|Review by DaveTPilot||posted 01-09-2011 02:31 AM||10622 views||3 times favorited||9 comments|
When I first saw this jig advertised I said, ”$34.99 are you kidding me? It’s got to be a piece of *#@&!” I had never used a dovetail jig before but heard some horror stories from people who have used some of the “cheap” jigs. I looked at a few videos online and from what I could tell, for less than 35 bucks with a dovetail bit included, the EZ Pro Dovetail Jig was worth a try.
The jig comes with a dovetail bit and a spacer for making joints in stock wider than 6”. After the 2 minute assembly I was ready to give it a go. The cool thing about this jig is you can use it on your router table. When I started to set it up to make my first practice cuts, I noticed that the markings were almost impossible to read. As you can see, or not see, in the main photo, the markings are stamped or engraved in the black plastic.
I took some white acrylic hobby paint and rubbed it into the markings. With a damp shop towel, I wiped off the excess and the markings stood out like a sore thumb the way God intended. I then wiped some super glue over the markings to add some protection.
I made my practice cuts in 3/4 birch plywood. It was the same material I planned to use to make some drawers for my miter station. With this material, I found that in order to get a good tight joint, I needed to set the dovetail bit as high as it could go and cut a full 1/2 inch joint.
The problem I ran into with this setup on the router table is that the top bearing would work its way up the bit shaft and go over the jigs fingers. The fingers were in danger of working their way between the bearings. Not good. I solved the problem easily by adding a third bearing that I happen to have in my collection. Now, you might be asking yourself, “Why didn’t he just lower the bit in the collet?” I tried that but in order to get the full 1/2” cut, the collet would hit the table insert. This would not be a problem if I used the jig with a hand held router.
After a few practice runs I was happy with the results. Here is an example of the joints. The larger drawers were 8 1/4” deep. the spacer tool worked flawlessly.
Cutting the dovetails in plywood, I found it necessary to use a backer board. A piece of hardboard did the trick nicely.
The jig will cut half-blind and through dovetails, edge dovetails and box joints, (with a straight bit, not included). I really abused the included dovetail bit. I cut around 100 joints and it held up pretty well. I cleaned the bit after I was done and used a diamond mini file to give a sharp edge again. I have since purchased a Freud Diablo bit that I will use the next time. I’ll keep the “stock” bit as a back up.
Conclusion: This is a great product for the money. It was VERY easy to use and the results are fantastic!
-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette www.pilotwoodworks.com