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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Good Morning All
I am a first timer for this forum. My name is Jake and I am a retired electrical engineer in Chicago. I have been working with wood all of my life but only at the utility level up till retirement 3 yrs ago. I have been collecting all of the basic machines for finer projects (sans lathe), mostly for cabinet making. In the past I had a sound company and made a variety of speaker cabinets, portable turntable units, amp racks, etc. Basic woodworking skills all done with a radial arm saw! Now I am getting into real finished products.

What brought me to this forum is the search for better instructions than the ones that were included in the Rockler Dovetail jig. I just completed drawer/storage cabinet for my workbench and I was interested in refining the drawers by learning how to make dovetails with a jig. The guy who did a review from newwoodworker.com says that they are clear and understandable. They are by no means detailed or clear. Maybe to a long time dovetailer/woodworker, but not to the novice. I figured out most of the details on my own because a lot of the instructions are very misleading and didn't make sense.

So, does anyone out here have any advice and/or experience using the Rockler jig? I just want to make sure I am doing it right. My first attempt at the halfblind dovetails didn't fit at all. I do believe that I have to make height adjustments with the bit. I didn't get a chance yesterday to fiddle with adjustments, but I will attempt to do it today (hopefully without killing myself or destroying a template, lol).

Thanks to all
Jake
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 07:45 AM
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Good Morning to You Jake! Welcome to the forums. I am sorry that I can't give You the instructions, I needed just to welcome You. I hope You have a great time here!

John 3:16

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 08:10 AM
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Hi Jake

I don't know if these will help but at least they should throw more light on it. These things are pretty generic in design. Also look out for BJ's posts on upgrading it to make it more reliable. Gluing sandpaper to the gripping surfaces of the clamp bars, to prevent work moving, is just one of them.

Cheers

Peter
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File Type: pdf dovetail jig manual 1.pdf (830.6 KB, 40 views)
File Type: pdf DovetailJig Manual c.pdf (274.4 KB, 37 views)
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 08:26 AM
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Good morning Jake and welcome to the forum. Everyone here will help you out in one way or another. I am pretty new to finished woodworking also, and I have been working with wood all my life also, but as you put it, at a utility level. I have learned a lot from this forum.

If you do a search for "dovetail" I think it would yield you enough results to keep you reading for awhile.

Be sure to ask questions if you have them, because that's the way we all learn.

Darrin
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 10:30 AM
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HI Jake

The Rockler and others like it are a PITA to use buy you can get it done, it takes a bit of rework from you , the key is to not let the stock move at all when you clamp it down it place, most have a error with lining the parts up right, it will drive you nuts but you don't need to, just use wider stock and than rip the stock to the right size to get all the parts to line up just right.
Just a note,,take the long rods off the machine and just use the plastic knobs to lock the stock in place..most of the errors come form the cams and the rods..

Below you will see a snapshot of what I did to take out the errors of the jig.

=======



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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 11:06 AM
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Greetings Jake and welcome to the router forum. Thank you for joining us, and remember to have fun, build well and above all be safe.

Wisdom: Where experience and knowledge combine and become one.

"We are all one decision away from Stupid!!"

Lamentations 3:22-23

"How often we sacrifice the permanent plans of God on the altar of immediate solutions"

I have a very good memory, just short is all.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by istracpsboss View Post
Hi Jake

I don't know if these will help but at least they should throw more light on it. These things are pretty generic in design. Also look out for BJ's posts on upgrading it to make it more reliable. Gluing sandpaper to the gripping surfaces of the clamp bars, to prevent work moving, is just one of them.

Cheers

Peter
Thanks for the optional instructions. They are more detailed than the Rockler manual. I did get a chance to continue my experimentations and did succeed at finally getting my halfblind dovetails to snug-fit correctly. It took some fine adjustments for the bit height (added 1/32") and added length on the fence. I am finally understanding the global procedure including using scrap to prevent tearout.

Thanks again
Jake
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Darrin
I have made some fine adjustments and finally "getting it" in terms of jig usage.

Jake
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Default Rockler Jig

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3 View Post
HI Jake

The Rockler and others like it are a PITA to use buy you can get it done, it takes a bit of rework from you , the key is to not let the stock move at all when you clamp it down it place, most have a error with lining the parts up right, it will drive you nuts but you don't need to, just use wider stock and than rip the stock to the right size to get all the parts to line up just right.
Just a note,,take the long rods off the machine and just use the plastic knobs to lock the stock in place..most of the errors come form the cams and the rods..

Below you will see a snapshot of what I did to take out the errors of the jig.

=======
Thanks for the pic and shortcuts. Things have been improving for me with some good minor adjustments. The global understanding is improving for me. :-) My next attempt will be ALL four sides (in scrap plywood first) for a basic drawer. I am learning......

Thanks again
Jake
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