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Multiple failed attempts to make a 22 Designs jig

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  • Multiple failed attempts to make a 22 Designs jig

    I've been having increasing difficulty mounting bindings using my tried and true paper template free hand methods. I'm still ok for binding springs but Dostie has got me hooked on threaded inserts and I don't want to go back. I can't trust myself due to worsening vision and unsteady hands. So I thought I would try to use the last gasp of my abilities to make a low tech jig. At first I thought MDF would be a good material because of its dimensional stability and ease of working. I was able to drive drill bits through it using my fingers to turn them. However, I was not able to get accurate holes with my first try but did better on the second. Until I tested it, that is. The MDF is so soft that any movement of the drill bit deforms the matrix of the MDF and holes end up being too far off for insert installation.

    I tried again with two pieces of hardwood. I used Magnolia, which I find difficult to believe is actually a hard wood, but that's what the internets tell me. It was easy to drill and I had what I thought was a well made drill guide for a range of bit diameters. But both times, the holes came out too far off the pattern to use. I thought I was being super slow and careful but I must not be seeing what I'm doing well enough to get them drilled perpendicular to the plane of the wood.

    I gave up. My wife--bless her heart--has offered to buy me a 22 Designs jig for my birthday. It is out of stock until December so I'll have to wait to add inserts to my two other pairs of skis so I can move my Lynx to them if I want to.

    Yes, I am a hack and an idiot for thinking I could do this without a drill press. I found a real drill press for about $150 but I have no place to keep it so I didn't buy it. The jig is $330 plus shipping if they will even ship it to Japan.

    Has anybody ever built a jig using hand tools before? Tell me again what I fool I was to try. But it was enjoyable while the process lasted.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    I have a Jigarex with a 22D plate, but for tele, I still think the 22D plastic see-through template is just as good and maybe less likely to make mistakes:

    https://www.twentytwodesigns.com/Cle...late_p_50.html

    You can make your own by just downloading the PDF and printing to the thickest plastic sheet your printer will accept. It works better on home printers than expensive and heat producing office printers, take it from me I have screwed up one or two office printers doing this.

    If you really want to buy the jig, I suggest buying a Jigarex one and one plate and not just the 22D jig what you can only use for one binding.

    I have installed a zillion and a half inserts, and hand drilling without a jig has never been a problem. With my insert kit, I have the guides to drill and to and tap the insert holes.
    Last edited by djhutch; 5 November 2020, 12:12 PM.

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    • #3
      MDF- medium density fiberboard (crap) It's made for interior trim. It's only medium density, and it's still just an "oatmeal" type board where there's no strength to it, so it's not good for use as a jig.

      I use poly-carbonate plastic because it's strong material and clear, so I can also see the jig to ski alignment before I drill. I also use a vix bit to both center the bit and keep the spinning bit from cutting into the jig. I pilot drill the ski for normal screws, then remove the jig and freehand the holes for inserts.

      I also cut a shallow centerline and 2 other equally off center lines into the jig, so I can see my alignment remains good by eyeballing the whole mess. I mount the jig on the ski with double stick tape, then clamp it all down so nothing moves. Here's my Rottefella freedom jig, which has 11 screws including the heel

      Click image for larger version

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      I just freehand the heel piece... since it's not a critical measurement...
      the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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      • #4
        I have always drilled the holes free-hand. I found the most important tool for mounting inserts is a tap guide: https://www.amazon.com/Big-Gator-Too.../dp/B0076OAODG. It's more important that the tap is perfectly straight, even if the hole is not.

        If you're having trouble drilling straight holes, and don't want the cost or bulk of a drill press, have you considered a drill guide? They're pretty cheap, don't take much space, and could be useful for other projects as well.

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        • #5
          This summer I made two 22 Designs drilling jigs, one for screw hole drill size and one for insert drill size. I do have a drill press, sort of, a Grizzly brand which I discovered is crap for accuracy, so did the drilling for the jigs by hand. I have found the 22D paper or transparency templates, while accurate, are hard to judge just where the centers of the dots are, so found some accurately 1/8 inch ruled engineering drawing paper and just laid out the hole pattern on the correct line intersections on the graph paper.

