig systems to the Katie Jig system. The extrusion allows the all important variable spacing to stay where you put it.
The fixture's T-slotted structural extrusions are made to DIN 17 615 specifications. Our competitions' fixtures for the jigs are made of cold rolled steel bars or rods, which are considered a poor choice for precision.
If you love quality tools, you will appreciate the quality of the Katie Jig Tool System.
The second difference is EASE OF USE
This is what sets the Katie Jig System in a class by itself.
- No 168-page manual to read or 40 minute video to watch again and again. Our instruction manual is under 30 pages and has easy to follow directions. That's all you need to use our tool. Fine Woodworking rated our manual "Good, clear instructions," the best rating given to any of the systems reviewed.
- No complicated assembly required. Take the Katie Jig system out of the box, use it then put it up!
- ONE set up for one variable spaced joint under 12" wide. All other jig systems require two set-ups for one joint. [Our competitor's jig system has to be taken apart and re-set up for each half of the joint! Note: read Fine Woodworking #134, (Dovetail Jig Review), the last paragraph on page 89.]
Now you can complete a dovetailed box project in one evening--cut, glue, and clamp a project before dinner, break for dinner, and then sand and finish your project after dinner.
You'll be able to relax and enjoy spending your valuable time making woodworking projects, not learning how to use complicated dovetailing tools.
If dovetailing is any easier than the Katie Jig system, then someone must be making the dovetails for you!
The third difference is VERSATILITY
The Katie Jig system:
- Can be used in a traditional bench top setup with your router in hand.
- Can be used on a router table with the optional accessory handles added to the Katie Jig system.
- Can be used to produce variable spaced and sized pins and tails. Pins and tails of the joint may be on different thickness boards with no effect on the joint fit.
- You can connect 2 Katie Jig systems together with the 2X Kit for up to a 26 1/2-inch capacity.
- Box joints and dovetails joints can be mixed on the same piece of stock with the same one-step setup. Try that with our competitors' systems!
What do we mean when we say the Katie Jig system is "Future Compatible?"
Your joinery system can grow at a pace you can afford and not be outdated.
We have laid down fundamental design guidelines for future designs. This guarantees that as our line of accessories expands, you don't have to buy a whole new system to use them.
Accessories you can look forward to in the coming years:
- True dovetails--a half-blind "out of the box fit" one setup variable spaced system.
- Organic-shaped through dovetails and half-blind joints, with the same ease of set-up and use as the current system.
- An obtuse and acute angle kit for your Katie Jig system. (This accessory was designed at the request of Scott Phillips of "The American Woodshop," PBS TV show.)