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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to buy a bunch of tools right away and am pretty sure I will just upgrade to a Leigh dovetail jig and sell the Rockler. What are your opinions of the 2 models? I am not sure I need 24", but have read some reviews that say the D4R is easier to set up and use. The 18" Super is about $200 cheaper than the other which is a sizable amount of money. However, I also know that once spent the money isn't really noticed. So I want to buy one that is the easiest to use and will allow me to do the job the best. For those of you with experience which do you think?
 

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oh yes you will....
on your very 1st chest or want to gang cut or ...................

I had the 12''....
wasn't long before I upgraded...

took the long route...
D3R up grade to 24...
upgraded the D3 to D4...
sold the upgraded unit and bought the D4R...
see where this went...

had the Omni originally and gifted that...
FWIW... that Omni has been re-gifted several times...
the Omni, I believe, is very close to the Rockler...
 

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For what it is worth:

I have the older Leigh 24" D3 jig, which is similar to the new D4 series. Works well, but like all dovetail jigs it does have a learning curve! The more you work with it, the set-up becomes easier and quicker.

If I was to use my D3 tomorrow, I would need to take time to work through the manual. Leigh receives raves about its very good manual. As with any dovetail jig, you will need to spend some time setting up the jig, adjust the router, and learn how to cut with it. If you 'spring for' a Leigh make notes in the margin as the jig settings. It will save you time later on!

I also have the 1601--16" and 201--24" Keller dovetail jigs. These are very easy to work with -- either with a hand-held router or a router table. I have not tried to cut variable spacing dovetails with the Keller jigs, but have been told it can easily be done. For Those-Not-In-The-Know about Keller jigs: Keller dovetail jigs: Simple, fast & accurate woodworking tools

I think if I was doing it all over, I would probably just have the Keller. While variable spaced dovetails might be easier on the Leigh and Leigh has conversion attachments for mortise and tenon and finger joints, you will need to decide if the expense of the Leigh will be worth the cost of the accessories, learning curve, and set-up times
 

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I have the Leigh D4R Pro, and I couldn't be happier with it. I've cut through dovetails both large and small, and I love the adjustability to set the dovetail spacing to whatever I want. I like having that extra capacity that the 24" brings. I rarely use all that width, but it's there if I need it. Also, the Leigh instruction manual is top-notch. It explains principles instead of just teaching recipes.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Ray for the information. I sent an email to Leigh asking about the jigs and someone called me probably within one half of an hour. I never asked for a phone call and certainly never expected a response so quickly. If that is any indication of their customer service I am impressed. Unfortunately after talking with the gentleman it seems that the D4R would probably be the better buy even with the big price difference.
 

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forgot to mention the CS/TS at Leigh is outstanding and proactive...
 

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Thanks I just checked that out and it says it can not be used on my little router table. Otherwise it looks good. With all the other tools I am going to buy, I can't afford to upgrade the router table at this time.
You know, its not so hard to make a simple table top on which you could use the 24 inch Leigh. You don't even need a fence for that jig. Commit a 2'x4' chunk of ply glued up with a same size piece of MDF and you are on your way. A router plate isn't all that expensive and with the jig, you're going to set height once for the whole process.

I always go for the better (larger capacity) tool. I hate acting in haste and repenting at leisure. So I'd go for the 24 inch. No regrets down the line because you bought for your small table, but now have a full size table.
 

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You know, its not so hard to make a simple table top on which you could use the 24 inch Leigh. .
some are more complex,,,
the left end of this table has the bolt patterns for the D4R, FMT pro, RT table out feed ball rollers and both miter knives......
the RT table top doubles as a material rest...
of course there is the light...
that vertical rod that looks like mom's ironing board accessory is to keep the router cords out of the way while using the Leigh jigs....


.
 

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Mr. Stick: that is a slick set-up!

BigArm: glad you found some information in my post. I have seen more than a few people jump into something thinking it will be easier and forget that it does take some time and effort to become proficient with using the tool.

Also agree with DeserRatTom's post #9 above about shop-fabricating a table top router table and purchasing a larger jig. Do not know about others, but I have never regretted purchasing "more tool" than what I think I will ever need.

One thing I forgot to add in my earlier post, seriously consider dust collection for the jig. I found out the hard way that a dovetail jig spews out large amounts of saw dust! From what I hear, the leigh vacuum and router support accessory works well. See: https://www.leighjigs.com/vrs.php
 

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Mr. Stick: that is a slick set-up!

One thing I forgot to add in my earlier post, seriously consider dust collection for the jig. I found out the hard way that a dovetail jig spews out large amounts of saw dust! From what I hear, the leigh vacuum and router support accessory works well. See: https://www.leighjigs.com/vrs.php
thanks...
it does...
 

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I just noticed Stick's post and like the idea of having a cord holder up and out of the way. Going to set something like that up in my shop. Do want to suggest again that you consider the Triton. It is so powerful and so easy to set up in a table.

