Porter-Cable Omnijig--Worth it?

Hey all,
I'm thinking of taking the plunge on a decent dovetail jig. It looks like the PC Omnijig has all the bells and whistles to make even me look good. Now the 24 inch version has been slated for release several times and now scheduled for sale in late February. Anyone think it would be worth the wait? The instruction video, starring Norm, makes it look almost foolproof. Anyone have any experience with the 16 inch version? Is it worth the $450? Is there anything better out there?
Thanks, Mark
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Yes, there is better. Take a serious look at the Leigh D4R. It is the one I own and use. It also was the "Best Overall" award by FWW in 11/06. Only a little more expensive than the omni jig and MUCH more verstile. "Buy once and cry once."
http://www.garagewoodworks.com/tools.htm
--
www.garagewoodworks.com



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Jeez, talk about timing. I was writing my own poston this topic as you sent this one in. Look at the 4212 if you need a basic, but well constructed unit.

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Only you can determine that. It is not worth it for me, but I don't build a lot of things that need dovetails. Maybe you do.
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Have you considered the Akeda? I've heard good things about that jig. Only thing is it won't cut half blind dovetails in both pieces at one time. Woodcraft has there older model on sale. Ted

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Bigpole wrote:

What is it with dovetail jigs all of a sudden?
Went through all the photos.
Sure are a lot of things sticking out all over the place.
Sure has a lot of screws to tighten and loosen.
Sure has quite a few nobs to turn.
Sure has some nice fine lines on the scale to align.
Sure seems to have plenty of adjustments to play with.
Sure has lots of moving parts.
Sure is BIG.
Sure is heavy.
I prefer the AKEDA idea - nothing sticking out anywhere, (ok so there's the use and take off clamping nob thing) - nothing to tighten and loosen since the guides "snap in" and "snap out" WITHOUT any scales or fine lines to see - and line up (get within just under 1/8th inch and the jig design takes care of repeatability with just a pencil line, and the pencil line only needs to be thinner than 1/8"), no nobs to turn to get the clamps close before cam levering tight, other than the "get close and snap in" guides, only one external part - and that's the removable clamping nob, . . . AND - the router is supported - above the guides - both front and back. Few parts, few moving parts - no Flipping required at all.
Regardless of the jig, and the "feature" of the depth of cut "setting accessory" - you MUST set the depth of cut for the ACTUAL (as opposed to "nominal") thickness of your stock - and that's a trial and error / test cuts thing .
And for that reason, it's wise to get TWO of the guide bushings for your jig and use TWO routers. Switching back and forth between dovetial bit and straight bit means losing your depth of cut setting - even with the special depth of cut setting things.
Have fun watching the DVD with Norm and going through the manual (in all three languages?). As you use the Omni make notes to yourself as you go so you can refresh your memory later without having to go through the manual again.
Oh, pay particular attention to parts marking and the procedure for for how parts must be oriented for each step of the procedure. It's very easy to cut nice tails and pins - not quite as easy and obvious to get all the parts to fit together properly AFTER they've all been cut - DAMHIKT.
Oh - and don't bottom out the bit in the router collet - it WILL jack hammer itself loose and screw up your joint if you do.
Even though you probably are going to be using a 2 or 3 hp router or two, the bits are 1/4" or 8mm - and they stick out quite a ways - so don't push the bit very hard at all. Let it do the cutting and you develop patience - again DAMHIKT.
Dovetails are nice - no matter how you make them.
Enjoy!
charlie b
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I'd like to see a demo of the Akeda at the WW Show. Be easier to compare, side by side, so to speak, since the Omni Jig and Leigh are always at these things. However, Akeda ain't to be found at t'all, at t'all.
Renata
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He got it here, Joe. He just crossposted to two other groups in addition to the one I picked it up on, rec.woodworking.
Robert
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