Akeda BC24 Dovetail Jig Arrived Yesterday

After a month of research and reading, I ordered the Akeda BC24 from thejigstore.com on Monday afternoon, it arrived at 9 AM yesterday morning. Not bad FedEx! Wisconsin to East Tennessee.
When I signed for it and the driver handed it to me, I was impressed. It took two hands to carry it back in the house.
After mounding it as directed I tried a through dovetail. I was skeptical the whole time I was doing the setup and reading the manual on the fly. I ordered an extra guide bushing and collet reducer so I could use two routers and not have to change the bit and reset the depth.
I set up the jig so I could do the tails on one end and the pins on the other.
Turned on the routers and went to work.
To my amazement...................the joint fit perfectly!!!!! On the first try with a new machine. I had tried this over and over again with my PC 4212 and never could get a joint close to what I produced the first time with the Akeda. Maybe it was just luck.
Another big benefit was, the floor, the equipment and me showed no signs of chips or dust. I had the dust collect hooked up to my Onieda Dust Gorilla.
Also, there was no tear out in the oak I used for a trial. There was more tear out from using the cutoff saw then there was from the router.
Conclusion: Yes it was fairly costly but it produced just what others and the manufacture had said it would. The lack of frustration and the joy of having it come out right were worth it. And, BTW, Kevan Lear, the inventor of this thing is very helpful and will take all the time needed to answer your questions before you purchase and after.
Jim
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I had a buddy who was managing a Woodcraft store for a while and tried every DT jig he could find. The Akeda was his choice.

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I got the smaller version recently, and yep it makes an impression when you pick it up, doesn't it?
I have been using a Leigh Super 12" with VRS and the Akeda is in another league.
If I had to find something to complain about, it's that they put a left hand thread on the vertical clamp bar. The way the clamping works you put the board on opposite sides of the bar depending on if you're doing half blind or through dovetails, so no matter what you're going to be turning it counter-clockwise to tighten in one mode or the other, and I think their logic was in half blind mode you're using both the vertical and horizontal clamps but only the vertical in through mode, so they made it so they both tighten the same direction in half blind mode. But it just messes with my head. I'll get used to it eventually.
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On Oct 16, 6:02 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

legen...
I too had a thought or two about that left handed thread but I guess you would have to turn in left on one or the other. I've only had it two days and I got use to it.
I just made the outside of a box to hold the guides and stuff and all four corners came out great. So far, it's been first time every time. If something goes a-muck, I'll go look in the mirror to find the problem and then back to the instruction manual.
Jim
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The AKEDA is a very well thought out device which doesn't look like the other dovetail jigs - for a reason. You really have to study the details of the jig system - the clamps, stops, "fingers", bits and collar - to really appreciate all the thought that went into designing it, both from a user's perspective as well as from the manufacturing point of view. That's the challenge industrial designers face - and Kevan has dealt with both pretty elegantly - a term I don't often use when it comes to woodworking machines.
My "gripe" is that it comes with only one router collar ("guide that goes in the base of the router"). Getting the depth of cut set right and keeping it there is critical to getting nice snug fit dovetail joints. Since you often need to use TWO bits, it would be nice to have two routers set up for a job - one for the straight bit and one for the dovetail bit. Not a big deal getting a "spare" router collar - but it would've been nice if two collars where part of the package.
Did you get the 8mm bits and collet? Having the router bit shank 25 percent bigger than the 1/4" shanks is handy - especially if you're proned to hogging out sockets with a little too much gusto.
Now about roudning up and corraling all those "fingers" - how about a picture of your AKEDA box? In keeping with the design philosophy of the AKEDA I "optimized" the one I did - smallest foot print - that still worked.
http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/AKEDAdtJig/AKEDAdovetailJig3.html
Enjoy your new jig. You'll come to appreciate all the thought that went into it as you use it more and more.
charlie b
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charlie b.
I hope you don't mind but I referred to you in this sawmillcreek.org thread, http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=94354
I took your advise and ordered an extra bushing and reducer so I could use two routers as suggested. I also gave Kevan some input on "When a person pays that kind of a price, why can't you put in an extra bushing and reducer???"
As for the Akeda box, it is work in progress. I looked at your design, laid out all of the parts, including bits and made a sketch. I did the four corners for the outside with through dovetails and they came out great in popular.
It appears to be a dream machine so far. Thanks for the advice through your review.
Jim
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I think they've changed things since you got yours. One came with the jig itself and a second, plus the over and under sized bushings, come in the C-kit. Only one 8mm collet reducer, but those are available lots of places. The C-kit isn't cheap, but they do mark it down when you buy it with the jig, and I tried a few combinations to get just what I thought I needed and never ended up too much less than the C- kit, so I sucked it up and bought it.
While I'm on the subject, there's this little black plastic thingy in the jig under the front rail that slides back and forth. I can't for the life of me figure out what it's supposed to be for.
One thing I talked about with Kevan was an idea of doing different dovetail angles on the same joint. It would be a real pain getting the bits set up at exactly the same depth, and then you'd have to be real careful doing to the pins as to which side of the guide finger you went down before swapping them, but you could either go for dramatic effect or for a very subtle difference to make it look more hand cut.
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On Oct 18, 9:34 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

