Dovetail Jigs, comparison?

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Forum topic by wbrisett posted 01-07-2015 10:35 AM 1354 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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203 posts in 2315 days

01-07-2015 10:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jigs dovetails

There have been a few posts recently about dovetail jigs that got me to thinking maybe we should try as a group to put together some sort of comparison of various jigs out there. Any interest in doing this?

7 replies so far

View dawsonbob's profile


2821 posts in 1722 days

#1 posted 01-07-2015 07:09 PM

I would be interested in this, too.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View wbrisett's profile


203 posts in 2315 days

#2 posted 01-08-2015 01:51 PM

I can do the Sommerfeld jig. While I could also attempt the Incra system, I’ve not been happy with it. Try as I might, I’ve not gotten the nice clean tight dovetails that they do in the various videos. In my discussions with them, they have given me some tips which helped, but didn’t alleviate the issue fully, so I’m not sure I’m the best person to put that out.

Thinking of a template, I’m wondering what would work best? Here’s one option:

Setup time for first dovetail:

Ease of use:

Minimum & Maximum widths:

Types of cuts (through/half-blind/box joints)

Table mount/free router

Best uses:


Anything else that might be added? Would others be interested in contributing to something like this?

View Michigander's profile


220 posts in 2386 days

#3 posted 01-28-2015 03:29 PM

Maybe add a section on the ease of making dovetails in long boards like used in blanket chests- say 20” long.

View wbrisett's profile


203 posts in 2315 days

#4 posted 01-28-2015 03:35 PM

There hasn’t been much interest in doing this, so it doesn’t look like this will happen. I will say that neither system I have (Incra, or Sommerfeld) would do well in a 20-in long board. Technically there’s nothing in the Incra system that prevents that other than it being a bit unwieldy and probably not something you are going to get good results from.

View goochs's profile


56 posts in 1196 days

#5 posted 02-02-2015 03:37 PM

I use the INCRA ls system for drawers and small items and it works fine as long as you use the right dovetail bit in the router table. I use the MCLS template that you need to mount to a wood block and once you get that figured out it works very good. It does make huge dovetails( 3/4” ) so I use it only for large items like toy chest etc. The nice part about it is that you are NOT limited to board width of 12” you can make as long of a joint as you need.

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 1181 days

#6 posted 02-02-2015 04:17 PM

I have the one that peachtree peddles at the woodworking shows. It has some tolerance issues, boards over 3/4 or under 3/8 thick are difficult to join, it can’t do half blinds and you are locked into cutting a 50/50 joint. That said, it is a very fast way to make mechanical joints that close tightly in any wood. I’ve use it to make drawers naturally, but also as a way to make a jointed chest. With this system long joints are possible by sliding the jig. I made this walnut chest this way and it worked perfectly on my first attempt.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2077 days

#7 posted 02-02-2015 04:26 PM

an addition to your template would if the system does varying spacing for dovetails (narrow pin, wide wide tail, etc.)

I have used the Incra, Summerfeld, WoodlineUSA Route-R-Joint systems. I like the Incra the best.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

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