New member needs help with dovetail jigs - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Default New member needs help with dovetail jigs

I have always been interested in woodworking. I am interested in making small wood boxes from keepsake size through medium sized toyboxes. I still need to acquire a dovetail jig for making the joints. Looking for any recommendations and advice on making tight joints.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 08:50 PM
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Welcome, Ed;

Depending on the type of dovetail you want to make, determines what jig to use.
There are many, both cheap (but good) that make hidden DTs, and more expensive ones for through and hidden DTs.
I have a Harbor Freight for hidden. Also have a Porter Cable for those.
Others will come in with more options for you.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 09:23 PM
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Hi Ed, welcome.
I have the Porter Cable 4216 with all the templates for doing full size & miniatures. With all the templates you can do half-blind dovetails, through dovetails, sliding dovetails & box joints. It is a good jig. The different 4200 series (4210 thru 4216) is the same basic jig but higher the number the more templates that are included. You can also buy the templates separate.

James
Whittier, CA.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 10:12 PM
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Hi Ed, welcome to the forum

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 06:00 AM
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Greetings and welcome to the router forums, we are glad to have you join us.

I have an Akeda they ain't cheep unless you happen upon one like I did on Craig's list. I paid 200.00 for it and it included a DeWalt 618 router, made it a worth while expenditure. The jig works great and is simple, a real plus for me!!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 11:26 AM
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I know this will sound like heresy. Unless you plan on producing a lot of dovetails don't use a router and dovetail jig. For small projects or one-offs it is faster, easier, less expensive and less wasteful to cut them by hand. Don't get me wrong I love routers. I look to the router for solutions to my woodworking problems before I consider most other options. I have owned a couple of jigs in the past but have gotten rid of them even though all of my case projects and drawers are built with dovetails. If I was planning on doing a kitchen full of half blind dovetails I would get a simple half blind jig. If I wanted to do production runs of case pieces/boxes that were dovetailed I would get a Leigh, Porter Cable, Woodrat, etc... jig.

I apologize for my sacrilege in advance. I know this is a router forum and that I am new. I assumed I had to have a dovetail jig when I first got started. I wasted time and money when I didn't have to. I think that the OP might benefit from this additional perspective.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 11:57 AM
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Hi 4yanks

I must disagree with you on that one.

Putting dovetails in by hand is a art and takes many years to get down right not to say anything about putting in blind dovetails, most of the members have home shops.

You don't need to drop 200.oo plus for a dovetail jig if you only need one now and than unlike the hand way that you need to drop tons of good money for saws and chisels not say anything about all the wood you will make in to firewood for a long time b/4 you get it down right..

For 50.oo you can put dovetails in easy with just a router and one router bit that comes with the jig..

http://www.routerforums.com/project-...etail-jig.html

=====



Quote:
Originally Posted by 4yanks View Post
I know this will sound like heresy. Unless you plan on producing a lot of dovetails don't use a router and dovetail jig. For small projects or one-offs it is faster, easier, less expensive and less wasteful to cut them by hand. Don't get me wrong I love routers. I look to the router for solutions to my woodworking problems before I consider most other options. I have owned a couple of jigs in the past but have gotten rid of them even though all of my case projects and drawers are built with dovetails. If I was planning on doing a kitchen full of half blind dovetails I would get a simple half blind jig. If I wanted to do production runs of case pieces/boxes that were dovetailed I would get a Leigh, Porter Cable, Woodrat, etc... jig.

I apologize for my sacrilege in advance. I know this is a router forum and that I am new. I assumed I had to have a dovetail jig when I first got started. I wasted time and money when I didn't have to. I think that the OP might benefit from this additional perspective.



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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 02:57 PM
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Bob J.

I knew that to make such a suggestion on a router forum would be controversial. I stopped using a dovetail jig, not when I acquired the skill to cut dovetails, but when I started looking at furniture in museums. It seemed to me that the great masters couldn't cut tight dovetails either. Nobody criticizes them. So I decided if it was good enough for them it would be good enough for me.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 05:50 PM
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Welcome to the community 4yanks...

you can take heart my friend... there are many in here who endeavor to make the perfect handcut dovetail

"..... limited only by imagination"

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4yanks View Post
Bob J.

I knew that to make such a suggestion on a router forum would be controversial. I stopped using a dovetail jig, not when I acquired the skill to cut dovetails, but when I started looking at furniture in museums. It seemed to me that the great masters couldn't cut tight dovetails either. Nobody criticizes them. So I decided if it was good enough for them it would be good enough for me.

Hi 4yanks
I think you may be overlooking the fact that the furniture you have been looking at in museums are probably 200 + years old as timber dries out it shrinks so now when you look at the dovetail or finger joints they now look loose but are still holding the parts together. If they had started out loose they would now fall apart. Here in Australia the standard is 12% moisture in the timber when it is dried (kiln or air) and after a few years you can still see the joint is not as tight as when first made.

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