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Kehoe Dovetail Jig

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Forum topic by Beeguy posted 10-18-2010 05:07 PM 3707 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Beeguy

178 posts in 3100 days


10-18-2010 05:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: kehoe jig dovetail router

I recently came across the Kehoe Jig for making dovetail wedges on boxes and drawers. Charles Neil did a great videon on it. I thougt I would check it out. Let me start out by saying I found nothing negative about this jig or the company that makes it. In fact, just the opposite was true. It makes me really happy when I see a domestic company hanging in there and producing a superior product. The one thing I did unfortunately notice is the price has gone up since most of the comments I saw were written (one-two years ago). I totally understand why, especially in this economy, prices are going up. I only wish I would have run across this a little sooner. But that is always my story, as they say “A day late and a dollar short”.

I am starting this post not to debate the quality of this tool because based on what I read it is superior in doing the jobs it advertises it can do. In my view, although, because of its design it will greatly strenthen any joint, that is not really the issue. There are many ways of achieving a good joint today. So lets take that off the table. Where it really excells is in the look it gives to a project and the simplicity of its use to achieve that. Some of the boxes made using the jig on this list and other woodworking forums really look great. However there is also a few Lumberjocks that have come up with simple shop made jigs to use on a router table that with a little work can achieve the same look. And if you really don’t make a lot of boxes is it worth the price? I currently don’t own a dovetail jig and I use

As I said, based on everything I have read, I am pretty much sold on this jig. I am just not sure I can justify the price verses how often I will really use it. Right now it is on my wish list, but as I also would like some other tools too, I am just not sure where on the list it will be. Hopefully this discussion will help. And maybe there are other LJs out there who by reading this will discover it for the first time. Even if I don’t buy one right away maybe someone else will making this topic even more worthwhile.

So I have a few questions for Kehoe Jig users. 1) Have you found it useful enough that you would still buy it at today’s price? 2) Have you found other uses for the jig, making it more versitile? 3) Do you have/use another dovetail jig? 4) Are dovetails your primary joint for boxes and drawers?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."


11 replies so far

View Mario's profile

Mario

129 posts in 2860 days


#1 posted 10-18-2010 05:37 PM

Ron, bought one last year and can only praise its performance. My idea started as a joinery option for urns and boxes but today I have expanded its use for frames and furniture. Customers like the dovetail look and it makes a very solid joint. I know there are some methods for working key dovetails out there but the difference is in the small 1° taper of the Kehoe jig. The key draws the joint together tightly and prevents it form moving, it is in reality a floating dovetail after all.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8253 posts in 2892 days


#2 posted 10-18-2010 06:05 PM

I own two sizes and use them exclusively for boxes. It’s an excellent tool and, as Mario said, really strengthens the joint.
I cannot remember where, but I have seen decorative examples of it’s use in turning and one guy made a “Z” chair or two using the splines. Here’s a link to the chair. Kehoe Jig Chair
While you are there, look for posts by “Texas Timbers”, he’s the present manufacturer of the jig.
A person with more imagination than I, could probably find a myriad more uses.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View rowdy's profile

rowdy

375 posts in 2906 days


#3 posted 10-18-2010 06:26 PM

Ron, I have owned one of these jigs for years and I highly recommend it. It is easy to use and the joints that result are very tight and strong. I have just finished making a couple of good sized boxes and put three 3/8 inch dovetail splines on each corner. This looks just super and there is no worry about the joints ever coming apart. I bought the jig from Larry Kehoe while he was still alive and I paid less than the jig sells for today. But given the cost of things today, I think the price is reasonable. And I will also mention the important fact that the customer service you will get from the merchant is top notch. I recently finished up a “Z” chair that you will see if you go to my projects page ( http://lumberjocks.com/projects/33945). This project, which involved a lot of splines, was not an easy one in my hands and the help I received was way beyond the call of duty. Would I still buy it at today’s price-yes. Do I have another dovetail jig—yes, but I would like to sell it. Are dovetails my primary joint for drawers—I construct drawers with dovetails or pinned rabbits. Both work well for me and my choice of which to use depends on the phase of the moon. LOL! Finally, a disclaimer—I have no financial interest in the company that sells the dovetail spline jig. I have on the other hand developed a good personal relationship with them because of the excellent customer service they have provided. Hope this helps you make up your mind. P.S. I just learned that the link given above does not work. Why-? But if you want to see the “Z” chair go to my home page, look at my projects, click on the chair and it will come up. At least it did a few minutes ago.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8253 posts in 2892 days


#4 posted 10-18-2010 06:37 PM

Rowdy,
Tried to view your chair and LJs says it’s gone or moved.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3369 days


#5 posted 10-18-2010 06:44 PM

Ron I am going to come right out and say this is a biased post (more on that later). You seem like you may be on the fence as whether to buy one, partly because of the price increase. The material of construction has changed for the jig part for one, they are now made of much stiffer aircraft grade aluminum.

