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I have a Makita 3621C Router and am in the process of purchasing a Leigh Dovetail Jig D4R. They supply some router bits with the standard kit. My Makita 3612C router was purchased in South Africa. Do the sizes of spindles for router bits vary or are there only two sizes - 7.5mm (1/4") and 12.7mm (1/2"). My router takes a 12.7 mm bits. In ordering a Leigh Dovetail Jig from the USA, what size should the spindle be for router bits to be sent? Will those supplied in the kit fit my Makita? Any help will be appreciated.
 

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Welcome Llewellyn. When cutting sections are added to a shaft it is called a spindle; a shaper machine is an example of this. When the cutting section is permanently attached to the shaft they refer to it as the shank. 1/4" and 1/2" shank router bits are the most common in the US. MLCS sells inexpensive bits for the Leigh jig; these are made off shore and medium quality. Because of the added shipping expense and time required for you to get products I suggest you are better off to purchase premium quality bits. Premium bits have better tolerances and thicker carbide which can be sharpened more times, something you can have done in many machine shops. In all comparison testing done in this country Whiteside bits always come out the winner. They also cost less than other premium bits like Amana, CMT, Freud and Infinity.
Here is a link to the set of Leigh bits: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ils?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1343751650&seller=&sr=1-1
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Thank you for joining us, Llewellyn.

You will find many on the forum, from hobbyists
to professional with similar interest in the router and its uses.



CarbiTool in Australia sell dovetail bits for Leigh jigs.

http://www.carbitool.com.au/pdf's/PageR013.pdf

Also, see this site, which another member showed to me:

Leigh dovetail bits

As far as the 3612C (which I have) is concerned, I would treat 12.7mm and 1/2" as being the same.

I would purchase 1/2" shaft bits if available.
 

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Thanks, this is excellent advice. I will make a trip to the USA in September and will do my best to get the bits then. I would seem that the world over Makita 3612C routers are all 1/2" and this equates to 12.7mm. I will then go for the 1/2' set of bits as recommended for the Leigh Dovetail Jig D4R. I will be in the Maryland and Washington DC area. Are there some good stores for me to walk into to purchase over the counter? Is this more exepensive than ordering by mail?
 

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Do the sizes of spindles for router bits vary or are there only two sizes - 7.5mm (1/4") and 12.7mm (1/2"). My router takes a 12.7 mm bits.
Llewellyn, check your metric to fractional conversions.

7.5mm seems very odd, Leigh do bits for jigs in 8mm (5/16in) and 1/2 inch (12.7mm)
shanks.

1/4 inch is 6.35mm.

Leigh prefer to use large shanks for their bits because they are more rigid than smaller bits. That's why the use a rarer 8mm shank for their smaller sized bits that use a 7/16in guide bush, the shank has 60% more cross section area than a 1/4 in shank has. Some of the non genuine bits use 1/4 in shanks and are more prone to chatter and vibration. If they supply any 8mm shank bits with a jig, they also supply a 1/2in to 8mm reducer, but 8mm collets are available for some routers as accessories if you prefer a dedicated collet over a collet and reducer.

For larger sizes, they go to 1/2 in shank and use a larger guide bush.
 

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Hi Llewellyn - I am also in SA, and have the same Makita router as you, mounted in a router table. I have collet inserts in 6.35mm (which is 1/4" by the way) and 8mm, and these are readily available. But with my Leigh Dovetail jig I use an older model Festo with 8mm Leigh bits supplied by Hardware Centre.
I endorse Mal's comments, especially that you will need to use the 8mm bits for use with the 7/16" guide bush. Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the excellent advice Mike, jw2170, bobj3, Malb and Wildwood. I will ask for the 1/2" shank for the bits for the Leigh Dovetail jig when I get it. Thanks for clearing this up for me.
 

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Hi Wildwood, can you tell me what the best router table is for the Makita 3612C is? Is there a Makita Router Table on the market in South Africa? Is it best to get a base plate and make up one's own table or are there some universal ones on the market one can attach any routers to?
 

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Any router can be mounted to any table, you just have to drill the mounting holes. The sub base plate of the router is a perfect template for marking the locations. Just remember to mark and drill from the bottom so your holes are in the right orientation.
 

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Hi Llewellyn - I don't know of a dedicated Makita router table, but I use a Triton table, which comes with a versatile mounting plate which caters for just about any router, without having to drill extra holes. I have had 2 other routers fitted to this plate before the Makita, (Festo and Startell) and all fit fine. If you decide to make your own table, have a close look at the Triton anyway. And if you are ever near Wilderness, that's where I am. - Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rob, thanks for the good advice. I'm working in Sudan currently, but will in 3 year's time retire to Somerset West so will be close to a Hardware Center in Cape Town. I have seen a few home-built router tables on Youtube, so will make a temporary one to use here till I get back to RSA to buy a commercial one there. The Triton seems a good option. I used a friend's one in PMB once and was very happy with it. You are living in the mecca for hardwoods. I will look you up some time when I pass through your neck of the woods. Llewellyn.
 
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