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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just a quick How To Use the EZ Dovetail Jig :)

It's great little dovetail jig for the price and it's a very easy jig to use once you set it right.
The video(s) Demo are great but they don't press many important things that you need to do or not do to make great dovetails quick and easy..

The jig will do Blind dovetail in 1/4" to 3/4" thick stock just by adjusting the gray gauge on the right side of the jig..for the board thickness.

The 1st thing you want to do is NOT use the jig to set the dovetail bit (in the router table or your hand router) it's OK but not very true way, you want to use the brass bars, set the bit at 1" high, once you have that set move the brass bars to the right side and set the gray gauge to 1 1/4" for 3/4" thick stock.

Once you have that done don't move the router bit up or down and don't readjust the gray "gauge" one also, it's one time thing needed, set it and forget it thing.. :).

Now you are almost set to cut the dovetails pins, you can use 2",3",4",5" wide stock very easy,,move the pin board over the template pins and have some stock hang over the pin, template pins, just a little bit,on both sides ,once you are happy with that clamp a small stop block on the front of the jig,see picture below, this will take the guess work out on the next board settings.
Now cut all the pins on both ends of the sides boards for the box/drawer,once you have all the pins cut for the box remove the stop block on the front of the jig..

Now take the pin boards over to the other side of the jig and place a blank board in the jig, line it up just like in the video, but b/4 you cut the pockets, clamp one more stop block on the inside ,front of the jig, see the blue screws in the picture below, now cut the pocket holes on both ends of the front and back parts , the stock block will help you set up for the next board....quick and easy.

Many forget you don't need the sides of a drawer to be the same size as the hole, 3" or 4" works great without guides, you just need some wood guides in place so the drawer will side in and out easy but not drop out or down once you pull it open..

You will note the pins are almost sq. unlike many dovetail jigs it's almost a box joint but it's good dovetail joint that you can only see the one part of the joint like many dovetails are..

And yes this is done with a trim 1/4" router no need for a big router with dovetails.. :)

One more note::::: be sure to check the pocket holes b/4 you remove the board ..that's the only part of the jig that's hard to do right...you just can't see what's going on at the mill work time.. :) if you have burn marks in the pocket you are running the bit to fast and staying in the pocket to long..it should go 1,2 and 3 ,your done with that hole..


EZ-Pro Dovetail Jig from General Tools (Part 1 of 2) - YouTube
EZ-Pro Dovetail Jig from General Tools (Part 2 of 2) - YouTube

Amazon.com: General Tools 860 dovetailer EZ Pro dovetail Jig: Home Improvement


http://www.routerforums.com/bargain-bin/29324-brass-set-bars.html

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You make it look so easy Bob. One of these days I'll dust off one of my dovetail jigs and see if I can make something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Harry

Thanks

It is if you use the right jig and use it the right way.
I have pushed the EZ jig as of late and some have come back and said they could not get a good dovetail joint..= so the How-To-Do-it the easy way.

The video(s) are good but they must stop the video and take a hard look at what they are saying or not saying, he is pushing the jig not how to use it,so to speak.
I have one more trick to showing how to set it up for wide stock but I'm going to hold off it for a bit, it's for putting the pockets in place for wide stock, that they do not show in the video..

Many get the dovetail type jig below and it's one of the hardest one to use and setup, I did post how to rework the jig but it's not easy.

Dovetail Machine

I'm looking forward to seeing your jig and what you come out with.



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You make it look so easy Bob. One of these days I'll dust off one of my dovetail jigs and see if I can make something.
 

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Thanks for taking the time to do this, Bob. Very nice pictures and informative text. Looks like a great jig to have, and I may look into ordering one. I had looked at the Harbor Freight jig, but was hesitant to get it after seeing the reviews it had.

Burke
 

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The original reason for making dovetail joints was to help the glue keep the joint connected. With todays glues that is no longer necessary but they are still pleasing to the eye. I have an old Porter Cable jig that will get a work out one of these days.
 

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You make it look so easy Bob. One of these days I'll dust off one of my dovetail jigs and see if I can make something.
Come to think of it, I still don't recall seeing any dovetail projects from Harry? :haha:

ROTFL......
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Hi James

I think it's a CRS thing for Harry..

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Come to think of it, I still don't recall seeing any dovetail projects from Harry? :haha:

ROTFL......
 

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I just tried my new EZ Pro Dovetail II 861. I watched the videos, read the instructions,
Read the tips, (thanks BJ). I used the guide collar method. I used a dial indicator to center it to the bit. It was off by .030. I used an adjustable parallel to set the bit height, and the depth gauge. Carefully clamped the wood in the jig, and cut my first dovetail.
It was perfect. The key was in the precise set up. Being a machinist I know the importance of a good solid set up. There is a learning curve in any fixture. This one was no different. It performed as it advertised, precise dovetails. Thanks for all of the helpful information in this forum. It makes woodworking enjoyable.

