Dovetail jigs - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Default Dovetail jigs

I have a Rockler dovetail jig that I have only attempted to use once and because I forgot to put the bushing in the router ended up destroying the jig insert. Ordered a new one and it came in yesterday so will attempt it again this weekend. Any words of wisdom?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 04:45 PM
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Dont forget the bushing

Another is take some scrap wood of the same size you will use for your final project and practice until you get them dovetails snug and tight and correct. Watch some youtube videos on your product and follow the directions that came with your jig.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 05:29 PM
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Marlin makes an excellent point...practice on some scraps so you get comfortable and your eye/hand coordination is up to par.

Leave the router unplugged, no bit and practice moving the router from finger to finger...are you using a guide or bearing guided...? If bearing guided that may not work and you can practice without the wood in place.

Keep doing that until you are comfortable placing the router "in the blind"...

Then try with scrap pieces...

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 06:42 PM
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Don't give up. Dovetails are a little tricky, but rewarding when you get it right.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 07:03 PM
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(4) All of the above.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 07:45 PM
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Read the instructions carefully. As I recall, there is an odd offset requirement on this jig. I watched a demo once and the pretty experienced demonstrator at Rockler screwed it up. I bought a Sommerfeld router top jig and my Rockler jig is just sitting there, unopened. Guess it spooked me. There are videos on the Rockler and other brands of dovetail jigs. I'd watch themmany times and make notes. I do recall that you need to mark up the work pieces carefully because its easy to mix them up and miss cut them.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 08:08 PM
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Tom, making notes and marking up is a really valuable habit to get into.
I use that low tack green masking tape, have a complete cut list ahead of time, and label every piece of the project.
As sure as Hell, if I don't I'll grab the wrong piece, use a good piece for something else, or just misplace it/machine the wrong side or edge.
I'd make an exception if there's a bazillion pieces all identical, but those need to be kept separate and bundled if possible.

I use this stuff...
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 08:14 PM
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ALL excellent points well made. Should be adhered to!!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 10:56 PM
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I realize that this will be considered heresy, but make a "shop copy" of the owners manual. Read it thoroughly, make marginal notes if necessary, and highlight the important sections.

Keep the original manual in a folder with other tool manuals and parts diagrams. Place the marked up copy with the jig.

Once you made a few test pieces and found one that fits, keep it, and mark down what bit was utilized. Also mark the router base so as to keep the same edge to the rear of the jig. Some router bases are not perfectly round, there could be some run-out in the collet, etc. Small errors on dovetail jigs, like box joint jigs, easily become large errors and usually are unnoticed until you do a test fit.

Last edited by Ray Newman; 01-08-2016 at 11:00 PM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 03:24 PM
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The best advice is to practice and don't rush your project. Best of luck tp you and please let us know your progress
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