need help with an accurate and affordable dovetail jig

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Forum topic by danr78 posted 01-22-2010 03:31 AM 1213 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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74 posts in 2465 days

01-22-2010 03:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dovetail jig porter cable 4212

Hi all,
I am new to LJ and I am amazed at the collective wealth of knowledge and experience here. I have been woodworking for just over a year and I am in the market for a good dovetail jig. Money is an issue, otherwise I would jump straight to the Leigh, so I am considering the Porter Cable 4212.
I think that I will mostly be routing half-blinds, but it doesn’t seem like a tremendous price difference to go up to the through dovetail jigs.
Does anyone have any recommendations for an accurate and affordable jig?

-- "There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out alll fear." 1 John 4: 18

7 replies so far

View dbhost's profile


5589 posts in 2649 days

#1 posted 01-22-2010 03:40 AM

Depends on what you want to do. For fixed space pins & tails you can do something like the MLCS Pins & Tails templates like I did. I would like one of those PC 4212s though. I see a lot of good write ups on them…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View KellyS's profile


78 posts in 2649 days

#2 posted 01-22-2010 03:55 AM

I know it might be different than what you had in mind, but I really like my Original Incra Jig. It’s not a porter cable, but it’s also not priced like a porter cable. I think for about $110.00 you can get the positioner, a fence, the right angle fixture and the dvd. I would say that if you’re dovetailing anything wider than maybe 6-8 inches, then one of the other jigs might work better. Just thought I would throw that out there. It makes a pretty good router fence too. I upgraded from the positioner to a Ultra positioner because I really like how it works.

Hopefully this helps and doesn’t muddy the water.

-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5099 posts in 2611 days

#3 posted 01-22-2010 06:57 AM

Greetings danr78….. I agree with dbhost. I too, have the MLCS dovetail jig, which cuts half-blind dovetails. I’ve had mine now about 3 years, and it’s a good, cheap jig. All metal, and it was only about $100 bucks. Comes with good instructions on how to set it up, which is not hard. There are no draw-backs that I can see. And it will cut dovetails up to 12”.......... not bad for a cheap jig…........ keep on keeping on…....... later.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View danr78's profile


74 posts in 2465 days

#4 posted 01-22-2010 07:25 AM

porter cable is offering a rebate now through April on the 4212 and their omni-jig.

-- "There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out alll fear." 1 John 4: 18

View billythek's profile


18 posts in 2488 days

#5 posted 01-22-2010 08:25 AM

Hi danr78.. I have the 4212 and it works extremely well for normal drawer fabrication. Easy to adjust the fit and I think I paid $125 new on the web. I think it’s well worth the $$

-- Bill

View danr78's profile


74 posts in 2465 days

#6 posted 01-26-2010 08:01 PM

okay, I spent a little more than I was planning but I am happy with my choice. I bought the Porter Cable 4216, which is the same as the 4212 but it also comes with a miniture through dovetail template. I like making boxes, so I thought that would come in handy. I had to special order it from Woodcraft so I should be getting it in a few days. I can’t wait to try it out. Thank you all for you input.

-- "There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out alll fear." 1 John 4: 18

View SNSpencer's profile


133 posts in 2530 days

#7 posted 01-26-2010 08:20 PM

I know that it may not meet the “affordable” requirement but I love my Leigh Jig. Adjustable pin spacing with a workpiece up to 24” wide. Keep an eye on eBay and Craigslist, there are deals out there if you look hard enough.

-- Jef Spencer - Refined Pallet -

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