Porter Cable 4212 Jig - Buy or pass?

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Forum topic by muleskinner posted 06-16-2014 03:06 PM 2033 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2460 days

06-16-2014 03:06 PM

Local Craigslist posting for a new in unopened box Porter Cable 4212 Dovetail jig. Asking $100.
I’m in the process of re-doing the kitchen. Will have 16 drawers to do in the nears future.

Is it worth it or should I just do box joints on the table saw as have in the past?

-- Visualize whirled peas

15 replies so far

View TechTeacher04's profile


386 posts in 1555 days

#1 posted 06-16-2014 03:36 PM

See if they will take $75. Only problems with the 4214 is limit to 12” width fixed space dovetails and that model only comes with 1 template.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5702 posts in 2837 days

#2 posted 06-16-2014 04:02 PM

Buy it. That is a great jig, and comes with half blind and through dovetail templates. With half blind DT’s you can use larger 14 degree dovetail bits that look really nice. With through dovetails you are limited to 7 degree bits.
As far as the variable spacing is concerned, I think that is overrated.

A blog on the PC jig if you are interested…

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

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3254 days

#3 posted 06-16-2014 05:13 PM

To buy or not is a decision only you can make. Compare the cost of buying new retail and decide.
I have one that I used to make half blind dovetails for drawers. So far, so good. I forgot the model, but mine came with several templates.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#4 posted 06-16-2014 06:09 PM

I’ve got the same setup as Mike, above. The price is pretty decent, but be forewarned if you’ve never used one: You will have to spend a fair amount of time learning setup and adjustment to get good joints.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2460 days

#5 posted 06-16-2014 06:17 PM

Thanks fellas. I just got back from picking it up. The seller was only about 5 miles down the road. It was as advertised – in the box, never opened. I offered 80 and we came to agreement at 90. Not gloat worthy but I’m satisfied and he was satisfied. It does come with two templates ( 4211 and 4213 ) and though I haven’t checked I’d be willing to bet you can purchase other templates separately. But as packaged right now, it’ll accomplish everything I wanted it for.

So now I’m off to read pinto’s blog and look for some YouTubes to get up to speed. (note to Porter-Cable – it would only cost you pennies to throw a dvd in with the instruction manual)

-- Visualize whirled peas

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2600 days

#6 posted 06-16-2014 07:12 PM

You did good. :-)
I love my 4212. It works great once set up.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Scootles's profile


153 posts in 1938 days

#7 posted 06-16-2014 07:48 PM

Wish I could find good new tools at 50% off. You did great.

View pauldye's profile


68 posts in 2108 days

#8 posted 06-16-2014 09:44 PM

The Porter Cable dovetail jig is the one I have currently. I purchased a different brand first time around, and found that PC had 1 or 2 patented features that really were worth the extra money.

I have had good success with this jig. The most important setup point is to mill all your stock flat, flat, flat.


View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1978 days

#9 posted 06-19-2014 03:58 AM

It’s a great jig. I use mine every time I want a really good drawer box. Takes a little patience to set-up and get it right, but properly set up it cranks out parts quickly. Pay really good attention to the manual where it discusses the need for drawer boxes to be in increments of full inches plus a quarter of an inch. Practice lots before you use the “good stuff”.

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2460 days

#10 posted 06-19-2014 02:25 PM

Well, absolutely no buyers remorse on this. A couple of hours of fiddling and tweaking and I had as near to perfect half blind dovetail as I’d ever expect to come out of my cave.

I’ve looked at getting the 4215 mini template. Reading the reviews there were complaints about the fragility of the router bit for that template and the lack of availability of a replacement. Which got me wondering -
are the bits proprietary to the templates or are they a standard size and angle?

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3671 days

#11 posted 06-19-2014 04:09 PM

Dovetails may look nice and be traditional, but consider how well
modern drawer slides work. Rabbets are fine and less work than
dovetails, but if you want to put in the time and want the look
of dovetails go for it.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5702 posts in 2837 days

#12 posted 06-19-2014 05:03 PM

The bits are not proprietary to Porter Cable. You can use any brand of bits. In PC’s advanced manual it explains what bits will work. For half-blind DT’s you can use the standard 7 degree bit, or 14 degree bit. However for through dovetails you must use a 7 degree bit.

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

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3686 days

#13 posted 06-19-2014 05:59 PM

”... are they a standard size and angle?”

Yes … I have used both Grizzly and Freud bits with no problem.

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

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2460 days

#14 posted 06-19-2014 10:20 PM

Pinto and Dane, thanks for the info.
Loren, true enough but they do impress the ladies. ;)

-- Visualize whirled peas

View DMC1903's profile


285 posts in 2351 days

#15 posted 06-19-2014 10:39 PM

Buy It! I purchased the same jig on Amazon for $125.

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