          Then on an 18 inch length of 3" X 1/8" steel stock from Ace Hardware I scribed a fine center line with a sharp awl. On the graph paper template I used a needle to carefully poke holes through the paper at the correct line intersections, then taped this paper template onto the steel aligning it with the center scribe line on the steel. Then with a fine pointed center punch with which I could feel when it was in the needle holes at line intersections, I tapped the punch to mark the steel. Then used a standard broad point punch to create a larger drilling dimple centered in the fine punch mark. This will keep tiny bits centered on the punch mark as I moved up one drill size at a time to the size of the needed hole for 22D screws. Same procedure for making the jig for the larger insert size holes. All drilled by hand with attention to keeping the bit vertical. One could use a drill guide block for this to make sure. I made a drill guide out of 3 pieces of 3/4" HDPE screwed together...but did use the drill press to make the guide holes in this block in the sizes needed. Only thing the damned drill press was good enough for. A block of hard wood drilled vertically would work as well. Or buy a commercial drill guide that includes the sizes you need.

          For aligning the jig fore and aft, on each ski I scribed a boot center line across the jig at the correct place which aligns the jig , Side to side alignment is made by aligning the ends of the scribe marks with the center line I establish on masking tape on each ski using a small adjustable square to locate center at 4-6 points along the ski in the binding vicinity. You could also use a compass to make center marks on the tape, making sure to use the steel edges of the ski to measure from, not the top corners of the ski. Then I clamped an accurate straight edge to the ski to draw a line carefully connecting these center marks. I use a piece of 1/8" X 2" X 3' extruded aluminum stock from the hardware store. Once aligned both side to side and fore to aft on the ski the jig is clamped down for drilling. I have the depth of the drilling guide block such that I can adjust the amount of drill bit that projects through the block to go through the jig plate and correctly deep into ski by how deep the drill shank goes into the drill chuck. Works great, once set up it's just drill baby drill.

          For tapping the insert holes I made a guide that holds the tap and tap handle vertical, and works well for this.

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          • #6
            i also use clear polycarb. really nice to be able to see thru the jig, makes aligning it on the ski much easier. if you are making the jig by hand, punch and use a center drill to start the hole. tip, if your first punch is a little off, in polycarb you can put the punch back in the divot and hit to the side to scutch the divot over. then use a drill guide, like that gator tools one jtb linked. i have it, its excellent, great quality, great tool. i also drill holes to align to the center line of the ski at each end, and again at pin line and at boot center (for my size boots). those holes are smaller so i don't get confused and drill a ski with them.

            i drill 1/8" holes in the polycarb jig which are sized for a small center drill. a center drill is really nice to use as the starter hole in the ski because it will not chew up the hole in your jig so it last longer. i just dip the center drill into the ski, then switch to gator tools guide and a stop collar around the bit to set the depth (or use a proper ski drill without a collar). i use the guide/stop for both drilling and tapping.

            to create my ski center line, i use compass trick that dostie wrote about somewhere. set a compass to something larger than 1/2 ski width, now draw and arc from one side, move 90 degrees across the ski, draw another arc, where they meet is the center. do that in front and behind the binding, use those marks to align to the center holes on my jig. Sometimes i also just measure the width of the ski with calipers, then set the calipers to 1/2 that measurement, then hold the calipers against the edge and slide to scribe a line near center on the top sheet. repeat from other edge. do that in front and behind the binding and use those two lines to align the centering hole.

            i happen to use a mill to make my jigs. and do it off measurements instead of a paper template. but that's just because i have a mill. if you have a 3d printer, you could also just print a jig.
            Last edited by jasonq; 5 November 2020, 01:04 PM.

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            • #7
              PS, those vix bits, aka self centering bits, TS mentioned are really handy all the way around. if you can clamp, and access all the holes, you might not even need a jig, just with the vix bit guided off the binding itself.

              short form of the process, align binding on ski as best you can with boot in or out, however you want. clamp binding to ski. drill one hole ideally that you can access with a screw driver with the boot in. screw binding down by that one hole snug, insert boot, center heel on ski. tighten/clamp binding. drill remaining holes.

              and you can also just use the vix bit to create a shallow starter hole, and finish the hole with a ski bit and drill guide.

              same process can make you a jig.

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              • #8
                Cesare,

                Sounds like you were having fun, so I think the project was a win!

                I have made jigs out of poly like jasonq and TS have noted. But I also bought the 22D jig .... planning to stick with their product long enough to make it worthwhile. I cannibalized an old 'real' jig to get the centering mechanism and then made a plate out of wood which the poly bolts to. It's good enough for tele mounts but I have messed up tech mounts with it. And it still takes some goofing around. I think you made the right decision to order the 22D jig - just hope it makes it to you in time.

                Just a heads up... the carpenter's rule still applies with that jig. There is something about it the markings that are not intuitive (at least to me) and I have to scratch my head quite a bit each time I use it. (I think the last time I made some permanent notes on the jig).

