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Only $60 but that was $60 down the drain.

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Review by TNBodger posted 05-23-2009 04:13 AM 2507 views 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Only $60 but that was $60 down the drain. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

It’s cheap (cheap as in poorly made and from bad materials).

It took me an hour of adjusting and more adjusting to get an ALMOST decent half blind dovetail out of this piece of _! Clamping the pieces in place is time consuming and requires way too many turns to hold the wood securely in place (which also means way too many turns to release the piece after routing it). Also, the screws that hold the template in place is positioned in a way that will prevent clamping thinner pieces of stock (3/4” thick minimum). I was somewhere between 30 and 40 routed joints when the threads striped on the clamping knob. By the way, these aren’t standard threads so no running off to Home Depot or Lowes for a quick replacement.

The router bushing, made and recommended by Wood River, for this jig had a lot of play in the comb necessitating multiple passes to assure an even cut on both sides of the dovetail. What resulted was a sloppy joint with the tails being smaller than the sockets making for a very loose joint. Fortunately, the project I used this for didn’t require precision or appearance and the Gorilla glue would expand to fill the gaps. Wood River didn’t even come close on this one.

Unfortunately, this forum doesn’t allow for a zero star rating and I had to give it a one, but believe me, I didn’t want to. I’m going to see if I can unload this dovetail “pig” on Craig’s list and apply the proceeds to a better machine.

Shame on you Woodcraft Supply for selling this item.




View TNBodger's profile

TNBodger

7 posts in 2211 days



21 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

10164 posts in 2508 days


#1 posted 05-23-2009 04:26 AM

Thanks for the warning!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2741 days


#2 posted 05-23-2009 04:38 AM

That’s one of those generic jigs.

I got one as my first dovetail jig. It took a bit of work and adjustments, but I ended up getting it to work good enough to do all the drawers on my highboy dresser.

You just have to work within it’s limitations.

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

View Emeralds's profile

Emeralds

143 posts in 2315 days


#3 posted 05-23-2009 05:05 AM

Cut them by hand, it’s a lot more fun and far more satisfying.

Cheers
Joe

-- JMP

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2774 days


#4 posted 05-23-2009 05:26 AM

You will get better wood stability with that type if you glue on sandpaper along where the wood is clamped to avoid over tightening the clamp knobs.

Als once you have the jig set for 3/4” material cut a set of boards to set the jig to for future cuts.
And yes you are probably better of with a doveltaii saw and a frank Klaus video.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View TNBodger's profile

TNBodger

7 posts in 2211 days


#5 posted 05-23-2009 04:07 PM

Thanks for the comments Bob#2. This jig came with sand paper already attached to the clamping bars (and they do a really good job at marring the wood too). The problem is with narrow pieces of wood and adequate clamping pressure. The clamping bar is too flexible and has to be over-tightened to keep the wood from shifting under the force of the router blade – even with the sand paper.

GaryK… thanks for your comments also. The problem with working “within it’s limitations” is that this jig is extremely limited. It goes back to, “you get what you pay for.”

As for handcutting dovetails being “fun and far more satisfying.” I’m not about to make my entire summer project cutting the dovetails on 20 drawers. I’ll tell you what Joe, send me your address and I’ll send you the pieces so you can cut them for me. LOL.

View Splinterman's profile

Splinterman

23057 posts in 2114 days


#6 posted 05-23-2009 05:52 PM

I agree with Emeralds. slower but more rewarding.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112936 posts in 2330 days


#7 posted 05-23-2009 05:57 PM

All but the newest dovetail jigs are a pain to adjust. Thanks for the review.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Milo's profile

Milo

862 posts in 2072 days


#8 posted 05-23-2009 05:57 PM

I’m going to a class next week on how to use the Porter Cable dovetail jig. I hope it works better for me than this one did for you. Maybe you can use is as a doorstop or sell in on Ebay…?

Good luck!

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View TraumaJacques's profile

TraumaJacques

433 posts in 2253 days


#9 posted 05-23-2009 06:31 PM

I wasted $ 60.00 on one of those too. I finally gave up and trashed it. Like Joe said I just learned to do them by hand. The first 20 were shaky looking but now they are starting to look like a dove tails.
Jim is right about the jigs although I also got a Wolfcraft that did a decent job.

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View WhittleMeThis's profile

WhittleMeThis

125 posts in 2125 days


#10 posted 05-23-2009 09:00 PM

Buy it once, we all know the moto, I always recommend the Leigh Super Jigs a little more money but will last a lifetime, also the instruction manuals are great.

View Durnik150's profile

Durnik150

647 posts in 2074 days


#11 posted 05-24-2009 08:08 AM

Thanks for the heads up! I was just starting to seriously look around. I will make sure to cross this one off my list.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11686 posts in 2440 days


#12 posted 05-24-2009 04:55 PM

How long ago did you buy it ? I would certainly bring it back to Woodcraft for a full refund.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View TNBodger's profile

TNBodger

7 posts in 2211 days


#13 posted 05-24-2009 05:38 PM

Unfortunately I bought it last year when it was on sale. It sat unopened until last month – more than the 90 days grace period Woodcraft allows something to be returned. Live and learn.

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5594 posts in 2338 days


#14 posted 05-24-2009 05:44 PM

It seems a bit unfair selling it to someone else if you know it doesn’t work well.My 2 cents.Alistair

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

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11686 posts in 2440 days


#15 posted 05-24-2009 07:17 PM

Yup , I have several tools unopened and am praying that they will be alright when I need them. Sorry for your loss.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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