Creating Router Support: first use of D4R Leigh jig with VRS

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Blog entry by BarryW posted 04-01-2008 10:29 AM 10892 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my first use of my D4R Leigh Dovetail Jig with VRS router support and vacuum connection. I must say it’s a little more complicated than I thought it would be at first and I’m not certain how I’ll adjust for other thicknesses of wood other than 3/4 at the moment…but I suspect that as I use it I’ll test and try to do things in a new way. I still have some adjusting since I had trouble with the VRS router support/vacuum connection. It wasn’t as smooth as I thought it would be and it also gave me a bit of trouble with light. It shades the work area and makes it tougher to see where I was routing. I may have to add more light to my project area…or at least different sources of light so that I can see what I’m doing a little better. I kept forgetting to turn on the vac so in one spot on the video you can see wood chips blowing around. I did learn some things about this jig…and how the pins and tails are created…mine were long on both accounts. That’s an adjustment of the depth of cut. I need to make certain that the router blade just touches my pencil mark or is a little above it….rather than splitting the pencil mark as suggested in Leigh’s DVD movie. There’s some serious trial and error here. At one point making the pins, I believe, I had to adjust for the second set and they came out a bit shorter than the first set…much better.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

11 comments so far

View DustyNewt's profile


671 posts in 3856 days

#1 posted 04-01-2008 11:01 AM

Looks like you’re gettin’er done. Like anything, trial and error is essential. Don’t rush it. Fine video coverage as well.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3816 days

#2 posted 04-01-2008 01:05 PM

Hi Barry,

I have been looking at one of these for some time now so your video was very helpful. By the way you produced a nice video too. It was a good demonstration of the jig.

Keep practicing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 3869 days

#3 posted 04-01-2008 04:19 PM


GREAT going! Sometimes it appears the Leigh jig is cumbersome. But, all of a sudden, it will hit home, and you will tell yourself “Man, it IS easier than I thought at first!!!” Keep going, and you WILL soon get it perfectly.

If you wish to view something you WILL be able to make soon, and you have a little time, look at my blog post about inlaid dovetails. I merged Parts 1 & 2 to submit to FineWoodworking's GlueTube video blog some time ago.


-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3982 days

#4 posted 04-01-2008 06:34 PM

Great job Barry. I use my jig so infrequently that I have to ready the directions every time I use it.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View VADOC's profile


5 posts in 3745 days

#5 posted 04-02-2008 04:24 AM

First I thought I heard a Johann Hummel trumpet concerto, then some Pytor Tchaikovsky, starts innocently enough, but then you’re on to Sergy Prokofiev , or Borodin, or Rimsky-korsokov, oh, where will it end?? ( Ok, I’m an addict myself)

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4394 days

#6 posted 04-02-2008 04:41 AM

Great Barry. I need a training class every time I bring it out of it’s chest.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 3869 days

#7 posted 04-02-2008 05:02 AM


I came back to re-read your comments about the tails and pins being a little long. You said: ”...and how the pins and tails are created…mine were long on both accounts.”

You always want both tails and pins to be just slightly long (i.e., proud of the sides), to make sure you can trim them to be perfectly flush with the sides of the box. Normally, a quick sanding is all it takes to get them truly close; then you use either a block plane, or a card scraper to get them perfectly flush.

The alternative, if they turn out too short, is a LOT more sanding required, as THEN you must sand the entire surface of each side – not what you want to do. In this process you might take the box out of square, which might become noticeable to the naked eye.

I wish you great success with dovetails. My next project will be with half-blind dovetails. I will publish this as a video on my blog.

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4119 days

#8 posted 04-02-2008 05:28 AM

I’ve got the 24 Super with the VRS, and I stand over the router and look down at the far side of the pins to figure out where I should be routing. It’s cured me of a very bad habit of trying to see under the router (exactly the wrong place for your face to be in case of catastrophic bit failure) with my old dovetail jig.

I too am playing with just how deep to set the plunge depth with different woods, but I’m finding that with Lyptus, what I’ve been cutting most of recently, I need to go a little shy of the line I draw.

Haven’t done anything with the jig but through dovetails yet, however now that I’ve done a whole bunch of ‘em, setup for that is way way easier than for the half-blind jig that this one replaced.

Al, I’ve got a wall mounted jewelry case coming up that I want to pull out all of the stops on, I’ll be watching your videos frame by frame.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4060 days

#9 posted 04-02-2008 07:06 AM

Very good Barry. I think you are off to an excellent start. Also, good job on the video, one of these days I’ll have to figure that process out as well.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3868 days

#10 posted 04-02-2008 11:21 AM

Good job on the video.

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4081 days

#11 posted 04-12-2008 04:02 AM

I don’t think that they were too long, at all.
They should be slilghtly proud of the surface.

Did you remember to polish the keys? I ga-ron-tee you will get better performance.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

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