Incra or Leigh

I'm considering a jig for dovetails. I've got a "Norm type" router table as well as a couple of routers which could be used for a Leigh jig. I just watched the three LS type Incra videos on youtube and am reasonably impressed by their capability. I understand the infinite spacing adjustibility of the Leigh system and like it. But, I'm not sure how many dovetails I'm going to make in the next 20 years. I've got one project now. Amazon has the Incra Super LS for $360 and the Leigh seems to run $499.
Any thoughts to help me in my decision?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have both, and use both depending on the project. My basic recommendation:
Leigh where strength matters, or for mass production.
Incra where appearance matters, or for fancy/small joinery.
IMHO the Incra is much more flexible and precise, but the Leigh produces a more robust joint in less time.
If you're not going to use either much, I'd go with the Incra, because the fence system can do so much more than just dovetails.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DJ Delorie wrote!
Good to see you alive and posting. :-)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah, I've been busy - projects, family, work, tornado, etc.
(no damage or injuries, just a mess of trees)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's not clear to me how one makes a through dovetail on the Incra jig using only ont bit. I found one web page (http://www.woodshopdemos.com/incra4.htm ) which indicates that you have to do some minimal "carving". But, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me exactly what's going on.
With the Leigh, it's rather obvious and you use two bits.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com writes:

It's not intuitive until the first time you try it, then it makes a lot of sense, once you *see* what's happening.. The carving is easy, there's a little bump left over where the router bit can't quite cut everything, but it's flat all around it so a flat chisel is all you need.
The problem with the way the Incra does it is that there's an air bubble inside the joint, because you *can't* make a perfect dovetail with just one bit. The Incra method cuts extra off the inside of the pins, which weakens the joint slightly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sep 16, 2:51 pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I can help make it harder by tossing in the Akeda :)
I have a Leigh Super and the Akeda is on my wishlist. I have two main issues with the Leigh. Getting the fingers to all be in the same plane is a real pain. When flipping the guide over from tails to pins it always seems to find a way to get offset somehow, so the joint fits but the pieces are not flush. Even a smaller error there is significant by the time you get around 4 corners, but sometimes it's off so much I have to stop and adjust the stop to compensate - which is not intended to be adjusted. I don't know how much better the "real" Leigh is in either of these regards compared to the super. The Akeda seems to completely eliminate both issues.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in wrote:

need to spend really serious time with the instructions for making dovetails (I forgot who has posted the excellent drawings for this, but they were posted several times, sorry, whoever, I apologize for my Alzheimers). One thing I remember is that I am so clumsy that several of the Akeda's fingers have already been damaged trying to make dovetails. As I said, I need to spend serious time studying the concepts and practicing making dovetails.
--
Best regards
Han
email address is invalid
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Get yourself the dvd "Dovetail a Drawer" with Frank Klausz. Watch it about five times. You'll have a pretty good grasp of how a through dovetail works, but you still won't believe how fast he does them by hand.
Since no one else has chimed in with this, if you are only doing the odd dovetail here and there, doing it by hand or cutting at the band saw and removing the waste by hand is certainly a viable alternative. I've cut many a dovetail at the band saw, if I only have a couple to do it's easier to do it that way than go through the whole setup of the Leigh. It's really not that difficult, and certainly a more pleasant way to spend time in the shop than anything involving a router.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in wrote:

--
Best regards
Han
email address is invalid
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Han wrote:

The Frank Klausz video on handcut dovetails covers a lot of ground and he goes through the steps THREE times. So when the tape or DVD ends you''re certain you GOT IT. Then you head to the shop to do what you just learned. That's when you'll realize you missed something important. So you go back check the DVD and THEN you're certain you GOT IT. You repeat the To The Shop and Back To The DVD several times.
That was my experience at least - which is why I put together the process in a form I could print and take to the shop.
http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/DovetailDrawer/DovetailDrawer0.html
Re: The AKEDA dovetail jig and comparing it to the Leigh
http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/AKEDAdtJig/AKEDAdovetailJig1.html
Hope this helps
charlie b
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Charlie, that was the explanation/instruction set I was referring to. Apologies once more for the insufficiencies of my brain.

Thanks Charlie!
--
Best regards
Han
email address is invalid
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hello Greatview, I too have both the Leigh (D4R) and the Incra LS positioner. One limitation for the Incra is the size of the panel (length) you are dovetailing. Trying to slide a very long board on its edge can be difficult. The Leigh will do almost anyting that the Incra will do, but the incr is also a fun tool to use and allows for "help" when making projects. (Your help- if you trust them- can make the adjustments while you do the cutting) I owned the Incra first but bought the Leigh because of the Incra's limitations. The Incra is now predominantly used as a router fence system and while most of my joinery is on the Leigh.
My recommendation is contray to my own uses if you plan to make a few small boxes/cases/ drawers. You will get more use from the Incra if your plans don't call for mega joints. And getting back to the "help" topic I mentioned above. If you have any kids or a spouse who is interested in helping you that is a great way to get them involved. Marc
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 16 Sep 2008 19:51:30 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote

Well I'm still waiting on delivery of my Incra - it has a long way to swim - and in the next couple of weeks I hope to vindicate my insane expenditure and the very difficult and carefully considered research that preceded it. I suspect, however, that I'll keep on using the Stott jig for anything big and heavy, and I wonder if it's an option you've considered?
The home-made jigs are actually quite fun to put together, it's a breeze to set up compared with the half-blind jig I've struggled with, (the instructional vid on Stotman's web site is _extremely_ useful and informative) and the joints appearance shouldn't upset the "I hate the HB dovetail look!" Klan too much either.
Other plus points. It's the cheapest system (apart from no system) it can produce joints of any length you care to assemble a jig to handle and if you slip and gouge your jig, it won't wreck your bit or your investment - just re-assemble the jig using a new template from the pile that you produced when you were in "cloning" mode. You can paint it pink or blue if you want, or leave it vanilla.
Minus points? well, if you produce an obscenely high number of joints, the jigs will probably need replacing occasionally - again from the pile that you produced when you were in "cloning" mode. The pins are fixed width - though you can leave out every second, third or whatever to give a very basic variable spacing pattern. It doesn't look hi-tech, though the jigs can be a bit of a talking point in themselves, if that's an issue :-). (particularly if you paint it/them pink)
If you like the system but want more durability, you could always buy a Keller and continue using that in the same way..
meanwhile, http://www.stots.com /
I'd invest in one and play with it and THEN decide, It is cheap enough to consider the expense as "research."
That's my choice, then - Stotts and Incra. IF I were in volume production I'd probably go for a Leigh or a Keller with two router operators, but I'm not, so I chose differently.
Whatever you choose, it'll be right for you. Good luck with it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

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.