LumberJocks

Dovetail Jig Workstation - Tweaks for HF Jig

  • Advertise with us
Project by TheDane posted 1319 days ago 6837 views 22 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed a workstation to mount my Harbor Freight Dovetail Jig and store my extra templates, router bits, etc.

I used scrap pine, plywood, and some scraps of hard maple in this project. The joinery on the stand leaves something to be desired, but I did the best I could with available materials … and this wasn’t exactly intended to be an heirloom (LOL).

One of the problems with the Harbor Freight jig is the lateral movement of the template. You can get everything lined up just right, then when you engage the upper cam to clamp the workpiece down, the template can shift enough to really mess up your cut (DAMHIKT).

I found a piece by bobj3 over at the Router Forums ( http://www.routerforums.com/general-routing/1555-first-attempt-dovetail-jig.html ) that gave me some really good information on how to tweak up the jig. The idea is to restrict the lateral movement of the template … it works!

Using this jig still takes practice, and it doesn’t compare with the Leigh, Porter-Cable, and other higher-priced jigs, but it does what I need it to!

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"





20 comments so far

View MasterSergeant's profile

MasterSergeant

1285 posts in 1320 days


#1 posted 1319 days ago

Great job, I like the idea! How does the Harbor Freight jig work for you? I have looked at them in the past but never purchased.

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View bigike's profile

bigike

4031 posts in 1920 days


#2 posted 1319 days ago

nice i have the shop fox one and it’s just like this one so this helps me alot. I also have a leigh but can’t seem to make the HB dovetails come out right. THANKS AGAIN. Now i just need the other size dovetail plates.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11316 posts in 1737 days


#3 posted 1319 days ago

That ought to hold the templates in place. Nice job!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3739 posts in 2295 days


#4 posted 1319 days ago

Kelly—It works pretty well … not in the same class as the Leigh & PC jigs, but with a little practice, you can get good results. I have used it to make some boxes and drawers for the shop.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View docholladay's profile

docholladay

1286 posts in 1691 days


#5 posted 1319 days ago

That is cool. I have that jig. I may have to build one of those myself. Where did you get the extra templates for it? Mine only came with the one half blind template.

Doc

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3739 posts in 2295 days


#6 posted 1319 days ago

Doc—I ordered them from Grizzly … http://www.grizzly.com/products/Dovetail-Jig-w-Aluminum-Template/H0983

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Tim29's profile

Tim29

307 posts in 1782 days


#7 posted 1319 days ago

Hey Gerry,Everything looks great. Thanks for sharing.I have not used mine since I posted my review so I am sure I would have to review instructions and practice cutting before I made anything.I might have to make something like this for my jig. Biggest obstacle is no climate control in my shop. Winter temps and woodworking don’t go together very well.Thanks for the link to the grizzly templates. nice to see your post. i am glad to see that this jig is working for you.

-- Tim, Nevada MO

View Orion Woods's profile

Orion Woods

67 posts in 1401 days


#8 posted 1319 days ago

thanks for posting I had all but thrown my HF jig away when i read this and will attempt the tweaks!

-- Brian

View mafe's profile

mafe

9491 posts in 1721 days


#9 posted 1318 days ago

Nice job, this will keep things in place.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4318 posts in 1680 days


#10 posted 1318 days ago

Gerry,
Thank you for the information and for the PM.
The modifications look great and they should really help.
Your dovetails look pretty good.
Again thank you for your help.
Bert

-- Bert

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4318 posts in 1680 days


#11 posted 1318 days ago

I am jealous of some people who obviously are me gifted than I am.
I read on several post about this jig or similar jigs ” worked fine right out of the box”.
The jigs been the same or similar the difference has to be with the operators.
Seriously speaking I already spent more time trying to get this thing to work for me that I wanted.
I shall make the modification that Bob and Gerry made and if it still does not work for me , I shall live until the end of my life the same way I did until now; without out making any dovetail with a jig and I shall survive.

-- Bert

View Jake Brain's profile

Jake Brain

50 posts in 1401 days


#12 posted 1318 days ago

I have the same HF Dovetail Jig one of the problems that I had was that the wood drawer sides would move when I cut them no mater how tight I made the clamps. To solve problem I used doubled carpet tape and 150 grit sandpaper that I placed on the bottom of each clamp.

I also made template to set the guides and stops.

-- Jake Brain, Florida

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3739 posts in 2295 days


#13 posted 1318 days ago

Jake—The setup templates are a good idea … Thanks!

Also, I keep forgetting to make a setup block for the router bit.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Jake Brain's profile

Jake Brain

50 posts in 1401 days


#14 posted 1318 days ago

You can get a better manual at http://www.ptreeusa.com/dovetail%20jig%20instructions.pdf.

-- Jake Brain, Florida

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3739 posts in 2295 days


#15 posted 1318 days ago

Jake—That same manual is also available from Grizzly’s website.

How did you deal with the FENCE ADJUSTMENT TABLE in that manual? I don’t how they came up with those numbers, but they don’t work with anything I have. With the bushing installed in my PC690 base, the distance from the collar on the busing to the edge of the base is 2 21/32”. According to the manual, with 5/8” stock, the distance from the front edge of the template to the fence should be 3 23/32”. With the bit set to the recommended depth (9/16” from the router base to the bottom edge of the but), this setup produced dovetails that were a) way too shallow, and b) way too tight.

Through trial-and-error, here are the settings I came up with to cut perfect dovetails in my 5/8’ stock: Fence position: 3 7/8” from front of template to the fence Bit Depth: 21/32”

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

showing 1 through 15 of 20 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase