Dovetail templates? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Default Dovetail templates?

I'm trying to get a handle on how to make dovetails with the router. As I have zero experience, I'd like to go as cheap as possible until I have a better understanding and skills. I gather the Harbor Freight Dovetail Jig or the EZ Pro Dovetailer are the cheapest (and most frustrating) way to go.

However, I'd like to make through dovetails and both those devices seem to only do half-blind. I see various templates for circles and sign making that are just a sheet of some material simply clamped down to the surface of workpiece, like a stencil. I'd like to know if there is a Dovetail template like that? All the ones I can find are replacements that go in a jig.

When attempting to google this question the majority of the answers are "You don't need the router at all, just buy a saw and do it by hand". But that's not what I'm looking to do.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 05:29 PM
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Here watch this
There are a number of Manufacturers of dovetail jig cheap to expensive

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RzgnOvu...autoplay%253D1
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 06:50 AM
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Hi Walker

If you're interested in making your own dovetail jig I've noticed a few plans on the net.

For a start you could try Matthias Wandel or Stumpy Nubs on YouTube, got a feeling Mattias' jig might be table saw based but their, or others, vids might give you some insight.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 10:03 AM
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Hi Walker you could also try this 1218 - Dovetail Template Master - Milescraft
Very easy to use and very low cost.
DoveTail TemplateMaster (1 of 4) from Stots.com - YouTube

regards Leif
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Something like that 1218 is what I'm looking for, but it seems like it is discontinued or out of stock everywhere. Also $40 for a piece of plastic seems a bit much.

Can I buy one of the templates designed to go in a jig, and instead just screw it to a few pieces of scrap wood? If I line things up carefully will that work?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 07:35 PM
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I agree with the Milescraft link Lief gave. The bits and guide bearings are included with instruction DVD. Here is one source for the US. Dovetail Template Master

The link Lief mentioned has 2 other Canada links at the bottom that you could consider since you are Stateside.

Cost is reasonable the bits and bearings come with the set along with instruction DVD. The bits seem to be average quality. Setup and making it work is time intensive. Since you have to make the jig it takes added time (You dont use the plastic for cutting the joints; you use it to make a wood template and then use the wood template to cut the joints). The rest of the setup probably is no longer then the expensive metal jigs which I haven’t used. It makes a reasonably clean joint. Again I cant compare. Maybe someone here on the forum has used both and could give a better evaluation.

Workmanship is not perfection; it is how well you can cover your mistakes.

Last edited by Daikusan; 01-27-2014 at 07:44 PM. Reason: Added info on bits and bearings
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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I've been looking into it more, watching the videos and found a good write up about it here: (edit* can't post urls yet) I didn't realize before that it was a guide for making a jig yourself. I've always been into the "why buy it when you can build it" mindset. So maybe I'll give this a shot. I'll probably screw it up and end up buying a jig anyway!

I see the one canadien/us dealer. It's also listed on the homedepot website as an online only item. Somehow I don't believe they actually carry it though.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Also curious if the "Woodstock" jig (~$75) and the harbor freight jig (~$30) are the same jig? They look completely identical, as if they are made in the same factory and stamped with a different name and price.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkerrosewood View Post
I didn't realize before that it was a guide for making a jig yourself. I've always been into the "why buy it when you can build it" mindset. So maybe I'll give this a shot. I'll probably screw it up and end up buying a jig anyway!
Im like you why spend $XXX when you can build one for pennies and likely works just as well.

Naw I you shouldn’t mess it up its fairly simple. If you do, just build a better bigger one. It just wood it not like the $600 piece of steel. Answer my post and you will be set for using url’s.

The question of your next post about the Woodstock Jig. Looks to me the Harbor freight template is plastic while the other is aluminum. I will PM a couple guys and se if they know.

Workmanship is not perfection; it is how well you can cover your mistakes.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 07:08 AM
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Nice thing about trying a cheap option out is that you will likely have your mind completely wrapped around how a jig "should" work by the time you are finished figuring out whatever you do buy. So I suggest start cheap and if you find yourself trully ate up with the desire to do it well after learning on the cheap you will know what you are trully looking for out of a jig.

That process lead me eventially to Incra for the complicated cuts and, you might not like this part,a pencil and saw for the quick and single batch cuts
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