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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While browsing around at Rockler from the link provided on this forum, I noticed they had a good looking dovetail jig and what appeared to be a good price.

Here is the exact link to the item

http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/product_details.cfm?&offerings_id=6552

Can anyone offer input as to whether or not this is a good consideration to my woodworking shop, both in price and quality.

Remember also, that if anyone decides to purchase this item, be sure to access Rockler from the RouterForums.com advertising banner so that our forum can benefit from your purchase.
 

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Doug
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All those small dovetail jigs look alike, and work for a lot of small jobs. The problem lies in the fact that most of them have plastic templates. If you are going to do a lot of dovetails, you might want to look at a unit that has aluminum templates. An extra $100 upfront might sound like a lot, but could save you a lot of frustration later. I have personally had to replace a template because of wear/abuse.

Sears has a little bit bigger unit for $199 (Craftsman Professional 16 in. Dovetail and Boxjoint System Sears item #00925455000)

Amazon has the Keller jig for $120 for through dovetails, or the Portercable omnijig (I wish I had that one!) for $300.

Woodcraft.com has the AKEDA DC-16V Dovetail Jig, which is supposed to be really easy to use, for about $300. I haven't played with that one though.

Like most everything else, it depends on what you are going to be doing, and how often you are going to be doing it.

Check your harbor freight flyers, 'cause they have one for $30-$45 that looks a lot like everyone elses half blind jig. If you aren't going to be doing a lot of dovetails, maybe that would be an economical option.
 

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Had one of the 'inexpensive' jigs for a long time. Had problems with workpieces clipping, extra clamping to try to hold things. difficult to set up and maintain. I finally broke down and bought a Leigh D4 last year. Expensive - yes, deserved - I think so, and I'll never go back. It was worth every penny to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. I think I'll hold off on this addition until I've had more time to evaluate my needs.

The folks on this forum have been so helpful in so many ways and I am proud to be affiliated with such a fine group of people. Thanks to this place I am working toward completion of my shop equiped with most of the necessary tools to revive my woodworking hobby. Looks like about 2 weeks to go until I can start making some REAL sawdust. Still waiting on the electrician to finish and then getting insulation in the attic. Almost Christmas all over again. :D
 

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I'm really interested in everyone's opinion on the dovetail jigs. What's good and what's not? We used one at my college course and it was a real pain in the a** to set up. Can't remember the make.

How about the "Wood Rat?" Any good? Expensive and does a lot of different joints.

~Julie~
 

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rockler jig

I bought the Rockler jig mentioned in the first post. It works, but there is a lot of setup. You have to be really careful to get it right, and there's a lot of guess work to get the depth of the dovetail router bit at the correct depth to make a good tight fitting joint. But this is probably true of any dovetail jig. Plus, practice makes perfect, and I don't use it enough to really be good at it. Every time I need to use it, I have to relearn, so if I get bad joints, it's probably mostly my fault. But it does work. If I had it to do again, I'd probably go with the Leigh adjustable. Must be nice to be named Norm Abrams................................and have all these companies knocking down your door to give you equipment.
 

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dove tails

Have you looked into the incra postioning device? I was looking at them quite a while before buying them.
http://www.woodshopdemos.com/incr-ch1.htm

Try this site and it's home site. I ended up buying the incra pro + the fence for around 75.00 off ebay just to check it out myself. It will do dovetails thru and blind also box joints. It is mounted on three quarter ply so it can move to the drill press,table saw router table,or any place else you need exact demention. I figured on buying the new better looking ones with a lead screw but this is about as close as you can get. Set up takes a few minutes but gets pretty fast as you use it more. just offering another option.


=JCouch]I bought the Rockler jig mentioned in the first post. It works, but there is a lot of setup. You have to be really careful to get it right, and there's a lot of guess work to get the depth of the dovetail router bit at the correct depth to make a good tight fitting joint. But this is probably true of any dovetail jig. Plus, practice makes perfect, and I don't use it enough to really be good at it. Every time I need to use it, I have to relearn, so if I get bad joints, it's probably mostly my fault. But it does work. If I had it to do again, I'd probably go with the Leigh adjustable. Must be nice to be named Norm Abrams................................and have all these companies knocking down your door to give you equipment.[/QUOTE]
 

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If you are near one of the upcoming woodworking shows go by all means. Here is a list put on by one promoter
Click here for show list
Perhaps if you go to a website of one of the dovetail jig manufaturers they have a list of shows they are going to exhibit at.
Both Leigh and Akeda had good demos. Also there were a couple of the plastic jigs being demonstated. The Akeda is very simple to use but limited. For example the pins and tails can only be set distances which are a multiple of 1/8" apart.
The Leigh is more complex with an enormous manual but way more versatile. It is the one Norm uses. One downside is that a scrap piece of wood is required to be placed between adjacent tails to keep the router from going where it should not. I had never noticed that on Norm's show before seeing it up close and personal but sure enough he has it.

Further they both had "show specials".
 

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There is a newer alternative to the Rockler jig, for nearly the same price ($4 more) with aluminum guides and fairly straight forward setup. CMT just introduced a 1/2 blind 12 inch system for $129. You can see it at sommerfelds.com website. I don't work for them, just a devoted customer. John Lucas at woodshopdemos.com had a nice write up aboput the jig. I have the jig, used it on practice stock just once, but had good results even in plywood. I'm by no means an expert, to be honest the few practice runs is the only time I've ever cut dovetails. But, I like the setup. It's easy, the instructions are fairly good, and for drawer dovetails, it looks like an economical answer.

My 2 cents worth,

Clay
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Clay,

Good info and thanks for the recommendations. I have cheked the sites out and will study this one further. It sure looks good from everything I see. It may just be the answer.
 

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Hi: I have had many types of dovetail jigs, the first was a Stanly, that only did one style of dovetails. I also had the Keller jig for through dovetails. I finally got my hands on the Leigh jig. It comes with a great manual and a Demo tpe, that shows step by step how to use the jig. It takes a little getting used to but I THINK IT IS THE BEST AND most versitile of them all. You can also cut sliding dovetails out to the
full width of the jig. That's my vote hope it helps someone. Woodnut65
 

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I am new at Woodworking Been a mechanic for 50yrs. Really enjoying the chalenge. I baught the Craftsmam Dovetal jig for $199. Never doeing anything like this it was quita a challenge. After making a box with the box joint templates and a router bit box with dovetales i like the machine. You have to follow the instructions close. Now that I understand what its all about. I am happy with it.
Jack
 
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