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Well everyone after what about 6 months of it setting on a shelf I finally tried my hand and router on the dove tail jig. I found it very easy to set up and I was just practicing with some scrap pieces of pine just to see if I could do it. It did help a lot that I down loaded from another site to see how to align the boards and make the cuts. I know one thing I'm going to invest in a good set of dovetail bits. I have one from a cheap set that I started out with and it burnt the wood pretty good so it of to Grizzly for a goood set. I'm very happy with the jig I got it on sale last year for under 30.00 and I'm very saticfied with it. Thank you for everyones help with deciding to purchase it. :cool:
 

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Glenmore, Woodcraft has a 1/2" D x 14* dovetail bit, 1/2" shank on sale for $5.00 US. As a matter of fact, they have 9 other bits on sale, same price. (While supplies last).

Dave
the "Doctor"
 

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Wow, that is pretty cheap but for once in a while dove tails it might be worth it. Hard to believe the price on this. Where do they cheap out on this jig, they have to somewhere I would expect.

corey
 

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Amazing. I just saw this jig a few days ago in Harbor Freight. It's listed at $59 but on the website it's $29 and the stores will honor the web price.
weblink

I picked it up. I wanted desperately to like it. I touched it, sniffed it, tapped it... then put it down. I assumed since it was so cheap it would cause me nothing but aggravation. Now I read this... hmmmm.

I only have need to do occassional dovetails so I never wanted to spend a lot for a jig. I guess I'll have to reconsider this one...

So it really works???
:)

Michael
 

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challagan said:
Your putting yourself thru the same thing I am Michael! Inquiring minds want to know :)

corey
Well Corey...
$29 is less than an average bar tab :D

Here is my concern.
You buy the jig. You buy the dovetail bits. You use up lots of scrap to try and get it right. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. If you don't (due to inaccuracies in the jig) then you're out half the money that you could have spent on a Porter Cable jig and your average bar tab goes up considerably.

Decisions, decisions...

Michael

edited to add: thanks Bj!
(when does he sleep ;) )
 

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mpphoto said:
$29 is less than an average bar tab

$29 is also less than the cost of a good dovetail bit and template guide which are included with the PC jig.

I also was tempted by the low cost HF jig. But found the manual(downloadable on their website)to be very confusing. Then I discovered my local Lowes stocks the PC so I picked one up. It is very easy to use with lots of user friendly features to aid with stock allignment and cutting depth. Now that I have it, I could probably use the HF with no problems. But if the HF were my first, I probably would have got frusterated and never used it.

Rusty
 

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I'm with you Rusty and this is the logic that has always caused me hesitation.
The Harbor Freight jig is $30 and you still need to buy a bit.
The Rockler jig is currently on sale for $60 and comes with a bit.
The MLCS jig is $60 and comes with a bit and a metal template guide (the others mentioned are plastic).
The Porter Cable 4212 can be had for $119 with current amazon specials (10% off and $25 off and free shipping). It comes with bits and templates to do both half-blind and through dovetails. The other jigs only do half-blinds out of the box.

It all gets a little overwhelming at times.

Michael
 

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The PC is obviously the best deal and I could of gotten a good deal on Bob Noles jig but I will do box joints for the most part. Only occasional use of dove tails.. so that is why the 29.00 price tag looked good but as usual you get what you pay for. Been thinking about taking a class and learning to do DT's the cheap way... by hand :)
Thanks for all the info guys!

Corey
 

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Corey, there is nothing cheap about making dovetails by hand. Your time is worth money. The jigs speed the process saving you more time, so its a trade off.
 

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I just got back from Harbor Freight's sidewalk sale.
Took another look at the dovetail jig. The display model had a metal template. I was under the impression it came with a plastic template. For the month of October it's priced at $29.99 (just like the website price) and they were giving out coupons today that would get 10% off a Central Machinery item between Oct 11 and Oct 18.

Very tempting...
Michael
 

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Hi Michael
WoodStock the Mfg. of the dovetail jigs makes both metal and plastic ones (guides)
I like the plastic guides over the Alum.one. because the Alum. are NOT true and hard to fix unlike the plastic ones.

If you are going to buy one take a brass guide with you and check the guides out 1st.
The guide should go in easy and be true,most use a 7/16" guide but the 1/4 dovetail and the 1/4" slot guides are the ones that are not true and need to be reworked a bit. (5/16" brass guide needed for the 1/4" fixture guide the norm)

On the standard 1/2" dovetail guide should be 1/2" but they tell you to use a 7/16" brass guide, guess why.
I just gave up and got a dovetail jig from sommerfeldtools.com that works great but it's a bit high in price but it works every time.
I just hate to rework equipment/tools to get them to work right. :)
----------------------

But I should say for 29.oo bucks it's hard to beat :), Just some feed back from one user,,,,One of the plastic cams snapped on the front lock bar, I made a temp one out of Oak, then I send off for a replacement from HF and got it quick at no charge, I also did a bit of tweaking to keep the jig from moving from side to side when I pulled the bar down to hold the stock in place.
see the tweak fix on the fourm,all in all it's not to bad and it will make dovetails all day long once you get the hang of it. :) :)




http://www.sommerfeldtools.com/products.asp?id=164

Bj :)
 

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I saw that one in the videos Bj, and on the website. It's a great jig and I like the idea of running it on a table but... a little too 'spensive for occassional dovetails.

If I buy the HF jig I'll be sure to look over the things you pointed out.

thanks,
Michael
 

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buckbax said:
Can the HF jig be modified to make thru dovetails as well?
I looked at both the HF jig and the Rockler jig
Looking at both jigs and the manuals for them --


I would bet a hamburger they are the same jig.
CORRECTION -

Reviewed the manuals -
The Rockler has a single stop on each side that handles both the horizontal and vertical surface. The HF has four seperate stops --
Still willing to bet the frame is the same and the template would fit.
Might have to go by HF this weekend and check that out.

IF the frames do match -- then yes - you can get a template from Rockler that will make through dovetails.

I bought the little blue Rockler jig a few months ago rather than the HF
- because I caught it on sale
- and because it came with the bit and the bushing -
- and because I just plain like the guys at my local Rockler better than the guys at my local HF.

I went back about 2 weeks later and bought the through dovetail insert.

Of course -- by the time I did this -- I had spent almost as much as I would have spent on a more 'advanced' jig from Rockler or others that came with both inserts out of the box.:confused:
Live and Learn
 

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Discussion Starter #19
They might work. I know the grizzly DTJ is the same as harbor freight. In fact I down loaded the manual from grizzly because the manual didn't really show how to use it from HF.
 
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