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Porter-Cable 4200 Dovetail Jig - Lettering on Templates

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Forum topic by NedG posted 11-05-2014 05:12 PM 1079 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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NedG

56 posts in 1782 days


11-05-2014 05:12 PM

The templates of the P-C 4200 Series Dovetail Jig have lettering on them that is very difficult to read. The lettering is, I suspect, laser engraved, resulting in letters that are dim and hardly visible. The same lettering as shown in the photographs in the owners manual is very clear and visible, but the lettering on the templates provided to customers is not. Porter-Cable’s customer help people acknowledge this, but say there is nothing to be done about it. Just too bad, I suppose.

I’m advised by P-C not to put ink or paint on the letters and then wipe it off of the template surface (leaving ink or paint in the letters) is a bad idea. Currently, I have blue painter’s tape with notes all over the template. Not good.

Does anyone have a solution to this problem? I’d be grateful for any help!

Thank you.

Ned


7 replies so far

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pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2281 days


#1 posted 11-05-2014 07:00 PM

I used mine this week. I guess I don’t read the guides on the jig anymore. It becomes intuitive the more you use it. Plus I leave the dovetail bit in a dedicated router, so setup is a breeze.
It would be nice if manufacturers made the labels easier to read. Perhaps hit it with a black sharpie pen, and wipe off the excess with thinner?
One trick that has really helped me is to wipe some Bostik glide coat spray on the router base and dovetail jig. The smooth gliding action makes it easy to cut accurate dovetails.
Good luck!

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

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NedG

56 posts in 1782 days


#2 posted 11-05-2014 08:21 PM

Thanks, Willie, for your reply.

Writing on each letter on each template with a fine Sharpie may be the only answer.

As for the use of this jog becoming intuitive to use, I agree it does so after a few days of use. However, I am returning to it after a month of so, and it’s no longer intuitive, but rather I have to re-learn it all over again. And reading the owner’s manual, well, that’s not so thorough or easy to follow. (Typical P-C manual) So, I’m wondering if cutting dovetails by hand isn’t faster and better. Maybe there’s more joy in the old fashion way, and less frustration to boot. None the less, I have enjoyed this jig and will continue using it.

Thanks again.

Ned

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runswithscissors

2192 posts in 1493 days


#3 posted 11-05-2014 08:56 PM

To me a dovetail jig (I started with an old Sears, but now have the PC 4212) becomes really useful when doing a bunch of stuff all at once—such as drawers for a kitchen remodel. For one or two joints, it may not be worth the set up and getting-re-acquainted time.

When doing a big batch, I get into a sort of rhythm and can really crank them out.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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NedG

56 posts in 1782 days


#4 posted 11-05-2014 09:04 PM

Runs… Really good points. Thanks. Ned

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runswithscissors

2192 posts in 1493 days


#5 posted 11-06-2014 08:41 AM

The guys who did the lettering on those templates are the same ones who came up with black-on-black lettering for your DVD player.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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johnstoneb

2150 posts in 1640 days


#6 posted 11-06-2014 02:16 PM

I would use the black sharpie. I bought mine a month ago when wood craft had a special on the 4200 with a Porter Cable router. I bought it with the intent to use it when I had a lot of dovetails or finger joints to do. I still cut dovetails by hand when I only have a few just to keep in practice. I did just finish a project with a lot of fingerjoints and it did a very good and quick job of that. The PC manual is pretty good but you have to read it several times while setting up to not miss steps.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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NedG

56 posts in 1782 days


#7 posted 11-06-2014 03:35 PM

Thanks, Bruce. I appreciate everything you say. I did go over the lettering on the templates with a fine sharpie, and it works pretty well.
Ned

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