|Review by Tim29||posted 07-26-2010 07:20 AM||32351 views||15 times favorited||53 comments|
I have been wanting to get a dovetail jig for sometime now. I was up against a brick wall however. Do I fork over the bucks for a Porter Cable jig or do I buy a cheaper jig and see if it does the job for less money. I have tried this type of approach many times with many tools. Most of the time I have went on to pay for the better quality tool as well as the cheaper tool that did not work. This is not one of those times.
I paid the $23 for the Harbor Freight Dovetail jig and it works pretty well. I also bought the Ridgid router bushing set for $40 at the home depot.
I have to say that when and if you buy this jig throw the instructions away and go to this link. http://edge.woodstockint.com/manuals/d2796_m.pdf
These are much better instructions for the jig. The original manual said to use a 1/2” bushing with the jig. It actually needs a 7/16” bushing.
After reading through the correct set of instructions, I set up the jig like they said and the half blind dovetails fit…..loosely. I shimmed the bushing with a few wraps of masking tape and EUREKA….Big beautiful half blind dovetails!!
If you are willing to spend the money for a porter cable, I am sure it would work better, quicker, and easier. However, having talked to people that have used these jigs there is still some trial and error involved. I will likely buy one when I have more fun tickets in the wallet but for right now this jig works great.
I can only give this product 3 stars because I have never used another one and have nothing to compare it to. For me it works great and was worth the $23 I paid for it.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps someone.
After more tinkering with settings on day#2 with the jig I extended the bit out a little more and removed the masking tape shim. Perfect half blind dovetails that actually set on the halfway mark of the face board. It helps to read the directions further. WAY TO GO NEWBIE!!!
Also, whatever bushing set you use, if you have to mount a new baseplate on your router be sure it is centered. After reading about the issues with these types of jigs, I found that a major factor is the centering of the new bushing baseplate. Do not take for granted that the holes you drill using the template are centered. I wound up drilling 2 sets of holes for my plate. The ones that were marked on the template the set came with using the cheap horrible bit provided, and the correct ones I made off of the original baseplate that were dead on center.
-- Tim, Nevada MO