Leigh Dovetail Jig

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Forum topic by redwing98 posted 01-09-2010 05:10 AM 1806 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 2852 days

01-09-2010 05:10 AM

I was looking around my local Woodcraft store just killing time the other day and came across what I hope is a great deal..

I have been eying a Porter Cable dovetail jig when I came across a floor model D4 24” from Leigh. It is the discontinued model and was being sold as is. It was missing some items that were included in the original package like the manual and guide bushing and bit. I think it also came with a wrench and a video that was missing.

The list price was $400 and they sold it to me for for $50.

I have no experience in any dovetail jigs but I’m told there is Leigh and then everyone else. I’m excited about learning how to use my new toy….......

-- Woodworker wannabe in training

8 replies so far

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 2496 days

#1 posted 01-09-2010 05:36 AM

Awesome tool, that Leigh Dovetail Jig.

You’ll be wanting to bookmark the following website:

You’ll be able to access the manual for that jig on the internet. I printed mine off (as I got a similar deal to yours…) and it was about 90 pages long. In addition, technical bulletins and replacement supplies (bits, collars) are also available.

The Leigh is a very versatile tool. Sadly, I don’t use it very much. For what I do, it is faster for me to use my 12” Craftsman dovetail jig (mostly drawers), as you can cut both the pins and tails at the same time, and you can cut two sets at the same time (opposite corners of the drawer, of course!) if your drawers are less than 6” high!

The Liegh just takes a little too much time to set up for this kind of work. However, the ability to cut variable distance dovetails over a 24” distance is awesome!

View Rob's profile


33 posts in 2713 days

#2 posted 01-09-2010 07:01 AM

I think you got an unbeliveable deal. The Leigh dovetail jig is considered the Lexus of dovetail jigs. You might at most spend 75-100 dollars getting the things that are missing and you’ll be set. Wish I had run into that at my Woodcraft!

Best of luck with it!

View DraftsmanRick's profile


112 posts in 2483 days

#3 posted 01-12-2010 07:23 AM

When you left the store did the cops chase you… stole that one lol. Its the cadillac of dovetail jigs but for most people like myself we dont use it to its full capicity. The accesory templates are cool too!

-- Jesus was a carpenter

View degoose's profile


7193 posts in 2778 days

#4 posted 01-13-2010 01:50 PM

I use my leigh all the time… I love doing sliding dovetails for fixed shelves and blind dovetails for carcasses…very simple once you work it out and do a little fiddling with the initial set up….that said I also want the incra… oh welll more toys more fun…
for the price …. bargain of a lifetime…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View jerryz's profile


164 posts in 2701 days

#5 posted 01-13-2010 02:21 PM

Actually you can probably get the manual from Leigh, I had something similar happen to me, I purchased a floor model and it was missing the manual and some accessories. Leigh sent the manual free of charge.
Oh and by the congratulations on a killing of a deal.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2107 days

#6 posted 01-07-2014 10:53 PM

So question #1 for the group…

If I find a 3 year old post that fits my comment, do I use it or should I open up a new post?

I just wanted to comment on the Leigh D4 (older model). I got it years ago on EBay from a guy that obviously was frustrated with it (it is a great piece of machinery but certainly not an easy machine to use without taking time). When I got it I bought a cutter package and the dust collection accessory, used it a few times then put it away. Now in the past few months it has seen more use than it ever has.

So to my point…yesterday I was cutting the tails for half-blind smaller boxes. It seemed that the PC690 router was “catching” on the jig fingers. I ran my fingers over the base and fingers and everything seemed fine. Then something happened to cause a deeper cut. There is no “re-do” on half-blinds with that jig…you start over with new stock.

So I tore the router down and cleaned/oiled it because the collet didn’t seem to be holding the cutter tight and the router motor seemed to be binding on the housing. Then I waxed the base plate and the fingers on the jig. Today I go out, reset the bit depth using a piece that I knew would work. Night and day. That clean/wax treatment made the cuts like a film of water over a sheet of ice (actually scared me at first because it was so much different). So much for the “feels ok” method.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4827 posts in 2236 days

#7 posted 01-08-2014 12:25 AM

Yes, lubricating the sub base and template really helps. I use Empire Dry Lube because it is silicone free.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2107 days

#8 posted 01-08-2014 12:46 AM

I used Johnson’s paste wax. When the rumor started a few years ago about it going “bye bye” my wife started buying it whenever she finds it. With about 6 unopened tins in the shop now I guess I can tell her that’s enough. But I will repeat that I was amazed with the difference in “glide”. Reminds me that it’s time to coat the TS, jointer and planer.

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