Akeda Jig - what's up

I (believe I) know that company was bought out by another and out of commission, sorta, until early this year. Seems like they're still not up since clicking on 'dealers' tells you to wait til "early 2007". They weren't at the Baltimore WW show (right?). And now, Woodcraft has their product on sale.
So, my question is, are they coming out with a new, improved model, or is this just matters related to the reorg (aside from the sale), or...?
Thanx Renata
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Renata wrote:

There's a bit of history with the Akeda DT jig. They floated the idea of this jig maybe five years ago. At the time it was being called The Euro Jig and they only had 3D CAD renderings of the jig - no internal details shown and not info about how it worked other than to say it required "no test cuts" and could do variable spaced and variable sized half blind and through dovetails - using a router. They had a survey on their site asking about desired features and your willingness to buy a set up at different price points.
About a year later they announced that they would be taking advanced orders on the jig, with a 25-30% discount off the price it would be released to the public. Given the lack of info and a price tag just below a comparable Leigh DT jig, I don't think they got many advanced orders.
When the unit finally started showing up in stores and started getting reviews in WWing mags their marketing boys had gotten to it - just the basic jig for around $300 and the "Dust Collector accessories kit" for another $250 or so. The latter included more "finger" sets and the bits etc.
Their jig got good reviews and began showing up in WWing stores and in catalogs. They seemed to be selling well
AND THEN - they had a big fire. Lost inventory AND manufacturing capabilities - for close to a year.
I'm guessing the company went through some serious financial problems but seemed to have gotten through it all. There have been more comparison reviews over the last year but the price point has always been an issue - especially when compared with the relativley new DJ16 - the "less expensive" Leigh dovetail jig with 16" width capacity.
At $400 for the Akeda AND the "Dust Collection/Accessories Kit" I'm interested. Will be checking one out this weekend at WoodCraft. My concern with both the Leigh and the Akeda is the 1/4" shank router bits. Also need more info on what the price is for all the remaining guide sets for a complete package to use all the jig's capabilities. Will report back what I find.
charlie b - an admitted tool phreak who can already do what both the Leigh and Akeda can do using the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System in/on my router table - but it's just a little more complicated. I'm going to be making my kitchen cabinets and drawers so anything that makes it faster and easier is a great excuse for getting another toy - er make that "essential tool".
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ps to my earlier post
the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System does a lot more than just dovetail and finger/box joints and I've used it a bunch. Does sliding dovetails too. with replacable zero clearance fence inserts and a fence you can move in 0.001" increments it's also handy with bit sets like frame and panel / cope &stick sets.
finger joints - graduated sizes in graduated drawers http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/GeneralMortiser/MCmortisingCabinet2.html
half blinds on both ends of graduated drawers http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/DasBench/CBbench13.html
lots of finger/box, dovetails and sliding dovetails used for chisel racks. - great low risk practice that yields useful things. By using sliding dovetails, I can change internal rack configurations in the future cause the sliding DTs don't need to be glued in. http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/ToolRacks/ToolRacks1.html
Consider the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System rather than just a dovetail jig. LOTS more capabilities AND can use 1/2" shank router bits rather than the more delicate 1/4" shank.
charlie b (told you I was a tool phreak)
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Excellent! Thanx a lot for the info/advice!
Had planned to go to Baltimore WW'g show to explore options but it was so small, didn't have the Akeda, didn't have the nifty new ww'g drill presses, that I blew it off. Chantilly's coming up in mid March and if the project extends out that long (it undoubtedly will) I'll be investigating Jointech. Someone else mentioned a Jointech precision fence system that got my curiosity up.
Anyway, I've requested a catalog. The Cabinet Maker system sounds really interesting. The saw train I'd want to see. I have an Excalibur fence that is driving me bananas in that as you lock down the fence, it moves about 1/16". Don't know if I've got something set wrong or it's a "feature". Other issue w/saw train would be if it was sturdy enough to cut sheets of ply.
Thanx Renata

