All Replies on Dovetail jigs, Need help with jig of choice.

  • Advertise with us
View Blackie_'s profile

Dovetail jigs, Need help with jig of choice.

by Blackie_
posted 07-31-2011 05:26 PM

22 replies so far

View lcurrent's profile


125 posts in 3816 days

#1 posted 08-09-2011 01:48 PM

Keller has several mod. to choose.

-- lcurrent ( It's not a mistake till you run out of wood )

View rsain's profile


50 posts in 2489 days

#2 posted 08-10-2011 02:35 AM

I like the Keller, but I don’t own one. Gives you an infinite length that you can dovetail.

I’ve got a PC 4216 (does through, half, sliding and mini) that meets all my needs. But next time i’m flush enough to buy more toys it will be one of the Kellers.

- ryan

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2513 days

#3 posted 08-10-2011 04:42 AM

Actually I braved the task of making a jig using this months addition of American Woodworking, It’s a table saw jig and so far it’s proven to be working quite well, I’ll know more tomorrow planing on making some dovetail shelving for my workshop.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Everett1's profile


213 posts in 2535 days

#4 posted 08-21-2011 09:59 PM

I have the prazi

It’s awesome if you making chests or something big
Ok too if you making a couple drawers

If your making a ton of drawers it gets kinda slow

I got mine for 60 bucks though at sears cuz the package was damaged
Not sure you can use it on a router table I just clamp t to the piece and bring the router to it

The kellars loom ok but for the price I’d rather ball outta control and get a Leigh jig

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

View usnret's profile


184 posts in 2509 days

#5 posted 08-21-2011 10:02 PM

I have an Incra and it is limitless on what you can do. Now I havent used any of the other highend jigs like the Omnijig.

-- Chief Petty Officer USN(RET) 1991-2011

View Beeguy's profile


179 posts in 3637 days

#6 posted 08-25-2011 02:57 PM

If you are only interested in traditional dovetails (and by no means is there anything wrong with that) then read no further. But if your options are open to other possibilities consider the Kehoe Jig. It is a different twist on dovetails. You basically cut the dovetail into the assembled joint and then add a dovetail shaped key similar to using splines. But the there is a slight taper to the cut so the key strengthens and locks the joint. It looks like a traditional dovetail but also allows for other appearences if you vary the wood for the key again similar to dark splines on light wood.

They are a great little company and stand by what they make, and they are made in the USA. Check them out.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3578 days

#7 posted 08-25-2011 03:38 PM

Here’s the only jig that makes dovetails look hand cut, developed by Charles Neil.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View vernonator's profile


75 posts in 2652 days

#8 posted 08-26-2011 05:16 PM

Why are these so dang expensive? I mean its just a slab of machined aluminium?

View KenBee's profile


109 posts in 2636 days

#9 posted 08-27-2011 04:18 PM

I have the 4216 PC Jig and if you get the Adobe PDF supplemental instruction manual for the PC 4200 series jig you will find it will do as much if not more different cuts and designs as many of the other jigs on the market. I find the biggest problem I have is to determine which cut or design I want to do with each project from the many ways shown in the supplemental manual. I have the improved model jig so setup is much more simple also.

Rockler did have the manual available for download, but if not now you can Google it.

-- If it won't fit get a BIGGER hammer.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3586 days

#10 posted 08-27-2011 05:02 PM

I just sold my incra dovetail jig.I had it ,tried it ,never had success either.I am very glad to see the back of it.I am not saying others have not had results but I asked, and asked ,and never found anyone who found it easyto get real success with it.I had no trouble with box joints they were beautiful with it. . Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2513 days

#11 posted 08-28-2011 01:25 AM

I just got the keller in, haven’t had the chance to try it yet due to an addition to my shop, building an outer DC shed.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 2598 days

#12 posted 08-28-2011 05:07 AM

I had the PC 4212 jig but frankly never used it and sold it a few weeks ago. I do so little dovetails I figured if I really need to I can struggle through handcutting. haha

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View David Drummond's profile

David Drummond

97 posts in 2666 days

#13 posted 09-05-2011 05:04 AM

I own the Keller Dovetail jig Model 1500 and it is very easy to understand, set-up and use… however, take note that it can only be used for through dovetails. I have recently been eyeing the Akeda dovetail jig system but dont have any personal experience with it. I like the fact that it can do both half blind and through dovetails with indexable spacing unlike the Leigh dovetail jig where it infitely adjustable which also includes the pin sizing. The Leigh doetail jig is another great option but I find it to be too laborous to set up. The Keller is hard to beat for the money and definitely gets the job done if through dovetails are all that you plan on using in your projects. Good luck in your venture to find one that is right for you! Regards, DD

-- "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do... Explore, Dream, Discover” Mark Twain

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2476 days

#14 posted 09-05-2011 05:46 PM

I am with cr1, learn to do them by hand. Once you get the hang of it you can make any kind of dovetail that no jig will be able to equal. By the time you have set up the jig, done test cuts, raise bit, lower the bit, blah, blah, blah. You could have made an entire drawer with a hand saw, a fret saw and a couple of chisels. Unlike al the jigs, you are not limited to a bit angle, you can make anything from a 2º to 15º angle, etc.