This string prompted me to find out which mounting plate had the bayonet, twist lock rings I like so much in the Sommerfeld videos. They are the Woodpecker brand. $100 or so from the Woodpecker site, $110 on Amazon. Here's the Amazon link. Amazon.com: Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools AITRITON Router Mounting Plate: Home Improvement . The little wrench lets you pull this thing out in a flash so changing bits is nothing! The plate is one inch larger than my present Triton (Rockler) plate so it will be easy to adapt, and it comes with a pre drilled setup for the Triton.

I think things for woodworking folks like us are just getting better and better, and that the big companies that are seeking to debase old, formerly respected brands will get more and more bad press. The companies that go for quality and customer service, like Bosh and a few others, have earned and deserve our support. So I'm getting the Woodpecker plate as soon as possible.
 

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With all the attention on the D4R and the RTJ400 I'm wondering if anyone still has anything to say about the "super" series. I'm seriously considering Leigh but I still am not sure about
which one. I think I still have a lot more research to do to understand all there is to these jigs. The jigs critiqued so far are router table jigs, am I right ? Right now my router table is a sheet of ply with a hole in it. Has served well for what I was doing but now??? I had been more focused on the 24" Super but I don't want to make a costly error. Too anal??
 

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to speak D4R is speaking the Pro model...
 

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With all the attention on the D4R and the RTJ400 I'm wondering if anyone still has anything to say about the "super" series. I'm seriously considering Leigh but I still am not sure about
which one. I think I still have a lot more research to do to understand all there is to these jigs. The jigs critiqued so far are router table jigs, am I right ? Right now my router table is a sheet of ply with a hole in it. Has served well for what I was doing but now??? I had been more focused on the 24" Super but I don't want to make a costly error. Too anal??
Taking your time on making a big purchase is always a good idea. Really easy to wind up with something you don't like using and another thing to sell or hand off to a brother in law.

As to the table, what you have can be a start, but you will need to enhance it a little. A layer or two of MDF will help, and or you can add some bracing underneath to support it and keep it flat. I'd definitely do that AND add one of the Woodpecker mounting plate, or other brand, with the twist lock insert to make bit changes easier. Woodpecker offers a pattern for their plate. Refinish the top or replace it with a piece of laminate on top to make things slide. You won't be using a fence with that jig. In other words, a few hours here and there on the top while you're making your choice will prep your table for whichever jig you buy.
 

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Thomas1389 posted:

“With all the attention on the D4R and the RTJ400 I'm wondering if anyone still has anything to say about the ‘super’ series. I'm seriously considering Leigh but I still am not sure about which one. I think I still have a lot more research to do to understand all there is to these jigs. The jigs critiqued so far are router table jigs, am I right ?”

See the below link to a quick comparison of the various Leigh jigs and identifies which are router table compatible. Also included are two quick reference chars for more recent as well as earlier model jigs.

https://www.leighjigs.com/intro_dovetail_jigs.php

Also scroll do to the bottom of this page and you will find list of similar/related threads. Might be helpful.
 

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I have a D4R and the VRS for it. I haven't used it in about a year, so I would have to look up what I wanted to do in the manual before using it again, but the manual is so good that I never have a problem getting it set up for whatever I need to do, even if I haven't used it in a while. I went with the 24" wide jig so I could set up to dovetail both sides of a drawer at once. It's easy to make a left and right setup so you can cut both at once and get the extra space between the tails for the drawer bottom slot position. The VRS makes a huge difference in reducing the sawdust on the floor and the front of me. It still gets there, but only 5% or so. The rest gets goes into the shop vac. The VRS also holds the router level while moving through the cutting process. When dovetailing with this jig, or any dovetail jig, it helps to have two routers. With two routers you can set up one with the dovetail bit and the other with the straight bit, so the bit depths, etc. can be left untouched through the whole project. You will find that this really helps. If you use two identical routers, be sure to mark the top of each somehow, so you don't grab and use the wrong one DAMHIKT.

Charley
 

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Taking your time on making a big purchase is always a good idea. Really easy to wind up with something you don't like using and another thing to sell or hand off to a brother in law.

As to the table, what you have can be a start, but you will need to enhance it a little. A layer or two of MDF will help, and or you can add some bracing underneath to support it and keep it flat. I'd definitely do that AND add one of the Woodpecker mounting plate, or other brand, with the twist lock insert to make bit changes easier. Woodpecker offers a pattern for their plate. Refinish the top or replace it with a piece of laminate on top to make things slide. You won't be using a fence with that jig. In other words, a few hours here and there on the top while you're making your choice will prep your table for whichever jig you buy.
Thank you, Tom
 

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Thomas1389 posted:

“With all the attention on the D4R and the RTJ400 I'm wondering if anyone still has anything to say about the ‘super’ series. I'm seriously considering Leigh but I still am not sure about which one. I think I still have a lot more research to do to understand all there is to these jigs. The jigs critiqued so far are router table jigs, am I right ?”

See the below link to a quick comparison of the various Leigh jigs and identifies which are router table compatible. Also included are two quick reference chars for more recent as well as earlier model jigs.

https://www.leighjigs.com/intro_dovetail_jigs.php

Also scroll do to the bottom of this page and you will find list of similar/related threads. Might be helpful.
Very helpful, Ray. thank you
 
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