Dovetail jig recommendations

I was wondering what the wisdom is on selecting a dovetail jig. I notice that Rockler, Woodcraft and others offer jigs ranging from $80 to $200 and seem to be limited to 12" wide boards and fixed or limited finger spacing.
On the other hand, Leigh and other offer jigs that can accommodate boards up to 24" wide and have fully adjustable fingers but cost $300 or more.
So if you were going to purchase a jig, which would you go for; the 12" fixed finger variety or the larger, adjustable variety?
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If I had not done DT joints before, I think I would go with a cheapie to learn the concept. If you master that step up to a more versatile one like the Leigh.
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Jerry woke up and had the following words of wisdom

I have the 'cheaper' one also. I just use it for drawers right now and none of mine are deeper than the template allows.
--
Theres a little man in my head, saying things better left unsaid.

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Jerry wrote:

Last weekend I got the HF 12" jig on sale for $30. Seems to work ok. "Someday" I'd like a big jig, or a WoodRat, or CNC ... ;-)
-- Mark
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We own both the Leigh and the Porter-Cable jigs here at the school. If I was a cabinet maker making mainly kitchen cabinets I would buy the Porter-Cable Omni Jig. I like the eaze and the quick set up of making half-blind dovetails on the Omni.
If I was a furniture maker, I would buy the Leigh. I like the versatility of the Leigh. I mainly cut through dovetails and prefer the Leigh for this application. The Leigh comes with a video and an excellant owner's manual.
Both jigs are built well and will give the user years of trouble free use.
Good luck. Mike from American Sycamore snipped-for-privacy@ccrtc.com

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The Keller I have made DDTs for a blanket chest 24" tall. Cut one set then move the jig over and cut more.

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I have the leigh d4 and like it a lot. It's fairly complicated, but it's a great tool. I really like the variable spacing. I use it on nearly every project. It wasn't available when I got my jig, but there's another one that does variable spacing (sort of). I think it's called the akeda or something similar. IIRC, it can do variable spacing, but with a granularity of 1/8", meaning that the inserts are notched so that the fingers line up on a 1/8" boundary. I think the dust collection was a lot better with that one. It's not so good on the d4. Leigh sells this router attachment that hangs below the base and sucks up dust. It makes the router unweildy though and only gets maybe 3/4 of the dust. If I were to do it again, I would try making them with a table saw and a saw blade with the teeth cut at the right angle. I may try to do that anyway. That technique would make thinner pins and would work better with plywood.
brian

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (brian lanning) wrote in
<snip>

I have the Akeda, and it's a great jig. You can do neat things with it, and more are being developed. If you have a Wood show coming up, look for the fellow from The Woodworker's Choice, doing the demo (gary something?) They have a pretty good price package as well.
That having been said, for the pure skill-building of it, I have been practicing making DTs with a good backsaw and chisels. Teaches humility, Grasshopper.
Patriarch, who seems to need better glasses and lighting these days...
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