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It's certainly not a feature. I own an Excalibur fence and it locks down perfectly. Things I'd investigate are that all fastening bolts for both rails are properly tightened. Looking along the length of the rails, are they straight? Next I'd look at the fence itself and make sure that none of the adjustment screws under the front lock down lever are missing or otherwise loose. It's also possible that the lock down lever itself is not working as it should. Have a look at that and possibly disassemble it to look at the cam on the lever itself for pits or uneven surface.
1/6" out of alignment is a visibly noticeable misalignment. Can you see the fence move out of alignment when locking down or does it just end up the way without any noticeable movement? Depending on how it happens will point to particular areas to investigate.
Some will tell you that having lock down rails on both sides of a saw is functionally bad for a fence, but that's a load of crap. Most fences of any quality whether two rail models or single rail models work well if they're adjusted properly. And, the Excalibur is a well made, good working tool.
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Thanx for the detailed reply!
Finally! Sorry for the delay and hope you don't ignore this "dated" message.
It's not 1/16, but it is 1/32 which is still a problem. Sometimes less, but when I'm trying to get exactly on the mark and it jinks over a tad, it's problematic. Sometimes, it's consistent - it moves, I release, nudge/adjust, and relock only to find it back in exactly the same wrong spot.
Checked on much of your suggestions and none seem to be an issue. Haven't looked at lock down lever and cam yet.
What happens is I move the fence to the location; then, as I push the lock down lever down, the fence (not noticeably to me) ends up 1/32 leftwards. Sometimes it doesn't move, but often it does. For some reason, I have the idea that it *appears* to be pivoting from the back (i.e. the back part of the fence is stationary and the front moves), but that may be an illusion.
There must be something out of adjustment, I presume and hope it's remedy-able.
Thanx Renata
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FIY, the Leigh will do sliding DT's in addition to Blind DT's, Through DT's, and Box Joints with the basic kit. The Leigh also has been reported to come with 8mm shank bits vs. the 1/4" shank bits.
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Leon wrote:

I knew it'd do half blind and through DTs as well as box joints. Wasn't sure about sliding dovetails. I imagine the length of the sliding dovetail is limited by the width of the jig. On the JoinTech you can make them as long as you want. You refence off the fence and one edge of the piece to have the female part of the dovetailed slot. The male part of the dovetail is done with the piece held upright, face against the fence. Because the dovetail bit's cutting height doesn't change when cutting both the male and female parts, you can sneak up on the fit by moving the fence in very fine increments, taking a little off BOTH sides of the male dovetail.

So the jig comes with an 8mm collet - for each of the popular routers?
Now I'll grant you that dovetail jigs - like the Leigh - have lower "cognative friction" than the Incra and JoinTech fence system with templates. With the latter, the process of cutting the pins and tails is not as intuitive as the Leigh, and Akeda.
On the other hand, having a precision positionable fence, with micro adjustability AND replaceable zero clearance fence inserts makes doing lock joints, lock miter joints and frame and panel work not only possible - but fairly easy.
Though I have the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System, I'll probably get the Akeda package deal anyway. OR - I could save up some more money and get THE LEIGH FMT!
charlie b Tool Phreak Wood Phreak
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charlie b wrote: >> The Leigh also has been reported to come with 8mm shank bits vs. the 1/4"

My D4R came with 8mm bits and the appropriate collet.
Nice details: <http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID 15>
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Things are going to get interesting pretty shortly...
http://www.portercable.com/index.asp?eT7&pa88
Porter Cable has completely redone the Omnijig and it will do all that plus it will also do mortise & tenon joinery.
The web site is pretty dim on the features, but I did hear the short version of the machine at IWF this past summer.
That goes "directly" at the Leigh jig and it's cousin the Leigh FMT....
Leon wrote:

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I've always thought the Akeda dust collection feature was nice but nobody ever mentions it on rec.woodworking. Is this because it doesn't work or nobody cares? Just wondering....

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On 13 Jan 2007 09:36:22 -0800, "Never Enough Money"

I didn't care. <G>
I do my hand routing in an area where I simply sweep up when I'm done.
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The superfine dust doesn't just fall to the floor -- you breathe it. Isn't that a problem?

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On 13 Jan 2007 16:53:07 -0800, "Never Enough Money"

I have an ceiling mount ambient air cleaner, and I wear a mask when cutting MDF.
All that said, I get very little fine dust while routing solid wood, mostly chips.
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