Did things just get better or (gulp) worse?

I got a dovetail jig for Christmas! Frankly, it looks pretty complicated and formidable (the type of tool that just looks like it requires considerable foreknowledgde to even start to use it, I mean), and I hadn't planned to make anything requiring drawers anyway. But the gift giver will be upset if I don't at least give it a try so-o-o-o-o . . . Now I've found a good use for those scraps of 3/8" stock I kept. Practice time!
Please, if anyone has any general hints and helps on this beast . . . now's the time, guys!
FoggyTown "Cut to shape . . . pound to fit."
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What brand did you get?
Mike

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I got this one
www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id!973&lkid)
It's a cheapie which will probably mean there are lots of features I don't have but it still looks complicated to me. But I'm actually happier that it isn't one of the all-singing all dancing types because then if I don't take to it it won't be as much of a waste.
FoggyTown
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Hm. Doesnt look THAT cheap. Mostly steel and aluminum, seems like. Takes templates, can't vary the spacing of the tails and pins like the leigh, but seems like it'll do the job.
Near as I can figure, where these things shine is when you need a whole lot of dovetails and don't want to spend a lot of time on them. If you think it's possible that someday you might be such a situation, don't get rid of it. I'd hang on to it and play around with it just because I can't resist new toys. :-)
Like Phisherman, I have other toys further up my wish list than one of those. A gent's saw and a Frank Klausz video were cheaper :-) and it's been fun getting the hang of it.
But if somebody gave me a jig like that I'd play with it and keep it around for reasons already stated. Chances are sooner or later a use would come up for it.
Oh that's right, you wanted tips. Still don't have any. Sorry.
Well, maybe one. Have fun! I didn't get any neat toys like that this year. Gotta wait till tax time.
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Oh, I fully intend to keep it and play for several reasons, not least of which is my fondness for the person who gave it and the person who chose it. It just seems a trifle daunting to me at the moment but I have no doubt that I'll be able to go through a small stand of soft wood in an effort to come to grips with it. Therein lay the adventure, I guess. And I guess once I know I can make drawers/boxes that have dovetailed joints, a whole new world of possibilities will open up! FoggyTown "Cut to shape . . . pound to fit."
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foggytown wrote:

Which dovetail jig do you have?
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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Why not start with some simple little boxes. Shoe box size, cigar box size etc. This should give you the confidence you need and if you can't find a use for storing your router bits or your screw collection, you can always give them away. You ought to give a nice specimen to the person that gave you the jig.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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As has been mentioned, there's a few of those out there and they're all different, so tips would have to be specific to the brand.
As a piece of trivia, however, the teacher for the last class I had at Woodcraft said he'd bought the Leigh jig and he figured it took him well over twenty shop hours to learn how to use the thing. He was of the opinion that even though it had a multitude of uses it was still a bit overcomplicated for his taste.
The plus side is, he mentioned that to the Woodcraft guys and now he's teaching classes on how to use the Leigh jig.
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I just used mine for half-blind drawer assembly. I'm still not satisfied with fit. I think the primary problem I had is too much eccentricity in the router bit (i.e, not centered well relative to the guide bushing). The other problem I'm having is that I'm getting a gap on the pin side, don't know yet whether it is flexure while routing, or something else. I did find that waxing the fingers helped a lot in guiding the router.
Now we'll just use some glue to hold things in place until the brads dry
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<snip>

I've found that, after that, some nice gap-filling epoxy helps immensely. And it's hard to detect under the polycrap. ;-)
Patriarch
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<snip>

I would not mind having one and learning how to use it effectively, but I currently have limited funds. It took me about 14 hours to gain the skills to make excellent hand cut dovetails with any wood thickness and any complex angles (such as flared sides for a dry sink).
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