Leigh D4 dovetail jig.


I just got my D4 from Lee Valley. I put it together and followed the instructions and got a pretty good joint on my first try. I'm just starting out in WW and if I can learn to use it anybody can. I'm slowly getting equipment for my shop. Now, if I can only afford to buy the wood to make something.
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Congratulations - I have been making sawdust for 25-30 years a lust for one of these. One of these days I will grind away the last of my old Craftsman templateand spring for one.
RonB
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"Joe" wrote in message

the
Words to the wise: I normally love mine, but I'm kinda pissed at it right now.
Did my usual painstaking set up, and numerous test cuts, then proceeded to cut the half blind drawer ends on 30 drawers only to find out that I now have to tweak the jig's fingers to get some of the drawer side tails to fit. I've probably made a couple of hundred drawers with the damn thing and that is the very first time that's ever happened.
Can't find anything that's moved on the jig, material was all batch cut and the same dimension, and the router bit is still the same depth, so it's a mystery to me what happened. Not impossible to recover from, but still a PITA, and a loss in time, which is money to me.
Moral: even with a fine jig like the Leigh, which should be capable of a 'production type' run for each operation, watch out for Murphy. It is better to switch operations occasionally and do a few of each as you go, making sure the fit remains like the original setup.
Other than this particular incident, the Leigh D4 has been a money maker and has paid for itself many times over.
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fit.
Any chance there was a change in humidity over the time when you measured and when you cut? Maybe it rained while you worked or a blast of warm air moved into your area. Not often, but I've noticed wood change in humidity, enough that I could measure over the period of an hour.
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IIRC the type of wood will make a difference as to the result of the actual cut. If you test on a different wood the results may come out differently.

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"Leon" wrote in message

actual
differently.
All maple from the same pile, same length of time in the shop, cut on the same day (I always cut test pieces of the required width when I'm batch cutting the sides and ends).
And before someone jumps in with non-concentricity of the router bit, I always keep the router handles (an old 690) parallel to the long axis of the jig and the Porter Cable label facing me ... an old ingrained habit ... so that is not the cause either.
I thought maybe the bit had slipped, but that was easy to check with my test cut board and was not the case.
All the jig fingers were tight, all the pieces put in the jig snuggly against the stops, nothing changed but the orientation of the fingers, and that was dead on 1/2" in both cases, as I always check it from each side of the Leigh to rule out the parallax that you can get when you set it from the front.
I am, as you know, a pretty careful fellow and don't fall into too many traps, but like I said, this one's a mystery to me.
BTW, I recently made the most accurate crosscut sled I've ever made ... that SOB is DEAD on SQUARE out to 13"! .. and I used it to trim the drawer sides. Maybe it is too damn precise?? <g>
... and FWIW, those end panels you cut for me look great! Thanks again, Leon.
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The ONLY thing that I can think of Maybe with so many, I have found that some times I do not clean the cut out to the width of the fingers. Carlessness on my part.

Isn't it great having a a tool that insures that kind of acuracy? I confess that I have been using a left and right Dubby jig for years and they are dead on also, at any angle.

LOL... I hope to be wraping up my kitchen job next Tuesday. I have been sweating bullets all the way. Walls are not plumb and it is a U shaped kitchen with cabinets that have to fit between a rock and a hard spot on both ends. The top set went in great I hope the bottom set goes smoothly next week. How is th house coming along?

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"Leon" wrote in message

Amazing how much time gets eaten up on kitchen cabinets. I've got the drawers to finish and I'll be done with the latest. They are all installed, finish applied, and covered up while the painters spray their enamel.

We'll have an open house for this one on the 22nd ... it won't be finished then, but they never are. Have another start on the horizon, plus a commercial job if my partners win a bid proposal. That'$ a good thing, a$ my younge$t daughter will be back from college for the $ummer next week.
Meantime, getting ready for the heat to hit ... the weather has been too good, which usually means trouble.
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Where are you located Swingman? Sounds like the weather in Tucson -- absolutely beautiful lately, much cooler than normal for this time of year. Not complaining at all.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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"Mark & Juanita" wrote in message

year.
Houston. Up until yesterday the humidity has been unseasonably low and the weather mild. Not complaining either .... it's been one of the nicest springs in years.
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I had my bottom plate on my routher loosen up on me. I thought I was going nuts. One cut the dovetail would be tight, the next it would be loose. Turns out it was moving about 1/32 or so... Swingman wrote:

the
can. I'm

buy
right
proceeded to

now
to fit.

and that

cut and

it's a

still a

of a

better
making
maker and

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I found that sometimes, the finger bar doesn't always lay flat to the edge of the wood you plan to cut. Even a 1/32 can make the fit tight. I find that this can happen when I use a scrap piece of wood that isn't perfectly flat as a backer. Now, I have a 3/4" 16 ply BB plywood that I use and replace when needed.

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...as long as we're on the topic, anybody care to speak to 8mm shank vs 1/4? Former seems to be only available if ordered through Leigh at about $50 premium to the dealer prices that seem to only offer the 1/4" option. Leigh's site says 8mm is the way to go with 1/2" to 8mm adaptor.

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"news.east.cox.net" wrote in message

The fit of parts cut later is definitely tighter than the test cuts were ... I'll check that out. Thanks for the heads-up.
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Probably not the case, but have you checked that your router bit is centered in its bushing? That is what bit me when I had problems getting reliable joints. Next time, I'm going to make my own router base so that the hole will be centered for the bushing adapter.
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