Dovetails Jigs

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Blog entry by Red Rocks School of Fine Woodworking posted 06-09-2009 10:44 PM 1675 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We (the school) don’t do a lot of classes/instruction on dovetail jigs. I’d like to change that and have the ability to do a least a few jig type demonstrations. What works and what doesn’t? Which ones out there are the most popular? I’ve asked a couple of the companies that I know about whether they would be interested in donating one of their jigs to the school (Keller, Akeda, Leigh-already said they can’t), but are there other options/companies I should look at or ones that I should definitely not consider?
We’ll also try to do YouTubes on the various jigs to help others try to make the same decisions I will make soon, so if you have been contemplating a particular jig, I’d like to know that too.

-- Rand Richards,,

12 comments so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5845 posts in 3420 days

#1 posted 06-09-2009 10:46 PM

I’d like to see a newcomer to the incra do through dovetails straight out of the box.they say it can be done well show us how.Alistair

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

View Karson's profile


35092 posts in 4236 days

#2 posted 06-09-2009 11:03 PM

The Kehoe Jig is an interesting one. You cut tapered dovetail wedges and put them across the joint and lock it in place. I’m sorry that leigh and others didn’t want to participate, maybe they are afraid of not winning.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

#3 posted 06-09-2009 11:43 PM

Haven’t heard about the Kehoe jig – but I’ll check it out – thanks.
Akeda is looking into it, Leigh said as a company their policy is to not donate their product (nice note from Mr. Grisley their president), and Keller hasn’t responded yet. Like everything else I think their will be pro and cons to all the jigs. I’m not after sponsors of anything like that – I just want my students to have as many options as possible, and give them a chance to check them out before they buy.
I had totally forgotten about the incra jigs. I remember one of my employees thinking it was the cat’s pamjamas when they first got it, but after we tried to use it for a series of boxes, I think they tried to make cat’s pajamas out of it. Maybe it has been changed over the years and we should give it shot –
Thanks for the input – R&

-- Rand Richards,,

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3183 days

#4 posted 06-09-2009 11:50 PM

If you haven’t seen it already, Charles Neil has a good 3 part series on the Kehoe jig
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1882 posts in 3507 days

#5 posted 06-10-2009 12:42 AM

I started on a P/C 4212. Once I was used to it, and understood how it works, I bought a Leigh D24R.

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3603 days

#6 posted 06-10-2009 12:50 AM

the katie jig also. its a very nice and well made jig. pretty basic but cuts the dovetails very precisely

View kiwi1969's profile


609 posts in 3277 days

#7 posted 06-10-2009 12:56 AM

Gifkins from australia would be one, so simple and great results.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3721 days

#8 posted 06-10-2009 04:44 AM

Trust me DO NOT get an Incra, their video makes it look so easy to use…..IT AIN’T. I used mine once and never again.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View a1Jim's profile


116566 posts in 3412 days

#9 posted 06-10-2009 04:53 AM

Mlcs has more than one type this one’s pretty interesting.

-- Custom furniture

View a1Jim's profile


116566 posts in 3412 days

#10 posted 06-10-2009 05:03 AM

View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 3940 days

#11 posted 06-10-2009 05:47 PM

I’ve used the Leigh (older style) and the PC4212.

The PC4212 is about as brain dead simple as you can get. Once you get the hang of it, and understand which portions of the setup are crucial (like stock centering) you can get through pins and tails quite quickly. In addition, the 4212 does complete half-blinds in a single pass, which is nice. You’re stuck with their uniform spacing options though.

The Leigh is a lot more complex, and I think the learning curve is quite a bit steeper, but you pick up variable spacing, which is quite nice.

#12 posted 06-12-2009 03:25 AM

Just an update
Responded, but still no commitment – I’d really like to try their jig.
Katie Jig
Just sent an email to the company to see if they could send one to the school. I’ll let you know.
The Kehoe Jig,
Set an email the Kohoe company to see if they would send one of their jigs. Already received a super nice email from Kevin & Terry Jaynes saying they would be happy to send the school a jig to try out – thanks
Still haven’t heard back from them.
I have an opportunity to get a D4 model. Their newer jig is the D4R – does anyone know the difference?
Looks fairly interesting – maybe we should give a try.
I’ve called it an Omni jig for more years than I can remember. We do use that one for our cabinetmaking classes. It seems like many companies make the same jig and just call it by different names. It works well for just throwing boxes together. – but has that obvious made with router kind of look

It is looking like a fairly comprehensive list – thanks for all the help. I hoping that before the end of the summer, we will have at least 3 of the various jig up and running. I’ll do a free class for people wanting to try them out, and if I can we’ll get YouTubes of them.
Thanks again

-- Rand Richards,,

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