Ebay Items?

I am looking into getting a router and a dovetail jig. I went to woodcraft and the prices are pretty high for someone just getting into this.
What do you guys think of these for someone starting out? What should I be looking for anyway?!
Dovetail Jig: http://cgi.ebay.com/New-ProLine-12-Dovetail-Jig-Joints-Woodworking-Machine_W0QQitemZ330185256560QQihZ014QQcategoryZ303QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Router: http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Neiko-USA-2-HP-Plunge-Router-Woodworking-NR_W0QQitemZ330186746793QQihZ014QQcategoryZ20781QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Thanks,
Adam Cavaliere
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They both appear to be inexpensive (cheap) knock-offs. In my experience, cheap tools are frustrating. I am not saying you couldn't do good work with these tools, just be ready for the frustation. You might be better off buying higher quality used brands. Look on craigslist in your area.
Dave
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DLB wrote:

I'd agree with Dave, but I'll add something else. I don't own a dovetail jig, and some of the other guys may be able verify/refute what I'm saying about the jigs. I've never heard anything negative about the higher end jigs (i.e. Leigh) but I question the need for them for the occasional hobbyist.
I've done dovetails by hand and I've used my route. Both methods have produced respectable results, without the learning curve required for a jig. My impression of owning a jig is that it's a godsend for someone who's doing a lot of dovetails, but only so-so for someone who's either new to the field or is doing just a few dovetails.
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I do not really understand how I would do it without a jig. I am very new to this, but am very excited about the possibilities of using a router and also creating dovetail joints!
Tanus wrote:

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I agree.

Agree again, but need to add this:
A good jig's learning curve is not that steep for someone with lots of real routing experience. For someone that's both new to the router and to the jig, it can be an absolute headache. I didn't get a Leigh jig until I had done lots of work, and found it rather easy to learn. I did one set of test cuts when the jig was brand new, following the manual, and it's been gravy from there.
If I think back to when I was a beginner, the jig would have been a nightmare, and I would have wasted a lot of wood. <G>
I still do smaller numbers by hand simply because I really like the ultra-skinny pins that I can't do with the jig. I can be cutting in less than 15 minutes with the D4, so there is no longer much wasted time to set up.
One thing I can do much easier with the jig than anything else is dovetails in birch ply and finger joints. There are probably 50 ways to do finger joints, but I really like the jig the best. Dovetailing plywood can often be a lesson in futility, but it's easy with a jig and backer stock.
For someone who wants to hand cut joinery, the most important skill to learn is sharpening. EVERY hand tool works better when seriously sharpened. So much of my early hand tool work was frustrated until I learned what sharp really meant.
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I solved the problem easily. I don't do dovetails. I got a jig a few years back and the set-up was so fiddly and confusing I just said "To hell with it!" Now when I need a jointed corner I do box or finger joints which, to me anyway, look as good as dovetails and, with today's glues, are not that much less strong.
My advice? Forget the jig and spend the extra money on a much better router which you will find pays lots more dividends in future. A dovetail jig does one thing. A router, however, is indispensible to almost every project.
FoggyTown
FoggyTown
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<snip>
I'm sure it's a coincidence that these two items are being sold by the same seller.
todd
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todd wrote:

Honestly I had to do two different searches for them and didn't pay attention to the seller, but rather the price...
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When I first wanted to make dovetails I looked for the cheapest dovetail jig, I purchased a Jet model for $49. It cost considerably more after purchasing the collar, bits, etc. The manual was so totally wrong as to settings that it took weeks to create my first dovetails. I only make dovetails a few times a year so that the next time I needed to make them I had forgotten the settings, process, etc. If I had been making dovetails ever week and had two dedicated routers that once adjusted could be left untouched the Jet would have been a great machine. It is well built, unlike the cheap eBay unit. Cheap jigs will sap you of your enthusiasm quickly. I next bought a Keller Journeyman jig which is simplicity itself and easily mastered if set up correctly initially. It works perfectly for someone who only makes a few dovetails each year. Friends have the Leigh and Porter Cable jigs and love them. They are much more expensive of course but cheap don't last. Actually, my last two projects had hand cut dovetails which turned out fairly well. They are not as intimidating as we sometimes imagine. Everything takes practice to do easily.
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Adam,
In the past we sold a similar dovetail jig and we did demos for our dealers at woodworking shows. The jig you are looking at is very fidgety and would take too much time to set up and modify for my tastes.
cm

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-ProLine-12-Dovetail-Jig-Joints-Woodworking-Machine_W0QQitemZ330185256560QQihZ014QQcategoryZ303QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Neiko-USA-2-HP-Plunge-Router-Woodworking-NR_W0QQitemZ330186746793QQihZ014QQcategoryZ20781QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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Adam I have a Porter Cable 12" # 4112 Dovetail jig used a few times That I will sell with its original box.I have been making Hand cut dovetails and wouldnt go back. snipped-for-privacy@rcn.com
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0. Other than whittling (sp?) - there are no cheap forms of woodworking.
1. BUY ONCE - CRY ONCE
2. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
The total cost is always the same - you get to pick how much you pay in dollars (or whatever your currency) and how much you pay in your time, effort and frustration. It's a balancing act and you get to decide where the fulcrum is to be located.
3. You can't buy knowledge, skills or abilities (unless you pay some one to do the job - or hire a consultant who says they'll teach you - for a price of course)
So - for under $60 - you could try and cut dovetail joints with an "inexpensive" router and dovetail jig. And I'm betting someone like Frank Klausz or Ian Kirby could, if they tried, make perfect dovetail joints with that set up. But I'm also willing to bet that if you go this route - that you give up well before you've got a dovetailed box you'd be willing to show anyone - and may abandon woodworking entirely - first impressions/ experiences being so important.
Just my 2 cents.
charlie b
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POS jig. I bought one for $90 Canadian a few years back when the canuck buk was about $0.65 US. I regret the purchase and prefer hand cutting dovetails.
The jig would be useful for production run drawer blind dovetails... If it was at all easy to set up consistently. It isn't. Instead spend your money on this:
<http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pA718&cat=1,42884>

Cheap crap, plastic bearings, will run for about 20 hours operation, then die. You'll regret it almost instantly. And if you want to cut dovetails, see the Lee Valley link above...
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Mon, Nov 12, 2007, 3:56pm (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Adam) doth query: <snip> What do you guys think of these for someone starting out? What should I be looking for anyway?! <snip>
Personally I wouldn't touch anything off of eBay that I could find in a store. About the ONLY things I am willing to try to get off of eBay anymore are things I absolutely cannot find anywhere else. Which generally boils down to out-of-print books, usually a limited printing of the same.
JOAT The whole of life is a learning process. - John Keel
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