Porter cable 4210 dovetail jog help

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Forum topic by adambelfy posted 01-07-2015 02:02 PM 1752 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 1230 days

01-07-2015 02:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dove tail porter cable template guide bushing

Hey guys, I am new here due to the fact that I purchased the porter cable 4210 dovetail jig (which came with a 1/2” shank bit and 3/4” template guide bushing. Well my router doesn’t accept 1/2” shank bits, so I used an older 1/4” shank bit with the supplied template guide bushing. Bottom line, my dovetails do not accept one another. It’s almost like more meat needs to be taken out of both the tails and pins. My main question is, what OD template guide bushing do I need to use to correct this problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Take care.
Adam b.

9 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4212 days

#1 posted 01-07-2015 02:46 PM

Assuming all your adjustments are correct, the problem is most likely that the bit itself is not the right size. What you need is a 17/32×7 degree bit like this one:

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

View adambelfy's profile


6 posts in 1230 days

#2 posted 01-07-2015 11:06 PM

Charlie, Thank you for the reply. I would also assume that my measurements are correct. I adjusted the depth a little bit, the centerline was perfect and so on. My other question is should I try a smaller OD guide bushing? The one I have set up is the one that came with the jig, 3/4”. I’m wondering if I don’t step that down a 1/16 or an 1/8”. What are your thoughts?

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4212 days

#3 posted 01-08-2015 04:15 AM

Well, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try that approach. But the jig is really designed for the bushing to ride snugly in the openings. Having to wiggle the bit around to complete the cut seems like a less-than-ideal situation. The geometry of how everything comes together (bit size, angle, depth of cut) is all pretty mysterious to me to be honest. I’m just not sure it’s going to work without the intended bit size. But, like I said, you can always give it a try. Let me know how it turns out if you do.

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

View runswithscissors's profile


2750 posts in 2019 days

#4 posted 01-08-2015 05:25 AM

You can get Harbor Freight’s single speed router with a 1/2” collet for $53. Cheaper with a coupon, of course. It also comes with 1/4 and 3/8 adaptors. I don’t see a need for speed control in routing dovetails, but a couple of reviewers said they had used a foot pedal switch successfully, which makes it easier to control when stopping and starting (both hands on the router). I prefer a D handle router for that reason.

You can also find used routers with 1/2” collets on CL.

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

View iamwelty's profile


259 posts in 3109 days

#5 posted 01-08-2015 11:15 AM

X2 going with the new router option. Once you have it set up just keep the bit in the routed and use it as your dedicated dovetail routed. Saves you time not having to set it up each time.

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View johnstoneb's profile


2910 posts in 2167 days

#6 posted 01-08-2015 01:41 PM

You need to use a 7 degree dovetail bit. It actually works better with 2 router then you get your depth set on each bit you don’t have to stop and change bits and set depth.

The 1/4” shank bit needs to be the same size as the 1/2 shank bit if not it won’t work. As Charlie says the jig is designed to work with the supplied bushings and bits. Read the manual very carefully when setting up and adjust everything to cut a little bit on the tight side then sneak up on the final fit.
I have that series dovetail jig and it is an excellent jig once you learn how to set it up. 2 routers works much better than one.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Miataguy's profile


142 posts in 1269 days

#7 posted 01-08-2015 10:39 PM

Plus one on the two router thing. I bought two Porter Cable Routers, and mine works perfectly.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3225 days

#8 posted 01-08-2015 11:54 PM

The OP didn’t say what type of dovetails he was cutting but half blind dovetails don’t require two routers. One router, one setting, make the cut , done.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View adambelfy's profile


6 posts in 1230 days

#9 posted 01-09-2015 12:19 AM

Yes I am cutting half blinds so no I won’t need 2 routers however the problem I’m having is my dovetails are not sliding into each other. The depth is correct and everything is lined up as per the manual and several YouTube videos specs. Here is what I have a setup:
Dewalt portable trim router with the plunge base attached
1/4” shank, 7 degree, 1/2” dovetail router. (The half inch is measured at the widest part of the bit)
The jig supplied 3/4” template guide bushing

What I think I need to do is buy a new 17/32” router bit because my router will not accept a 1/2” shank bit. When I measured the supplied router bit, it measures at 9/16”. After the dovetails are cut, they do not want to slide to meet each other. It is almost like the pins and tails need a little more meat taken out of them in order for them to match up.

I appreciate all the replies. I am extremely anxious to pick up a new bit and start making dovetails with more project photos to follow. Thanks!


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