Questions about Porter Cable 4210 dovetail jig

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Forum topic by Vrtigo1 posted 01-25-2011 05:16 PM 2117 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 2409 days

01-25-2011 05:16 PM

I just picked one of these up second hand and it didn’t come with the bit. I found the PC bit on amazon, but it has a lead time of 4-6 weeks. I read online that the Whiteside d7-531 bit is a good replacement. The price is about the same, and this one I can get in a day or two. Any reason to wait for the PC bit or will the Whiteside work just as well?

The jig has a built-in stop for setting the bit depth. Is that something that you have to gauge by trial and error the first time and then lock down the depth stop once you get it right?

Also, the instructions recommend using backer boards to minimize chipout. I assume that they want you to use an extra vertical board clamped to the face of the vertical board you’re routing. If that’s the case, would hardboard work or does it need to be sturdier than that?

5 replies so far

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2979 days

#1 posted 01-25-2011 05:32 PM

1. Whiteside bit is equivalent to the PC bit.

2. Built in stop will get you close, but not exact. IAW there will be a trial and error cut or two (or three or five if you are like me.)

3. The backer board referred to in the instructions is a piece of stock placed in the horizontal position to prevent chip out in the vertical board. Obviously not necessary if you are cutting pins and tails at the same time. If you are cutting box joints then you would need one.

-- Joe

View rpalm's profile


57 posts in 2798 days

#2 posted 01-25-2011 05:59 PM

These videos give more info on the PC jig.


-- Robert, I don't understand everything I know about this.

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 2547 days

#3 posted 01-26-2011 01:37 AM

The pc jig is IMO the best of the lot. I’ve had one for years and it served very well . If the bit angles and dimensions are the same then of course an American Whiteside is as good if not better. PC seems to have a long lead time on all their dovetail jig related items. I waited weeks for a collet for their jig once. Anywa, the jig itself is great and +1 on watching the videos

View woodguy1's profile


1 post in 2078 days

#4 posted 02-12-2011 05:49 PM

I am also having a hard time locating the P-C Supplementary Instruction Manual for Dovetails. Can anyone send me the .pdf


View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2592 days

#5 posted 02-12-2011 05:58 PM

The two manuals are:


In my experience (this went wrong, yesterday, and truly ticked me off), if the “disc” that is used to set the router bit depth is dead flat at the same exact level as the bottom of the upper (horizontal) piece of wood—in other words: exactly level with the top surface of the body of the jig, then you’ll be darned close.

My mistake, yesterday, was trusting that, though, and—inexplicably—mine was off by more than 1/4” !

You want the bit to stick out of the collar OF the bushing …. to a distance equal to the thickness of the board you’re going to be cutting.

I’ve ONLY made mistakes when I did NOT do it this way.

So … if you’re making DTs in two 1/2” thick boards …. the bottom of the bit should extent 1/2” beyond the protruding part OF your bushing.

Another easy way: if your upper (horizontal) board is the same thickness as the board you’re cutting—say, 1/2”, then … clamp THAT board in place, put the router with bearing in between a couple of the fingers of the template, and then lower the bit until it’s at exactly the bottom of the horizontal piece.

There just aren’t easy ways to explain this :-(

Backer board: do not double up your boards, in either the upper or lower clamp. Your upper board SERVES AS your backer board for the cuts you make IN your LOWER BOARD.

That’s why it’s critical how and where they meet (exactly at the same level, and right at the appropriate “indicator line,” ON the template).

I think the manual is pretty good.

I think the advanced manual covers a LOT of things that the manual SHOULD have covered.

Look through them both.

Meanwhile, I’m fixing MY DTs, today—something I haven’t had to do in quite a while :-/

-- -- Neil

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