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New Leigh Router Table Dovetail Jig

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 10-29-2014 01:46 AM 7073 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1264 days


10-29-2014 01:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question jig dovetail

I’ve been working at hand cutting dovetails, but this new Leigh RTJ400 dovetail jig looks really interesting. For some reason, this router table jig seems like a much better idea to me than the standard dovetail jig. Price is a bit steep at $365

Thoughts?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson


22 replies so far

View muleskinner's profile

muleskinner

881 posts in 1903 days


#1 posted 10-29-2014 02:54 AM

Looks like it’s the same principle as the Porter-Cable jig but you move the workpiece and the template instead of the router. It takes 16” wide boards, so that’s an advantage. I’m just wondering how cumbersome it would be with, say, a 16” by 30” by 3/4 piece. You’re definitely going to want a large, high quality router table. And yeah, for 365 bucks a guy better plan on cutting a lot of dovetails.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2279 days


#2 posted 10-29-2014 03:19 AM

To me the most genius dovetail is a half blind machine cut dovetail. Cut both boards in one pass, with a guaranteed fit. Who came up with that?
Through dovetails of coarse require two passes anyways, so these templates could work for you. Every year at the woodworking shows there is someone selling templates like this. The fence on the Leigh looks sturdier than some.

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

View PRGDesigns's profile

PRGDesigns

225 posts in 1780 days


#3 posted 10-30-2014 03:35 AM

I think Woodworker’s Supply is going to start carrying these jigs and I thought the price was $299.00, for what it’s worth. I have all of the previous Leigh jigs and they are designed and built extremely well. Thanks.

-- They call me Mr. Silly

View woodsmithshop's profile

woodsmithshop

1254 posts in 3012 days


#4 posted 12-26-2014 09:32 PM

they are on sale now till the end of the year at Lee Valley for $299, and free shipping. after first of year price goes up to $329.

-- Smitty!!!

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 847 days


#5 posted 12-30-2014 08:55 PM

I saw this but for the same price I am thinking of getting the Incra LS

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View RRBOU's profile

RRBOU

136 posts in 1758 days


#6 posted 12-30-2014 09:20 PM

I have the Incra and like it. But here are some thoughts. The incra cuts one board laying down, this is great for half blind joints. It sucks for through joints. You have to cut a relief grove for a joint by the incra, this sucks also.

problems with both designs: If your table is not dead flat you will have gaps. If your router is not exactly 90* to the table you will have gaps.

If your router is not dead centered in the collet your in trouble and will have gaps(not so on the incra as you reference from the fence and not a bushing.)

I would love to have the new Leigh jig as I have 2 routers in separate incra lifts and it would just be a matter of popping one out of the table and placing the other in.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View wbrisett's profile

wbrisett

201 posts in 1815 days


#7 posted 12-30-2014 09:40 PM

View abie's profile

abie

818 posts in 3237 days


#8 posted 12-30-2014 09:46 PM

Looks like the General Tools EZ jig which sold for $40.00
Looked good but did not perform well
See review in the reviews section.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View wbrisett's profile

wbrisett

201 posts in 1815 days


#9 posted 12-30-2014 09:52 PM

actually Abie, it’s quite different from that jig. I think it’s much closer to design Marc used. Here’s part 1 of Marc’s video if you want to see how his jig works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqqAtebtF8s

This is also an older version of the jig. It’s now a solid plate (I own one).

View WarrenC's profile

WarrenC

5 posts in 709 days


#10 posted 12-30-2014 10:50 PM

Have you had any luck in dovetails in Plywood? Tried a couple of time in Baltic Birch and I get splintering real bad

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 847 days


#11 posted 12-30-2014 11:01 PM



I have the Incra and like it. But here are some thoughts. The incra cuts one board laying down, this is great for half blind joints. It sucks for through joints. You have to cut a relief grove for a joint by the incra, this sucks also.

problems with both designs: If your table is not dead flat you will have gaps. If your router is not exactly 90* to the table you will have gaps.

If your router is not dead centered in the collet your in trouble and will have gaps(not so on the incra as you reference from the fence and not a bushing.)

I would love to have the new Leigh jig as I have 2 routers in separate incra lifts and it would just be a matter of popping one out of the table and placing the other in.

- RRBOU

At first I didn’t understand your comment about the incra sucks at through dovetails. What I found was it requires an extra pass on piece that is lying down, is that what you meant?
My biggest concern I have read that the incra is limited to wide the board can be. Do you have any comment on what width is practical?

Thanks

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View hoosier0311's profile

hoosier0311

702 posts in 1492 days


#12 posted 12-30-2014 11:08 PM

The only real issue I see with it is that if one is making a blanket chest or something the whole 4ft long panel would be sticking up in the air. That could be quite awkward, having to balance the workpiece and hit the slots. I think I would rather manipulate my 5 lb router that a 20 plus pound 4 ft long board?

-- atta boy Clarence!

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

628 posts in 1419 days


#13 posted 12-30-2014 11:17 PM

I love my Leigh jig, but this one doesn’t look too good to me. It looks like the workpiece is clamped about three inches from the end. With a decent sized panel (like a blanket chest or drawer front) I would not want to be sliding that rig back and forth. Too much torque trying to tip the clamping mechanism. If the holding mechanism tips even slightly it will ruin the cut. Anything more than a slight tilt and it will grab the bit and “ruin your day”. I would rather clamp the work and move the router.

When I use my router I know where the bit is and I keep a good hold until the motor has stopped spinning. Actually, when using my Leigh jig, after the router has stopped I usually place it on the bench top with the bit recessed in a bench dog hole. I really don’t like the idea of a router bit sticking over an inch above the router table surface with absolutely NO guards in place.

Somebody needs to invent the “router stop” equivalent to the SawStop.Then I might try this new jig.

View wbrisett's profile

wbrisett

201 posts in 1815 days


#14 posted 12-30-2014 11:30 PM


Somebody needs to invent the “router stop” equivalent to the SawStop.Then I might try this new jig.

Really??? tell me you’re not serious… If folks are that fearful of tools and equipment, they need to find a new hobby/profession. Wait, my guess is you think motorcycles are death traps too… ;)

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

628 posts in 1419 days


#15 posted 12-30-2014 11:54 PM

That was “tongue in cheek” in case you didn’t get it, but I guess you do not own a SawStop. Probably ride without a helmet as well.

I am not too fearful of tools and equipment to know a potential problem when I see one. I am more than enough RESPECTFUL of tools and equipment to practice good shop safety.

Question: Do you think it is a good practice to make a 1’ X 3’ raised panel by tilting a table saw blade and running the piece through on end with just a standard rip fence? My fence is about as high as the clamps on that jig. Same issues with the piece tilting and catching the blade or bit. I wouldn’t do it. Doesn’t mean I am “too fearful” for woodworking. Just means I am prudent.

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