Dovetail Jig Usage Questions (Porter Cable Model 4212)

I've had my dovetail jig for several months now. I feel comfortable with through dovetails. Half blinds are more of an issue for me.
Other than trial and erro, how can the half-blind router bit be adjusted to the correct depth? I'm trying to use the mini half-blind jig and the depth gauge on the jig is setup, as it had to be assembled from its packaging.
Also, when is the right side of the jig used? So far, all my cutting has been from the left side and seems to me the left side may have a purpose as it has dovetail spaces for both sides. I suspect there may be a use that would help make drawers earier than what I'm doing.
Any other tips using a dovetail jig will be appreciated. So far, I haven't made the perfect joint with it yet. Something different seems to be off a bit with each usage.
Otoe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That's how dovetail jigs work. I have one like yours and my very first recommendation is to go buy a Freud dovetail bit.
I must have cut a thousand samples not getting a decent joint when i first got the jig.
Bought the Freud bit and my problems went away.
The half blind joint requires several things to make a decent joint.
(a) stock must be flat and correct thickness.
(b) stock must be inserted in jig perfectly straight and flat.
(c) depth of template must be perfect
(d) depth of router bit must be perfect.
(e) router bit must correct size for template.(PC bits are not)
Oh....and you need a LOT of stock to practice on.
PS: ALL stock for setup and final use MUST be the exact same thickness.
You need the optional manual for uses of the other side.
http://www.deltaportercable.com/jigs/dovetail /
Download Advanced Joint manual.
Otoe wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree with all of what Pat said but the router bit. I use the PC bit but from what I've read on the wreck and elsewhere I'm lucky that my PC bit is the right size. I'm actually typing and looking at a monitor that is sitting on a stand made with the 4212. Half-blind joints that fit tight on the first try. Again, lucky. Both my TS and CMS needed adjustment 'out of the box' so maybe your jig does.
Set the bit depth via the instructions using the guide on the left hand side. test your joint adjust bit height up or down as needed cut another once it fits use your bit to adjust the bit height guage for next time
don't give up! It is a great jig and *will* make nice tight fitting joints.
If need be call PC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I recommended the Freud because the PC support guy admitted that they did ship a batch of bits out that were NOT the correct size by a couple of thousands.(PC bits are Chinese made)
I'm not the only person who has run into this problem.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 31 Jul 2008 17:43:51 GMT, Pat Barber

Thanks for the pointer to the advanced manual. I've started reading it already.
Otoe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The PC jig may be a little different but for the most part blind DT's have to use the same bit dept setting all the time. Each bit, even the same sized, will have its "sweet spot" Trial and error is typically the only way to find that sweet spot depth. Once you find that setting start at theat dept every time. Hard woods will require a slightly different setting than softer woods. To make a joint tighter, increase the depth of cut. To loosen the fit, decrease the cutting depth. Additionally do not rotate the router when cutting the joints. If you bit is not perfectly centered in the guide bushing it will make wider and narrower cuts if you rotat the router during the cutting operation.

You use the other end of the jig to mirror the settings on the left side of the jig. This is handy when cutting asymetrical joints.
the router during the cutting operation.

You use the other end of the jig to mirror the settings on the left side of the jig. This is handy when cutting asymetrical joints.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.