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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Default Dovetail Jig Tip

Hi,
This is for those of you that don't have three hands to use your dovetail jig. When machining narrow parts it is good practice to use a spacer on the opposite side. This helps keep your template supported & flat across the work & will enable the cam-clamps to give even pressure across the material.

You need two pieces the same thickness as the material to be machined. Cut them long enough so they extend past the cam-clamps (mine are 8" long). Machine them for a Half-Blind Dovetail joint. They do not have be a perfect or a tight fit as long as they go together. Loose fit would be better so you could take them on & off easily when machining wider material.

To use the spacer you need to slide each piece into the jig & interlock the joint. Since the pieces are interlocked they will not fall out of jig when cam-clamps are released thus falling on the floor. This is an often occurrence for the vertical piece, but with the Half-blind Dovetail joint the top piece will keep it from falling on the floor. This leaves your hands free to hold material.

Leave it in the jig & just slide it side to side when using opposite sides of the jig. When machining wide material just slide it apart & set aside. For those that don't get much time using their jig you could also mark the top cam-clamp with "Fronts & Backs" & the front cam-clamp with "Sides". You can also mark the left side with 1 & 3 and the right side with 2 & 4. This is so you don't get confused with which corner joint you are machining. Mark your top edge of you material & always face them with the same orientation (always facing towards the stops or towards the center of the jig). Always place you material with the outside face against the jig. Hope this tip is helpful to some.
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James
Whittier, CA.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 12:35 PM
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Outstanding idea. I just screwed up the courage yesterday to do some box joints with my PC 4216 Dovetail Jig and the parts turned out fair but not perfect. I did have a problem holding the scrap parts to level out the hold down clamps and you have the ideal solution. The only thing I am going to do differently is the screw the two parts together with the vertical part butted against the horizontal part so I can make sure the sight line is even on both ends of the jig. Also make them only 1-2 inches wide thereby giving me more clamping area for longer parts.

When something is advertised as being foolproof there is always a better class of fool that comes along to prove them wrong.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Bee View Post
Outstanding idea. I just screwed up the courage yesterday to do some box joints with my PC 4216 Dovetail Jig and the parts turned out fair but not perfect. I did have a problem holding the scrap parts to level out the hold down clamps and you have the ideal solution. The only thing I am going to do differently is the screw the two parts together with the vertical part butted against the horizontal part so I can make sure the sight line is even on both ends of the jig. Also make them only 1-2 inches wide thereby giving me more clamping area for longer parts.
If your piece is same thickness as the parts, the sight line should be same automatically. The reason I used a joint & not screw it together is because when I want to remove it from the jig for wider parts it just slips apart no tools needed. It stays in the jig no problem. It doesn't have to be as wide as I made it. It was scrap that was close to that size already.

James
Whittier, CA.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlord View Post
If your piece is same thickness as the parts, the sight line should be same automatically. The reason I used a joint & not screw it together is because when I want to remove it from the jig for wider parts it just slips apart no tools needed. It stays in the jig no problem. It doesn't have to be as wide as I made it. It was scrap that was close to that size already.

Actually the sight line can be off from one end to the other as I found out yesterday. Each end of the template is adjustable and can be off enough to matter. The template is independent of the clamp setting, or at least it is on my PC Jig.

When something is advertised as being foolproof there is always a better class of fool that comes along to prove them wrong.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 11:20 AM
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James- a little late on the reply to your tip but I must say outstanding for the person who uses the jig from time to time or the person (like me) that gets a little over confident in their ability to rush through production. It's very easy to make scrap or firewood if your not paying attention. Good job in putting these tips together. I will be using them!

Your neighbor Greg,
Norwalk,Ca.
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