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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Leigh Jig

Hi, I'm Rex
I bought a Leigh jig about 12-15 years ago and did a few through dovetails in boards for boxes about 4"-5" wide. It seemed to work great. Recently I pulled it out and started to use it for some projects that would be 18" wide. I have gone round and round with it. The first 4 or 5 dovetails fit but as it goes further to the right side of the jig they don't fit. I've done all the trouble shooting with the bushing thing. Started with 2 routers and then just tried 1. Bought several new precision bushings,new cutters and nothing seem to fix it. I think I am now going to resort to the incra jig and possibly learning to hand cut them. This jig is junk.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 08:56 AM
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Welcome to Router Forums.

Leigh tech support is very good actually, in my opinion, they are second to none. You should try e-mailing or calling them with your problem. Over the years that I have owned Leigh jigs I have experienced a few problems and they got me straightened out very quickly. Contact them at [email protected] or call them at 1-800-663-8932. They are on Pacific Coast time. Be sure to include the model and serial number of your jig.

I own both the FMT Pro and the D4R jigs and feel that they are the best in the industry. I also own an Incra Jig. Although they say that you can cut dovetails with an Incra Jig I would not advise going that way. It is a precision fence system. Making dovetails with it is very time consuming and can be error prone. The Incra Jig will do it, but it takes many, many steps to make a dovetail joint with it and all steps must be correct or you will ruin your joint.

Please let us know how you do with them.

Charley
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Charlie,
Called Leigh Jig a while back and was given that same conclusion as i see all the time that it has to do with the bushing. I have bought several precision bushings,with the guide, and this does not seem to be the problem. I think there is a problem with the jig being out of square or something. Bought it in late 1990's so doubt I would get a warranty. Feel I shouldn't have to fight with something that expensive.Have set up the Incra and getting ready to make first joint. Will try Leigh again as i really hate to shelf something that cost that much.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 08:22 AM
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I'm guessing that you may have a board orientation problem. One of the things that can happen when using a dovetail jig with an adjustable finger pattern is that it is possible to set the fingers to a nearly identical spacing, but one that is not exactly identical when one end is compared to the other. To the eye, both ends look identical, so it's easy to get confused about which way the pins or the tails were cut. Have you tried turning the tail board over (inside face to outside face) to see if the pattern matches and fits together in this orientation? Board orientation is critical and it's easy to see which orientation is correct if the pin and tail patterns are varied in size from one end of the joint to the other. Leigh provides a marking system in their instruction manual that, if followed, will help to keep the boards correctly oriented during the cutting steps. If not followed, it's easy to cut a nearly symmetrical joint that won't fit together, similar to what you are describing.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I clearly marked the sides and labeled them with a magic marker. I ran some more test last week and came to the conclusion that as with many pieces of equipment mine has it's own quirk.To get a perfect fit there is a difference of moving the right side scale in the pin mode 1-1 1/2 marks toward the operator. Got a good fit this way in all the joints. So made myself a note on my jig support.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 06:10 PM
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What model jig do you have? With the older D4 jigs the side board stop is bolted on and may have been knocked out of position. The newer D4R jig that I have has these stops machined into the main extrusion so it can't get out of adjustment.

Are you maintaining the same router orientation while you make your dovetail cuts? I put an arrow mark on the base of my dovetailing routers so I don't use them 180 deg out of position. Even though I take great pains to center the bushing with respect to the router bit I always keep the routers oriented the same way during my dovetail cuts, just to make sure that I don't introduce any error. If your bushing isn't centered and you turn the router around it will introduce an error.

Charley
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I have done all the above.My jig as an old D4. I have been very methodical in setting everything up and repeating everything. Been in contact with Leigh Jig Help and we've come to the conclusion that the quirk to my jig is the jig must be brought out about 1-1 1/2 marks toward the operator on the right side in pin position. This gives me good joints. We think maybe the machining of the carriage or jig itself was made out of alignment.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 11:27 AM
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Hello Rex:
Your problem sounds somewhat similar to one that I had with a 15 year old D4. The problem turned out to be a finger with a broken screw. It appeared to be tight when inspected but it would move a little by exerting the weight of the router against it while in use. It does not take much movement of the finger guide to cause the joint not to fit. It took me several months of doing all the regular things previously suggested along with several calls to the manufacture before I, by accident, found the problem. I bought several new finger guides and I haven not had a problem after change the broken finger guide.
mk
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 06:38 PM
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This is my story as well but the jig is a craftsman. On top of that my puppy tore up my mannual. Help
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