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Bits and bushing for Leigh Jig

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Forum topic by bdresch posted 11-29-2015 09:52 PM 638 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bdresch

120 posts in 1068 days


11-29-2015 09:52 PM

I just bought a used Leigh Super 18 dovetail jig from a guy on CL. It didn’t come with any bits or bushings. What would you guys suggest getting for bits and bushings? Should I buy right from Leigh? Would I be better off buying from Whiteside? Can I use 1/2 shank bits instead of the 8mm that would’ve come with it? I’m mainly planning to use it for 1/2” and 3/4” drawer boxes at least to start.


13 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1769 days


#1 posted 11-30-2015 08:26 AM

If you buy direct from Leigh it will cost more. You’re better off price wise to buy from one of there retailer dealers.

As far a bit and bushing….that information is in the back of the instruction book. Different bits and bushing for different joints.

If you don’t have a manual/instruction book you can buy one for 15.00

There is a ton of information on the Internet about Leigh Jigs,......start Goggling.

http://www.newwoodworker.com/reviews/leigh18supjgrvu.html

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1938 posts in 1449 days


#2 posted 11-30-2015 12:29 PM

The leigh site has the manual and videos. I have a Leigh jig and would buy their bushings.

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

423 posts in 586 days


#3 posted 11-30-2015 04:34 PM

Not sure about the Super 18 but I’ve had the D4 for years and I’ve always bought directly from Leigh. I’ve never found their pricing to be outrageous. I think their jigs are engineered to use their stuff (bushing sizes and cutter angles) and because the operations can be a little “tedious” I don’t need to add any more complications. A few years I “bit” on a package set from them (great price) but like most sets most of them have never been used. I should have bought a few more of the cutters I use the most. Their web site has the sizing guides for the board thicknesses you’ll be working with in your planned range you probably only need 1-2 dovetail cutters and they’ll give you the sizes of the matching straight cutters.

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teejk02

423 posts in 586 days


#4 posted 12-01-2015 09:24 PM

Forgot to mention…if you get into that Leigh jig and decide to keep it, buy their dust collection accessory. Somewhat awkward to use but a great time-saver. Today I’m setting up to make some more “tea trays”...set-up on that requires a lot of thought and advance planning. But they come out nice.

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1769 days


#5 posted 12-01-2015 09:34 PM


Not sure about the Super 18 but I ve had the D4 for years and I ve always bought directly from Leigh. I ve never found their pricing to be outrageous. I think their jigs are engineered to use their stuff (bushing sizes and cutter angles) and because the operations can be a little “tedious” I don t need to add any more complications. A few years I “bit” on a package set from them (great price) but like most sets most of them have never been used. I should have bought a few more of the cutters I use the most. Their web site has the sizing guides for the board thicknesses you ll be working with in your planned range you probably only need 1-2 dovetail cutters and they ll give you the sizes of the matching straight cutters.

- teejk02


A couple week ago I called Leigh (in Canada) to order the vacuum and support gizmo. The lady on the phone told me it would be cheaper to go to one of their dealers. I check prices and she was right. I have the older D4 leigh wants 120.00. Rocker who usually higher than most others wants 109.00. Shipping form Canada cost more too.

So anyway I used the vacuum and support gizmo for a week and now it’s sitting in a drawer.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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teejk02

423 posts in 586 days


#6 posted 12-01-2015 11:24 PM



A couple week ago I called Leigh (in Canada) to order the vacuum and support gizmo. The lady on the phone told me it would be cheaper to go to one of their dealers. I check prices and she was right. I have the older D4 leigh wants 120.00. Rocker who usually higher than most others wants 109.00. Shipping form Canada cost more too.
So anyway I used the vacuum and support gizmo for a week and now it s sitting in a drawer.

