Dovetail Jig

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Forum topic by mmckee posted 02-15-2013 04:33 PM 2613 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 2070 days

02-15-2013 04:33 PM

I am in the market for a dovetail jig, I see that there can be a large range of pricing that they fall in. It looks like I could get a decent one for around $150?? I don’t want to spend a large amount of money because I will only use it occasionally, I am not a full time wood worker just do it on the side. I also don’t want something that is going to take hours to set up either but I would like to have some adjust ability. Any suggestions?? I was looking at the porter cable line but have no experience with these. Thanks

7 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10380 posts in 3643 days

#1 posted 02-15-2013 04:54 PM

There are different types.

If you just want to dovetail drawer boxes with equally
spaced pins and tails there are a lot of jigs that do that
and you only need one router bit. I think they do both
pins and tails with one router depth setup.

Then there are a smaller number of jigs that use templates
to make through dovetails for carcase joinery and blanket
chests. Some of those jigs have interchangeable templates
for different sizes of joints. The templates aren’t cheap.

View rkober's profile


137 posts in 2288 days

#2 posted 02-15-2013 05:04 PM

For what it’s worth I purchased the Porter Cable 4212 to get started with. I believe it has the most features for an “entry level” jig.

-- Ray - Spokane, WA - “Most people don’t recognize opportunity because it’s usually disguised as hard work.” - Unknown

View eztrigger's profile


153 posts in 1923 days

#3 posted 02-15-2013 05:10 PM

Rockler has the porter cable 4210 free right now if you buy a porter cable 690 router from them for $159. I just bought that deal and I’m pretty satisfied with the product(I think the sale is until 3/6?). Its not overly complex and it will handle several types of dovetail/finger joints with different templates. The 4210 comes with one template(4211) that that does half blind and sliding dovetails. There are two more templates out there that do through dovetails, finger joints and miniatures (models 4213 and 4215). The jig itself has stops for repeat cuts, alignment marks, and depth setting guides on it. If you get the deal from Rockler, you have everything you need to do half blind and sliding dovetails out of the box, and its nice to have the spare router so i can leave my Bosch 1617 under the table. If you just want to jig, amazon has the best prices and you can get a 4210(4211 template), 4212(4211 and 4213 template), or 4216(4211, 4213, 4215 templates) in the range of $140-$180. I’m waiting to find the extra templates on sale personally. Hope this helps. There are several options out there, but I own this one, so I thought I’d comment.

-- "Some get spiritual 'cause they see the light, and some 'cause they feel the heat." --Ray Wiley Hubbard

View StumpyNubs's profile


7590 posts in 2796 days

#4 posted 02-15-2013 05:18 PM

You could build one...

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View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2015 days

#5 posted 02-15-2013 05:38 PM

there’s something wrong with you stumpy….(thats a compliment though)

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3956 days

#6 posted 02-15-2013 06:24 PM

My 4210 does a good job. Easy set up. Got tight DTs after two trys.


View pintodeluxe's profile


5654 posts in 2809 days

#7 posted 02-15-2013 07:22 PM

1+ on the 4210. It is Porter Cable’s entry level jig, but is is sturdy and features an aluminum template (as opposed to plastic/phenolic). The clamps have long lever arms and sandpaper backed bars that hold the workpieces securely. It will cut half blind dovetails in one pass. Get the 4212 if you think you want to get into through dovetails. I use mine for making drawers, so half-blind is all I needed.

I use an optional 14 degree bit from Rockler, which makes a sturdier—- and to my eye more attractive joint than the stock bit.

The limitations with this jig are typical… dovetail spacing is fixed, max board width is 12”, drawer height must be on 1”+1/4” increments for optimal appearance (ie: 2-1/4”, 3-1/4”, 4-1/4” high etc.).

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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