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                • #9
                  Thanks folks. I didn't mention that I have always done a lot of the things you mention. I don't use the PDF template for 22 Designs because the pattern is so easy to make using 1/4 inch graph paper. My problem is marking the ski accurately. My near vision seems to be degrading continually and my prescription changes. I think I am putting a pinhole in the intersection of the lines but I keep missing when I transfer that to the ski. When I do get that part right, I drill small pilot holes and slowly work up to the largest size I need when trying to make a jig. But even using drill guides the holes don't all come out perfect. And yes, the MDF is certainly crap. The bushings deform it with the slightest variation in how I hold the drill and every test I've done the holes I make in the "ski" are off. I tried to make a jig out of acrylic but without a drill press, I was not able to see that my holes were not accurate until after I drilled them. That attempt was one of the worst failures. I later learned that to avoid cracking the acrylic you have to grind down the tine on the end of the drill bit so it doesn't catch the material and shatter it. Without a grinder I was not going to try an acrylic slab again.

                  All that is water under the bridge now. I took djhutch's advice and ordered the jigarex from Binding Freedom, along with some more inserts and screws. Thanks for all the awesome responses!

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                  • #10
                    jnicol, I noticed that when I went to the local shop and checked theirs out. Same problem with the pdf template. THey have these numbers that look like mondo-point sizes and say not to use mondo point. Convention seems to me to be BSL is stated in mm while mondopoint is stated in cm. Every time I have to figure out what they are talking about all over again. Actually, I think I have it now but the proof will be next time I go to mount 22 Designs bindings ;-)

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                    • #11
                      the jigarex is pretty awesome. i'd buy one if it weren't for the fact that my mill makes making jigs easy.

                      one thing to cap this thread:
                      Acrylic SUCKS! while it looks like polycarbonate, it shatters, easily. avoid at all costs. aside from purely decorative uses, i don't think i would ever consider acrylic for anything, ever.

                      Polycarbonate on the other hand is "shatter proof". Also UV blocking, hence its use in both safety glasses and sunglasses. at bit gummy to machine, and on the more difficult side to injection mold. and on the very difficult side for 3d printing. But a fantastic sheet plastic.

                      often brand names are used, and it can be hard to tell what you are looking at.
                      ACRYLITE®, DURAPLEX®, Fabback®, Excelon™, Lucite®, OPTIX®, Perspex®, Plexiglas®, Polycast, KSH®
                      are all acrylic.
                      HYDEX®, Hygard®, Hyzod®, Lexan®, Lexgard®, Makrofol®, Margard®, Sustanat, TECANAT®, TUFFAK®, Zelux® are all polycarbonate.

                      if you have them in hand and are unsure, and they are both "clear", polycarb is slightly gray vs acrylic, especially when looking at the edge.

                      here is a good guide to plastic brand names, and what they really are
                      https://www.curbellplastics.com/Rese...eference-Guide

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                      • #12
                        Good to know... One thing that isn't easy in Japan is sourcing materials. I have not seen anyplace to buy polycarbonate. Online sellers are easy to find for tools but not for materials. And retail I only have HOMAC and Super Viva Home for construction materials and Tokyu Hands for craft materials. The latter was where I got the acrylic. Part of me is glad I abandoned this project for jigarex even though I HATE to give up on anything I try to do.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jnicol View Post
                          Cesare,

                          Sounds like you were having fun, so I think the project was a win!

                          I have made jigs out of poly like jasonq and TS have noted. But I also bought the 22D jig .... planning to stick with their product long enough to make it worthwhile. I cannibalized an old 'real' jig to get the centering mechanism and then made a plate out of wood which the poly bolts to. It's good enough for tele mounts but I have messed up tech mounts with it. And it still takes some goofing around. I think you made the right decision to order the 22D jig - just hope it makes it to you in time.

                          Just a heads up... the carpenter's rule still applies with that jig. There is something about it the markings that are not intuitive (at least to me) and I have to scratch my head quite a bit each time I use it. (I think the last time I made some permanent notes on the jig).
                          I bought the 22D jig for the same reason. The thing is huge. Remember the numbers are boot sole length in CM, ignore the Axl marks and it's not too hard to understand. Being in CM it looks like mondo point. That said I put my markings on the jig too. Some boot end stops would make it easier to use but wouldn't work with the Axl offset.

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                          • #14
                            It *is* huge. I went to BC Map to fondle theirs. I don't know how it compares to the Jigarex in size but I suspect the Jigarex is not that big.

                            The Jigarex plate says it is for the Axl, so the only other thing I need to remember is the 8 mm difference from the boot center line.

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                            • #15
                              Old Chez who can't see and whose hands are not very steady is back in business!

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