I bought a Leigh super jig, the thing has been gathering dust for 3 years already, it took me about 3 months to learn how to do dovetails by hand and have not looked back since then.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2799 days

#15 posted 09-13-2011 02:27 AM

I have the Akeda system that David referred to and I love it. The learning curve is much easier than the Leigh.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View maljr1980's profile


171 posts in 2457 days

#16 posted 09-25-2011 05:07 AM

porter cable, not the 200 dollar jig either, get the 500 dollar industrial one, its red, not grey

View wwbob's profile


111 posts in 2876 days

#17 posted 09-26-2011 05:56 AM

When can an Akeda dovetail jig be purchasable? I heard about the factory fire, but that was maybe a year ago.

-- "I like the quiet I hear." - Channing, age 4

View abie's profile


874 posts in 3772 days

#18 posted 09-28-2011 11:31 PM

Well Here’smy two cents.
If you want fancy then the Incra is for you. lots of time learning se tup[ and the learning curve is steep.
If you want hand cut then buy the veritas dovetail guage.
It lets you cut hand cut dovetails and has a saw and magnet to hold you to the line
quite nifty and the price is reasonable

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View Kenny 's profile


260 posts in 2449 days

#19 posted 10-03-2011 12:59 AM

I myself LOVE my Incra Ultra-Lite positioner! I have had it for about 3 or 4 months, and with the exception of my first attempt at making a corner post dovetail (the router bit came loose, my fault), it has been pretty easy for me to learn to use and has really made some incredible joinery possible.

I had a Porter Cable jig prior to the Incra (not an Omni jig), and I did like it, but one thing I hated with a passion was the need for an expensive aluminum guide plate for every different dovetail size or style. Not economical in the least and hardly versatile.
I also tried the Stots Dovetail Template Master, which allows you to make your own templates from plywood or another material. And while it did allow some flexibility in template size and made creating a new template something i could do for little cash outlay, it still lacked the precision and flexibility I desired.

Then, I broke down and bought an Incra Ultra-Lite, and that changed everything for me. It opened up a whole new world of possibilities and brought my work to a whole new level.
The first time you see someone’s reaction to a corner-post double-dovetail that you made, you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

Yes, my Incra cost more up-front, at around $200 for the positioner, guide book with 52 templates and a set of 12 bits I bought on Ebay for short money. BUT, I can now make 11 different box-joints, 26 dovetails, all of which can be made half-blind, through, double, corner post or double-double.

Not to mention it’s faster by far than most other jigs. Reason being, you don’t cut one board at a time in most cases. You can stack 10 pin-boards and run them all at once, nothing else can touch that kind of speed.

If there is one downfall, it’s that it does take some time and effort to really learn the system and how best to use it. My recommendation, take a few hours some day and watch their video on it’s use, then go out to the shop with some low-cost practice wood, the guide book and some time. Now take your time, read the instructions a few times and make sure you understand them. if you have a way to watch the video in the shop, take the video with you and watch whatever section you need to answer any questions you have, and spend some time getting used to using the machine.

I did this, and in about 6 hours over the coarse of a weekend I pretty well had the system mastered. I rarely need instructions when making any joinery now, and set-up goes really fast.

Not to mention you will also have the most accurate fence for your router table you can buy. This is also a major plus!

And as a final use that I have found very, very handy, it makes cutting multiple same thickness re-sawn veneers on the bandsaw almost effortless. I can just move the fence over the thickness I want to cut plus blade kerf, lock it down and make the cut. I like this much more than scootching a normal fence around, trying to get it just right.

Remember, you can also go with the Original Incra ig and get the same precision at a very affordable price. The jig is $50, and the fence kit is about the same. Then you need the guide book and templates and you’re ready to rock. It will still do all the same joinery as the big positioners, but has a bit less capacity and no micro-adjust.

I also have one of these I use for my bandsaw and other machines, really a great investment.

In my opinion, you simply can not beat the Incra system. Precision and versatility at it’s finest.

-- Kenny

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2428 days

#20 posted 10-16-2011 08:11 AM

I am a beginner and bought a low end Keller. Have built four bee hive boxes, dog jumps and drawers. I got perfect results right on the first time I tried it. Five star product. Only regret was that I did not buy it sooner!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3649 days

#21 posted 10-18-2011 09:42 PM

+1 to cr1 – cut them by hand if it’s for a box/chest – surprisingly it will be faster than setting up a jig for a 1-off job.

jigs are GREAT when you mass produce a bunch of drawers (kitchen/bedroom set/etc) but otherwise will see not much more than just dust.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View bravozulu's profile


14 posts in 2482 days

#22 posted 12-02-2011 09:15 AM

Either the WoodRat or the Router Boss. A fair amount of learning is involved. That’s because the one machine virtually replaces a Router Table for making these joints: Dovetail, M&T, Finger Joints, Lap Joints, Knuckle Joints.

I even made 1.3” Dovetails on 2×6’s and 4×4’s for shop benches.

Videos here at or

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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