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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,
I’m a new member approaching retirement from my day job and looking forward to devoting some quality time to woodworking. I’m hoping someone can help with a newly acquired Katie Jig Jr, which I purchased on EBay. Of course, the router bits and manual are missing. Dumb me, I thought these would be relatively easy to chase down. Boy, was I wrong!

The Katie website is shutdown and I’ve been unable to find a spec or source for suitable router bits. Can anyone provide the size and angle of the bits I need to make the Jr Jig work? Also, a copy of the manual would really be great.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.
 

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John
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Hello and welcome to the router forum,Tom
 

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The Katie jig is produced by Sommerfeld Tools. I have a request for information in because I didn't find it on their site and I fear it might have been discontinued. I'll post then I find out. I have one and it is a fine jig, fairly easy to use too. If you can't find the instruction book on this or another site, take a look at this video on YouTube. It is Marc Sommerfeld demonstrating how to use it, including some important hints. I watch this every time I want to use it. Here's the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=wr2qJdqYh98

Sommerfeldtools.com is the place to buy bits and accessories for the jig, and if you use their email contact form, Marc will respond with the best choices. Pesonally, I'm going to get a few accessories for it I've been putting off, just in case. But I'll post whatever I get in the reply.

BTW, welcome to the Forum. I am now more or less retired and do love working with wood. I'm attaching a pdf of the 17 (plus) things that accelerated my learning curve. It's long, but it has pictures. May save you some time and money. Pay particular attention to the dust collection parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tom - Thanks so much for the woodworking tips document. You’ve packed a lot of useful info in there, and I appreciate the well written composition. Maybe you missed your calling as a woodworking writer!
 

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Rick
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Sorry I have nothing to add, but welcome to the forum Tom
 

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Ross
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Welcome to the forum Tom.
 

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Tom,
I was a journalist for a decade. Write a lot still. This retirement thing took awhile to get used to. I took on a local project of converting a church's facility (old Jr. Hi cafeteria) into a theater venue and as a home to community groups that need a place to meet. I think it's important to take on something that stretches your mind and involves using your life skills. My health quit on me so I was basically forced to retire. Spent most of my life doing what I love.
 

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I know what you mean, DRT. When I retired in 2009, it took me two days to adjust. That was Saturday and Sunday. Your theater project sounds like a great one. Photos when done?
 

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...Your theater project sounds like a great one. Photos when done?
The theater project at this moment consists of six spotlights hanging from a drop ceiling and a couple of dimmers. Not much to photograph yet. All the guts are out of sight. Went to see a play today at the old USO building that has our community theater inside. Met a drama teacher there who will be sending her students to perform. Going to see if I can raise some money for scholarship prizes and conduct a one act play festival. We have a lot of really good theater groups around here. Just saw the Musical, "Little Shop of Horrors," and it was first rate.

But the real fun will be working with the church to turn the facility into a community venue for meetings and events. Already two of the junior pastors are using the theater setup I've finished to date. I'm going to train some volunteers to do publicity and fill the place with people. :grin:
 

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@MrDuke Well, got an answer from Sommerfeld this a.m. Turns out the jig is still being sold, but it is no longer called a Katie Jig. Here's the link. I like the darn thing. https://sommerfeldtools.com/index.php?route=product/search&filter_name=DTJ

Be sure to watch the video, The video is on youtube on the Sommerfeld's Tools Channel. Some really important info. You might contact them and ask for a pdf of the instruction manual. All parts for the new jig fit the older Katie model. I guess they lowered the height to get the cut area better supported. They don't recommend it for plywood, but I think that if you are using Baltic Birch (not the Chinese junk), it should be acceptable. For plywood, I'd use box joints anyhow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
DRTom - I appreciate your thoughtful research, but I'm seeking info on the Katie JUNIOR (Jr.), a smaller version of the standard Katie. As such, the tuning forks are smaller, intended for use with thin lumber and necessitating a different set of router bits. Info on the Katie Jr. is scarce.

I've talked to Marc Sommerfeld recently and even he couldn't offer much help on a specification or source for the proper bits to use with it. He did say that he believed the Jr. used a 7 degree dovetail bit, which is what is used on the standard Katie. However, I believe the Jr. uses bits with a shorter cutting length. On the Jr. Jig, the tuning fork opening for the dovetail bit is 1/2", requiring a 1/2" bearing on a 1/4" shank, which Sommerfeld said he could not supply.

Whiteside Machine claims they've never heard of the Katie Jig (original or Jr.), which I found hard to believe since they make aftermarket bits for most of the major dovetail jig suppliers. I've yet to try CMT, whom I believe might have supplied bits for Katie and possibly Sommerfeld as well.

Terry Hampton, the inventor of the Katie Jig, seems to have closed up shop and disappeared from the woodworking community.
 

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Hi Tom, I found some info on the Jr. here: https://www.woodworkingarchive.biz/dovetail-jigs/doublesided-template.html

"A NEW MINI-JIG Too new to test, the Katie Jig, Jr. (Hampton House, 317-881-8601, www.katiejig.com: $230) is a baby sister to the Katie Jig (page 71). It cuts variable-spaced through-dovetails in 3/16-in. to 1/2-in.-thick wood; perfect for small boxes and pigeonhole-sized drawers."

Tried the site and the company wasn't there, the domain was for sale.

I guess you could try the phone number and see if they are still answering. Frustrating.

Since the jig is similar to several others, you might look to get an instruction book or watch videos to get an idea how to use your Jr. jig.

I also wonder if you can use a standard jig of this type to cut thin stock? My instruction book is out in the shop, so I won't get to it until tomorrow. There are some subtle points on how to use it, and I'll see what the minimum thickness might be.

Finally, for thin stock, dovetails are kind of overkill. Box joints are more typically used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
DRTom - I hear you about box joints on thin stock. I got the Katie Jr for a good price. I like the variable-spacing capabilities and was looking forward to playing with this feature. But, if I can't make the jig work then it wasn't such a good deal after all. I'll keep plugging away at finding a solution.

I've been meaning to try to Katie phone numbers as you've suggested but my day job is still getting in the way. I'm really looking forward to being unencumbered by all this day job stuff. Like you, I'm growing weary of the endless stream of deadlines.
 

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Hi Tom. Tried the phone number but it has been disconnected. Out of bidness! I did a pretty thorough search for a manual and didn't find anything. A few sites showed my search term as if they had it, but upon logging on, they didn't. I think we're done now.
 
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