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Dovetails - what jig do you use?

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Forum topic by Bill posted 02-17-2007 08:52 PM 6529 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bill

2579 posts in 2905 days


02-17-2007 08:52 PM

A quick survey on cutting dovetails jigs – what dovetail jig do you use?

I am in the market for a dovetail jig, and have been looking at the Leigh 24” jig. I have the dvd, and also the one for WoodRat. I am leaning towards the Leigh, but wanted to hear what others use.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com


28 replies so far

View Bruce's profile

Bruce

38 posts in 2961 days


#1 posted 02-17-2007 08:56 PM

I have owned a Leigh for about 3 years and just had the chance to use it this last week. The instruction book is one of the best I have read. Once the jig is set up the joints came out beautiful, even for a rank beginner. I would highly recommend the Leigh.

-- Bruce Ebling

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2905 days


#2 posted 02-17-2007 09:19 PM

That is what I have heard about the Leigh jig. Glad to hear some first hand experience as well.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2899 days


#3 posted 02-17-2007 09:28 PM

I have the Leigh D4 jig, I have had it and all there templates for a long time. They have a steep learning curve – however the quality of the jig, I find is unbeatable. There manual is second to none , in helping you to undertand and set up the jig.

I have yet to find a joint that I couldnt make with there jig. In fact if there is a complaint its I can’t possible learn all the things that it can do.

Perhaps when I retire.

Dusty

-- Dusty

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2905 days


#4 posted 02-17-2007 09:53 PM

Thanks Dusty. One thing I liked about the Leigh jig is that you could do not only dovetails, but box joints, mortise and tennons, and even the isoloc joints (with the templates). As you said, you can build almost any joint with the jig.

More food for thought.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2899 days


#5 posted 02-17-2007 11:09 PM

I also have the Leigh FMT, and all the bells and accessories. I have to say even though this isn’t a production machine its very exacting and the joint quality is second to none. I have made hundreds of joints the old fashion way – for a long time and still do so. However when ever I can- and now that I have more time – and have learned a few things – I prefer to make all my joints with this machine. One big reason is – when you dry assemble the joints are tight, exacting, and the joint is perfect ever time. Again, the learning curve is long – but if you don’t let the machine intimidate you and are patience, its one of the most rewarding machines that has delivered every thing and more – that it shows in the pictures and says it can do.
I don’t give many machines ot tools a thumbs up anymore as so many times I have been dissapointed with the shortcomings or end results. If you can stand the big price tag I would say this is the machine for you Bill.

Dusty

-- Dusty

View Karson's profile

Karson

34911 posts in 3144 days


#6 posted 02-17-2007 11:36 PM

I use the Leigh D4 but the time between uses was a little long last time so I had to refresh myself, but the joints came out fine.

I used it to make sliding dovetails on the current project. The first time for that functionality. But they came out fine.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View TonyWard's profile

TonyWard

748 posts in 3071 days


#7 posted 02-18-2007 12:41 AM

It is Australian, very popular here and overseas. Worth considering! http://www.gifkins.com.au/

Note: as you know I don’t dovetail and therefore I am reliant upon their excellent reputation from those who dovetail.

-- Bandsawn Box Plans available at ~ http://www.tonyward.org

View Don's profile

Don

2600 posts in 2920 days


#8 posted 02-18-2007 12:42 AM

I previously used the Gifkins Jig, but it is limited to thru dovetails only, but with all the bells and whistles is perhaps the easiest dovetail jig on the market to learn.

I now use the Incra LS Positioner. Love it!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2980 days


#9 posted 02-18-2007 02:55 AM

Well I got the $100.00 Rockler, and it’s a good “Beginner” jig, but oooooh, how I want the 24” Leigh. I’ve watched the video over and over and imagine one day, when I am rolling in enough money to buy the other tools I need first, the Leigh is on the list.

I liked all the other joints it can do, and I need something that will do joints at least 18” for the new line of furniture I’m working on.

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3054 days


#10 posted 02-18-2007 03:00 AM

I have the Rockler Dovetail jig. I bought it when it was on sale and got the through dovetail jig, also for around, $100.00, too. I’ve tried it once and got fairly good results for never trying to make dovetails with a router before. I really like the preset offset on the jig and the cam locks hold the wood in the jig very securely.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2905 days


#11 posted 02-25-2007 08:43 PM

Dusty, I want to use a jig as well for the consistency factor and tight fitting joints.

I have to admit I broke down and ordered the Leigh D4R. It should be arriving later this week. I am looking forward to that learning curve that Karson is talking about.

I picked it because of all the features, as well as the ability to multiple joint types. I should be able to do the dovetails and box joints with it, as well as mortise and tenons.

Thanks for all your great advice everyone.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2882 days


#12 posted 02-25-2007 09:08 PM

I use the Porter Cable Model 4212 Dovetail Jig which was a Christmas gift from my wife. Great jig and easy to use. Someday looking at the Leigh jig for its adjustability.

I also use the Leigh FMT (Frame Mortise Tenon) Jig which is very easy to use and makes consistent tight fitting mortise and tenon joints.

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2905 days


#13 posted 02-25-2007 09:54 PM

The FMT is on my wish list. I have a few other things I need to get before that, such as a table saw and planer.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2980 days


#14 posted 02-26-2007 01:54 AM

I just looked at the Leigh FMT and I can’t see spending $1,000.00 on a Mortise & Tenon Jig, when I can get a mortise Machine for $250.00 and cut the tenons on my table saw. That’s $750.00 I could spend on tools, wood, or … more wood & tools. Maybe a second dust collection system, 150 pairs of safety glasses, 7,500 pencils, an air filtering system, maybe some o’ them newfangled Aussie accessories for the drill press.

I guess if I got to using multiple joints, or angled joints, then I could justify using it.

View Don's profile

Don

2600 posts in 2920 days


#15 posted 02-26-2007 02:27 AM

I think this (Festool Domino Joining System).

will replace this (Leigh Frame Mortise & Tenon Jig).

It already has in OZ.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

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