Ellery Becnel
 

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hello BJ and don't know if you're still active on this forum...I just purchased the 861 model and need to replace the
bit (too much practicing!).....looks like you've also done the same and wondering what it is that you've stacked on top
of the two bearings and locked bearing supplied with the jig - is it another locked bearing?....if so are you able to provide
size and diameter?

thanks
Steviebee2
 

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hello BJ and don't know if you're still active on this forum...I just purchased the 861 model and need to replace the
bit (too much practicing!).....looks like you've also done the same and wondering what it is that you've stacked on top
of the two bearings and locked bearing supplied with the jig - is it another locked bearing?....if so are you able to provide
size and diameter?

thanks
Steviebee2
@steviebee2

Unfortunately, BJ passed away a few years ago....:crying:


He was, at the time one of our most prolific and venerated members...
 

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Interesting old string. I was watching some older season programs of the Woodsmith Shop last night and they made a great little shop made dovetail jig, very much like the Katie or Incra jigs that sit on top of the table. I prefer this to the old Porter Cable style which must be used regularly to remember how to set it up and adjust out all the small errors.

I have a Rockler dovetail jig with dust collector which are still in the boxes. It's the PC type jig and I'm thinking of selling it. Box contents: and details https://www.rockler.com/rockler-s-complete-dovetail-jig-with-dovetail-jig-dust-collector-combo-offer. Thinking $90 plus shipping. PM me if you're interested. Cleaning out the never used stuff.
 

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Steve...I'm pretty sure the bearing is 1/2" diameter OD with 1/4" diameter ID...

Are you using a router table with the jig or mounting the jig on the table and hand routing into the template...?

I would suggest using the router table (that's what I have used with the EZ Pro)...you would only need the one bearing that is already on the bit, set the height and push the jig into the router bit on it's flat side (the wood is vertical) by placing the jig on the table and then approach the bit.

It might be a little uncomfortable at first not seeing the bit do its work, but it's easy to feel the progress. My first time doing it this way I wacked out 16 kitchen drawers in one evening.

Best way to end the cut is to turn the router off at the end of the cut before you move it away...the bearing will keep it away from the aluminum. It's easy to control starting the cut...

Hope this helps...
 

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I'm new to the dovetail jig by General. Mine came warped as well and i've only tried to make a few sample joints with the unit right out of the box using my router table. I made it work after several attempts, but only after first cutting the tails and then adjusting (increasing) the bit depth for the pins (by about 1/8" to 3/16"). I'm guessing that I'm doing something wrong as I didn't see this step noted anywhere in the instructions, video's or post in this forum. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated?
 

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Welcome to the forum @Ken I
I use a different jig, (gifkins) so unable to help you there..
What is the model of your jig?
 

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First, is this the jig you're talking about? If it is and it's warped, return it. Dovetails are very precise and a warp will make them impossible and ruin a lot of espensive wood. In general, it's very helpful to mark the inside of the parts of the box, and mark the corners that fit together, Aa, Bb, Cc, Dd. That will make it easier to determine which gets what cut. The A would be pins, the lower case the tails. Organizing that way will make it much clearer. I found this jig at Home Depot, so returning it should be easy. Here's the pix.
Font Rectangle Parallel Engineering Diagram
 

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Welcome to the forum @Ken I
I use a different jig, (gifkins) so unable to help you there..
What is the model of your jig?
Thank you both for the reply! Yes, that is the unit that I have and I suspect you are right that the warp may be the cause or at least contributing to the issue I'm experiencing. I am in the process of having it replaced. Based upon my review of other posts, this is apparently not that uncommon for these inexpensive units. Hopefully the replacement unit won't have the same defect. As a beginner/intermediate woodworker, I really appreciate the feedback and all the helpful hints and suggestions found on this site!
Ken
 

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The scale measurements on the jig are reference only. It will get you in the ball park. Whichever fixture, jig, etc. that we use, precision setup will minimize or remove adjustments.
It could be, set up bars, dial calipers, feeler gauges, etc. You have a base line, reference to start from. It just takes a little time up front.
I have 5 different ways to do Dovetails, EZ Pro is one of them. I have different ways to verify each method of precision, some basic, some more involved. Once they are set up, it is easily repeatable.

Then the fun begins!

Let us know how things work out once yo get a replacement fixture.

Ellery Becnel
 

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I have the Sommerfeld jig. It is also meant to be used on a table, and it is far more predictable than the more common PorterCable unit. I once watched someone use the PC in a demo. She was an experienced woodworker and she simply could not cut a dovetail joint that fit. Tried for more than an hour with prepped wood.

The thing about the General jig is that it's pretty short, so you're limited on the depth of box you can make. I for one will enjoy seeing how your project comes out. The bigger jigs, like the Sommerfeld Katy Jig, and the very similar Leigh, which is available in a longer version so you can make bigger boxes and deep drawers. But those jigs are definitely more expensive. This is just for your information.

I did find a favorable review of the General jig: 5 Best Dovetail jig of 2021 - Top-Rated Reviews & Deals It fared pretty well. But it didn't address the other type of jig. I like being able to move the wood over a fixed router rather than the other way around.

I really don't much like the look of boxes with dovetails showing. I prefer box joints, which are just as strong and with the iBox jig are simple to make and fit on a table saw with a dado set. Personal preference, far less fussy about setup. Here are some pictures of the Leigh dovetail jig and the iBox jig.

Leigh Dovetail jig on router table
Engineering Machine Composite material Metal Rectangle


Incra iBox jig Adjusts to the thickness of the dado stack. Very simple setup.
Musical instrument Wood Table Hardwood Flooring
 
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