- AlaskaGuy


I added the vacuum attachment a few years after I bought the D4. Somewhat clumsy to use granted (the carrier and the vac hose that needs to follow) but I’m a believer. Keeps the work piece clean for the next pass. IMHO I don’t relish the part of any project that requires the Leigh (set-up is a PITA…I use separate routers for the dovetails and straights and I always plan on more than one finished product since the thing is set up and hence becomes like an assembly line) but it does make a nice dovetail and I wouldn’t part with mine. Great system I think.

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BurlyBob

3652 posts in 1726 days


#7 posted 12-02-2015 03:20 AM

What AlaskanGuy said. I made the same call and got told the same thing. I live in a no sales tax state. It was cheaper to buy in sales tax state and save on shipping. Probably save $20.00.

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

423 posts in 586 days


#8 posted 12-03-2015 12:03 AM

As I went through my set-up today I realize that I forgot to mention the importance of waxing your router base plates and the riding surfaces of the jig itself (I use Johnsons). To touch it might not seem necessary but “drag” probably explains why so many jigs end up on EBay. Makes a big difference.

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teejk02

423 posts in 586 days


#9 posted 12-03-2015 12:14 AM



What AlaskanGuy said. I made the same call and got told the same thing. I live in a no sales tax state. It was cheaper to buy in sales tax state and save on shipping. Probably save $20.00.

- BurlyBob


Didn’t realize they now have dealers. Their design seems to require their cutters and guide bushings to make it work (the whole thing is engineered as an integral system I think). Will have to check it out when it’s time. Working with 1/2” cherry today and will mill up some red oak tomorrow as long as everything is set up.

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HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1753 days


#10 posted 12-03-2015 12:53 AM

I highly recommend the choice of Onsrud solid carbide spiral upcut straight bits and Whiteside Leigh dovetail bits in1/2” and 8 mm shanks. I got the entire Leigh set of bits when I got my D4 jig some 20 years ago, and have gradually replaced them with Onsrud and Whiteside bits. Also, I highly recommend the use of Leigh’s dust collection system to not only keep your cut area clean, but provide support to keep your router level. I also use dust collection systems on and for each router I use. I set up one router for straight cuts and a separate router for the dovetail bit. As for router guides, they are either 7/16” OD x 11/64” deep or 5/8” OD x 11/64” deep. Finally, I recommend you read and follow the points set out in the “Hints and Tips” section of the owner’s manual. Good luck, be prepared for a challenging learning curve, and enjoy.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View bdresch's profile

bdresch

120 posts in 1068 days


#11 posted 12-03-2015 02:03 AM

I was planning to get a solid carbide straight. One question, wouldn’t I want a downcut to reduce chance of tearout?

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HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1753 days


#12 posted 12-03-2015 03:02 AM

Upcut to pull chips out and keep the cut clean. There are several better ways to prevent tear out, and my favorite is the use of front and back backer boards (see “Hints and Tips” chapter of manual, which is available for free download on the Leigh internet site, https://www.leighjigs.com/support.php ).

P.S. I like to use Baltic Birch plywood for my drawers, and have no trouble cutting dovetails in plywood using front and back backer boards. C.f., http://lumberjocks.com/projects/74215 and http://lumberjocks.com/projects/63659

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

423 posts in 586 days


#13 posted 12-07-2015 11:59 PM

Also forgot to mention…#1 clean the shanks and collets and make sure the cutter is tight and can’t slip down (been a while since I used mine but I got the “reminder” today…ruined a nice piece of cherry…not all lost since I always mill more than I need and the scraps go into my meat smoking bin). #2 Leigh says “thumb tight” on the clamps…get stronger thumbs I think…nothing worse than having a piece slide down as you are cutting it. #3 Tail boards are easy but pin boards you need to watch so you don’t cut where you don’t want to (seems obvious but you are working overhead and the fingers are not visible). #4 Use your “off-switch” and DON’T move the router until it is done spinning…you will either ruin your work piece or will ruin a jig finger or two. Like I said previously, I dread working with the jig but when everything comes together I love the finished product…just takes a lot of attention.

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