Router Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Retired
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

I want to apologize up front if some of what I say is confusing because as of this writing I am confused as to how to make sense of what I need to know. Please bear with me.

I recently acquired a Porter Cable 4216 Dovetail Jig which comes with four Bits and have had very good results making (practicing) on small drawers. My interest however lay in box joints. That said, on Page 22 of the Manual it reads thusly:

ITEMS NEEDED:
Through Dovetail and Box Joint Template
1/2" diameter straight bit (not provided)
Length of the cutter must be at least
the thickness of the workpiece.
3/4" O.D. Template Guide, 42040
Template Guide Lock Nut, 42239

ITEMS NEEDED FOR MINIATURE:
Miniature Dovetail Template
1/4" diameter straight bit (not provided)
At least 1/2" long cutter
3/8" O.D. Template Guide, 42037
Template Guide Lock Nut, 42239

This is on Page 22 of the attached Manual.

Note that PC says they do not provide the appropriate Router Bit. However, they do provide two Bits for the Miniature, their P/N's 43777PC and 43014PC. There is very little information provided on either Bit. I just now noticed at one site that the 43777PC has been discontinued. Just wonderful.

In any event I do not want to lock myself down to Porter Cable Bits. PC is not what they were ten or fifteen years ago. I believe they are on their death bed and based on the off-shore support I dealt with today twice it really leaves little question in my mind.

Since PC states only "Straight Bit, not included" for both types of boxes, I purchased a Freud 12-118 Bit for the larger boxes (1" spacing). Neither PC nor Freud could confirm that this would work with the PC template for the larger boxes.

I reached out to Freud and asked for a 1/4" version of the 12-118 and was told their P/N 04-133 would be the 1/4" equivalent. However, he wanted to verify that so he asked for the specs on the PC 1/4" straight Bit and came back with: "The bit they show is 13/32” diameter, and I’m afraid we do not have an exact match. We have 3/8”, which is our item number 04-126, or 7/16” which is 04-129. I’m sorry we can’t get closer to what you need.".

I am wide open to suggestions as to another Manufacturer who makes Bits that will allow me to make both large boxes and Miniature. My hope is that someone who has made large and small boxes with the PC Jig can confirm that the Freud 12-118 will suffice for the large boxes and if not what will work. Again, I just don't want to be locked into PC.

Thank you for taking the time to read this long Thread

Best,

Lyman
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,455 Posts
Ah, the PorterCable dovetail jig quandry. I don't have a lot to offer because I tried the Rockler version of the thing and took it right back. I watched a very experienced woodworker demonstrating the jig and she just could no make it work.

For box joints on the router, you can find jig (Rockler makes one) or make one yourself. Personally, box joints on the router are somewhat problematic because without using a tight clamp, I had trouble with the material shifting as the bit dug into it.

I think box joints are better made on a table saw. I use an incra ibox jig for box joints. It's incredibly easy to use. You can make the joint any size you want because you just dial a probe so it touches the sides of the dado stack and automatically spaces the pins and sockets just right. I use it with my blade set that is either a quarter or 3/8th side kerf, but as mentioned, you can use any size you want, even odd sizes, although you want to divide width into project height to have it look right. Here's the incra Ibox jig. It's around $220.
399292


It used to be cheaper, but you're getting a presidential discount these days.

Much easier to use and the finished result is just as strong as the dovetail. I wish I'd realized this before I got the pc style Rockler jig. I was able to get rid of it, but at a loss. To be honest, I really don't much like the look of dovetail joints. I like more modern looking stuff.

Many members have made their own box joint jigs, but they aren't able to adjust to any size on the fly. You have to re-cut them and then more trial and error adjusting. Don't have time for all that myself, getting old now. Time and temper are growing shorter.
 

·
Registered
Retired
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ah, the PorterCable dovetail jig quandry. I don't have a lot to offer because I tried the Rockler version of the thing and took it right back. I watched a very experienced woodworker demonstrating the jig and she just could no make it work.

For box joints on the router, you can find jig (Rockler makes one) or make one yourself. Personally, box joints on the router are somewhat problematic because without using a tight clamp, I had trouble with the material shifting as the bit dug into it.

I think box joints are better made on a table saw. I use an incra ibox jig for box joints. It's incredibly easy to use. You can make the joint any size you want because you just dial a probe so it touches the sides of the dado stack and automatically spaces the pins and sockets just right. I use it with my blade set that is either a quarter or 3/8th side kerf, but as mentioned, you can use any size you want, even odd sizes, although you want to divide width into project height to have it look right. Here's the incra Ibox jig. It's around $220.
View attachment 399292

It used to be cheaper, but you're getting a presidential discount these days.

Much easier to use and the finished result is just as strong as the dovetail. I wish I'd realized this before I got the pc style Rockler jig. I was able to get rid of it, but at a loss. To be honest, I really don't much like the look of dovetail joints. I like more modern looking stuff.

Many members have made their own box joint jigs, but they aren't able to adjust to any size on the fly. You have to re-cut them and then more trial and error adjusting. Don't have time for all that myself, getting old now. Time and temper are growing shorter.
Thanks Tom! I had the Rockler as well and it went back after two weeks. The PC is much more robust. I've heard of many others using a table saw as well but somehow I am gongto make this work.

Thanks for your detailed input, really appreciate it!

Best,

Lyman
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
I'm not sure it Woodsmith ever had any. Maybe someone else can direct you to one.

I just made mine from scratch.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top