MLCS dovetail jig joinery set

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Forum topic by schmo posted 06-16-2011 04:38 AM 3153 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 2624 days

06-16-2011 04:38 AM

Hey all! I am about one year into woodworking and am in awe of the craftsmanship I see on this site. So much so I refrain from joining in on discussions.

However….. I just received the mlcs catalog and the dovetail master joinery set caught my eye. I am teaching myself woodworking by building decorative boxes and am enjoying and learning with each project. Sorry I got off track there….. I want to build more decorative boxes with joints other than basic miters and butt joints and have been looking at different jigs. Yes I did a search on some of the comments re mlcs but didn’t see one one the master set….maybe I missed it?

So, my question is … Is this jig worth the money, or would I be better served saving my cash for a better (more expensive) jig set-up? The old guy that used to
Iive accros the street from me when I was a kid used to tell us all the time that “cheap tools are expensive” ... Wasn’t until I was much older that I understood what he meant….. And just how smart he really was.

Thank you.

6 replies so far

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3063 days

#1 posted 06-16-2011 06:27 AM

I took a look at the mlcs set. Its a lot of templates and bits for the money no doubt. But, the jig itself looks cheap. It lacks a cam action clamp which means it will be a pain setting the stock in place – tightening knobs while supporting the stock then untightening them. I have had very poor experiences with cheap dovetail jigs. Its hard enough to set up accurate dovetails without dealing with inaccurate and inconvenient jigs. It would be a bit more money to match the mlcs set with a porter cable 12” jig and accessories but it would be money well spent. The Porter cable is a popular, tried an true product that is widely available. I think you would be much, happier with it.

View schmo's profile


11 posts in 2624 days

#2 posted 06-16-2011 01:00 PM

OK—- I too thought that it was a lot of equipment for the price. I was not aware of the cam action clamp to lock the wood in place I will make sure to look for that. Sounds like I need to read-up on the Porter Cable jig.

Thank you sir – I appreciate your input

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2857 days

#3 posted 06-16-2011 01:29 PM

I have a Woodline jig(same as MLCS) and frankly it is too complicated and not that accurate. I also have a 4212 PC DT jig. It works but… I upgraded to an Incra LS-25 and have been happy ever since. If you are interested in either of the others,send me a email. Might work something out really reasonable.
As far as MLCS goes(FWIW) I buy 99% of my router bits from them and have been very well satisfied.

-- Life is good.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3480 days

#4 posted 06-16-2011 02:26 PM

Router bits and shaper cutters are great from mlcs. No exp with dt jig though, we have an akeda dt jig.

-- .

View TheDane's profile


5384 posts in 3597 days

#5 posted 06-16-2011 03:21 PM

Like you, I wanted to experiment and didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a PC, Leigh, or other higher-end jig.

I looked at the MLCS jig and was thinking about pulling the trigger … then on a trip to Harbor Freight to pick up supplies, I bought one of theirs ( ) ... it was on sale for about $30 . Unlike the MLCS, it has cam-action clamping … otherwise they appear to be about the same.

I ‘tweaked’ it up with info I collected form various websites, and have used it to turn out a fair number of boxes. It got me into machine-cut dovetails at a price I could afford. Some day, when I get a bigger shop (and a few more bucks in the tool budget), it will probably be retired in favor of a better jig, but for now …

Here’s the link to the ‘tweaks’ I did … Click for details


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View schmo's profile


11 posts in 2624 days

#6 posted 06-16-2011 04:34 PM

Thanks everyone for responding——I am glad I didn’t rush in to purchasing the mlcs jig. Sounds like I have some research to do on the higher end jigs.

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