charlie b.
You are right about the standard bushing. After I ordered the extra one, I found one in with the jig and one in the kit. I guess after reading the "contains" info a dozen times and trying to figure out the cheapest route, I lost track of that fact and ordered another. Oh well....
I too ended up biting the bullet and ordered the C-kit. I had found a C-kit at a Woodcraft store but after talking to thejigstore.com I cancelled my order. They were the old C-kits and the bits had a 1/4" shank. Not a big deal but at that time they were using over and undersize bits to achieve what the bushing are currently doing. I did order couple of single closeout bits from Woodcraft as spares in case I break of dull one and have to order an 8mm. http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=4406
DO YOU KNOW IF THE BITS OF THE SAME DEGREE FROM THE LEIGH JIG WILL WORK WITH THE AKEDA??????
As for the "little black plastic thingy", I'm happy to say, I can be of help. While questioning Kevan before the purchase, I asked him if they had checked for deflection in the front rail of the 24" because of the added width. He said they did have a little deflection if someone pushed down hard on their router in the middle of the jig so they added the "little black plastic thingy". You can slide it to the end of you board width or just leave it in the center or wherever. Maybe they could have mentioned it in the manual.
Man do I like that having two rail to support the router!
Overall, I am elated at the way this thing works. I assembled the outside of the Akeda stuff box this morning. Added a little glue to the joint and put it together with light taps from a wooden mallet and ..........SHAZAM!!! I didn't even use clamps to hold it together. I keep admiring the joints every twenty minutes and am still amazed at the fit and the ease of making them.
Thanks again for your help and looking forward to your answer on the bits.
Jim
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I had looked at getting the old accessory kits too, there's some on ebay, but I came to the same conclusion you did.
No the Leigh bits won't work, but at least I got my second 8mm collet adapter from it. I believe Whiteside makes some bits that work, but I think they're the old 1/4" shank version.
That's what I thought the black plastic thing was for at first, but I pushed hard down on the middle of the rail and it still slid around just as easily so I thought it must be something else. But I do have the narrower version of the jig.
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SNIP

Scroll down and click on #5.
http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/AKEDAdtJig/AKEDAdovetailJig2A.html
Don't know if this has changed since I got mine, but all the AKEDA bits have a bottom (max) diameter of 1/2" and the bit angle changes based on the stock thickness, whereas the LEIGH bits hold the bit angle constant and vary the bottom (max) diameter for the various stock thicknesses. The former keeps the top of the pins to a minimum - the bit's shank diameter.
charlie b
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