Gene just answered one of your questions about “other uses” by linking one of my projects where I talk about the jig.

I am not answering to try to push this product. But here is where my bias comes in I mentioned before. And I am going to quote you here.” It makes me really happy when I see a domestic company hanging in there and producing a superior product” You know what ? Me too ! This is a family run company, who take pride in their product and customer service.

View rowdy's profile

rowdy

375 posts in 2906 days


#6 posted 10-18-2010 06:46 PM

Gene, I don’t understand this at all. If you go to my home page, look at my projects, and click on the “Z” chair, the project comes up. But if I click on the link given in my response above, I get the same msg that you got. I guess I will have to send an inquiry to Martin about this. Thanks for pointing this out.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View TexasTimbers's profile

TexasTimbers

67 posts in 3279 days


#7 posted 10-18-2010 07:06 PM

Ron, I have some pull with the owner and can probably arrange a special deal for you. I do have an upcoming sale but it won’t be ready for another couple of weeks. However, since LJ has been so good to us I see no reason why I can’t let you in on it early if you like. I will send you an email with some details.

Thanks to everyone for the generous reviews – and rest assured we will never allow the jig nor any of the components to be manufactured anywhere outside the US of A. Even the aluminum extruder we use to make the main jig does not buy any ore that is not mined domestically. He said he would shut his doors before he used foreign ore so it was an easy choice to chose our extruder.

My wife and I are sincerely grateful to all of you for your continued support and friendship.

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."

View rance's profile

rance

4245 posts in 2624 days


#8 posted 10-18-2010 07:27 PM

rowdy, you included a trailing “)” in your link. Try this: “Z” chair.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View rowdy's profile

rowdy

375 posts in 2906 days


#9 posted 10-18-2010 07:54 PM

Rance, good catch. Thanks.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View Beeguy's profile

Beeguy

178 posts in 3100 days


#10 posted 10-18-2010 08:29 PM

Thanks for all the quick replies. And Rowdy that is one neat chair. I pretty much guessed this would be the results of my questions. As I said, I found nothing but good things written about this product and more importantly the company that makes it.

I mentioned on a different thread that I am on the mend with my leg in a cast after foot/ankle surgery and hobbling around on crutches. It is also why I had a little more time to read stuff on the internet and get me in trouble. My wife is taking care of me and doing double duty with regards to the chores around here. In two weeks, if I am lucky, the cast will come off and I will be able to put some weight on the foot and get around better and pick up some of my end of the work around here (worst part is I have not been in the shop for over a month). Anyway I will have to wait a little bit before I spring the “hey honey there is this jig thing I really need to have”. :-) But not too long.

Thanks again for the replies.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

View Beeguy's profile

Beeguy

178 posts in 3100 days


#11 posted 02-01-2011 09:01 PM

I started this thread awhile back and I just wanted to post an update. A few weeks ago I ordered and it came in quite quickly and I must say this was packaged with the idea that it would drag behind the truck all the way from Texas. I was really impressed. After about two weeks I realized that it comes with two router bits and bearings. One of the bits was missing a bearing. I honestly thought that possibly during the unpacking I may have dropped or even trashed it. So before looking all over the floor and trash bins I thought I would ask.
I sent an email and they responded right away. They said no the bearing should have been attached and the next day they were shipping a replacement and another bit with a bearing too. Given the way things are today I would have been surprised by that quick and more than fair response. But I really was not surprised. Everything I read, and Charles Neil’s recommendation, of this company lead me to believe I could expect this.

As for the tool itself, there are many reviews so it is not necessary for me to echo the quality. It works well and does everything it is suppose to. I just wanted to acknowledge that they are a great outfit, and I am pleased to do business with them.

One last thing that I want to set straight. When I made the orginal post I mentioned the price increase. Yes there was an increase in price over the years but no more than would be expected. When writing, I had some other number in my head (not sure where I got it) but it was nowhere near the price listed or what I paid. Sometimes the brain malfunctions; more often, it seems, the older I get.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

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