Porter Cable 4212 Report

Page 1 of 2  
As a treat to myself, I had my wife buy me a 4212 dovetail jig for Christmas. It has a lot of whistles and bells and I had wanted one for a while.
The week after Christmas, I finally got a chance to go out and give it a spin.
Knowing that dovetail jigs are "very" twitchy to get setup, I cut a armfull of plywood drawer sides and got the jig set up on the bench.
My worst fears came to past after a couple of hours of screwing up a "lot" of 1/2" plywood.
I was trying to make half blind dovetails and I wanted this jig for a future project that requires drawers.
No matter what setting I made, this jig was NOT going to make a "hand fit half blind dovetail". I called a day and resumed the next afternoon.
(1) I set up for through dovetails.. That worked. (2) I set up for sliding dovetails.. That worked. (3) I set up for box joints .. That worked.
It would NOT make a useable halfblind.
I called Porter Cable and tech guy said.. "That's odd".
He did mention one little thing "it sounds like the bit is bad" but he discounted that option pretty quickly and suggested I try a couple more things.
I was disgusted... but I called my tool store and asked if they had replacement Porter Cable bits for the jig ???
"No"..but we do carry the Freud bit for that jig.
I took it.... Freud 22-115
Saturday I put the new bit in the router and setup the jig "exactly" the way the book describes for the test.
Made a test cut....
Almost PERFECT on the first pass. It was even a little loose but it was a hand fitted half blind dovetail.
I was amazed to say the least.
I'll be making a phone call this week to the folks at Porter Cable on their router bit purchases.
Just for the record, the 4212 is really a nice jig that is capable of doing very nice work, once you get the correct router bit.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pat Barber wrote: ...

So what's the difference in the bit?
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It would appear to be "slightly" under-sized.
dpb wrote:

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

I fail to see how through would fit any different than half-blind???
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I keep phone log/email log of my attempts with customer support. I think if I were you (and I understand that not everyone will do as I do) I would call Porter Cable, tell them of my solution, and what you had to do to get the jig to work properly. I would tell them that I expected a new bit.
You might be surprised at their response. With so many choices for any product these days, it seems that customer support for some things has taken a marked upward turn lately.
Besides, I am tired of paying for products that don't perform at all, or under perform. There are a lot of other dovetail jigs out there.
BTW, does anyone know why Woodcraft is dropping Akeda?
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

http://www.akeda.com/find-a-dealer.html
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I thought I would wait until today(Tuesday), so that I might have a chance to actually get through to customer support. You can bet that I want a new bit or two.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Unless the jig is really, really, really, different, DT bits generally should not matter from one brand to the next. If you have not cut half blind DT'S before with a DT bit keep in mind that the bit has to be adjusted height/depth wise to its "sweet spot". If the joint is too tight you need to raise the bit a tiny bit and retest. If the fit is too loose you need to lower the bit/cut deeper and retest. Once the depth is cutting to your liking this bit setting is the one you want to use for all thicknesses of woods. Half blind DT's have to be cut at the same depth at all times with any particular bit and or jig.
You cannot recut the DT's, you need to start with new scraps with each adjustment.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have cut several dovetails with earlier jigs:
(1) Porter Cable (the one prior to the 42XX series) (2) The older Omnijig
Yes, it does require a good bit of "searching" for the sweet spot.
The 4212 I bought has(had) a defective router bit that would cut a half blind dovetail that required a hammer to put together. That is NOT correct.
By not changing another setting and using the new Freud bit, the jig works as advertised. I consider that defective.
This jig is VERY different in that it was designed "around" this screw ball sized bit that is 17/32", which to my knowledge, is not used by anybody else.
Leon wrote:

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

Ok, great, I guess. I just wanted to make sure that you had covered all the basics.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

OK, I didn't know this. Are you saying that this jig is trying to say that it uses a proprietary bit? Is PC attempting to make a jig that uses their special bit (only to screw that up as well) that requires you to buy that particular bit from them?
If so, what a shame. I hope you post your experience with PC's customer service and let us know if they take care of you and if a new bit from them allows the jig to work as advertised.
It shouldn't be this hard...
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It sounds like they are taking lessons from Sears.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote

Well, whom ever Sears is using to make their current jigs. Remarkably I still have a Sears DT Jig that I bought in 1980. That jig came with no DT bit and I was able to use any DT bit in it as long it cut a particular maximum width. Angle did not matter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lee Michaels wrote:

I don't know how the Omnijig works but with the Incra you fine tune the depth to correct for manufacturing tolerances in the bit dimensions. Should be able to do the same with any dovetail jig that cuts pins and tails with the same bit I would think.
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote

Most regular DT jigs work this way also and most any regular sized bit would work but if the fingers on the jig are too fat a common bit may not have enough reach to under cut the guide finger. Because the bit for this particualr jig appears to be oversized at 17/32" the typical 1/2" bit will not remove enough on the sides for a proper fit regardless of how shallow the cut.
I suspect that there is nothing wrong with the actual bit other than probably being the wrong bit to begin with. I'm betting the wrong bit was packaged with the jig.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote:

The manual suggests that any bit somewhat over 1/2" will work. They specifically mention 9/16" and 5/8".
As you suggest, maybe someone included a 1/2" bit.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I wish my calipers worked well enough to see that but cheap chinese don't measure very well.
Yep.. I agree that a wrong bit might have been shipped and it caused me a LOT of grief. I don't know why I didn't get another bit earlier.
I haven't tried the "alternate" bit setups yet.
They have all sorts of weird combo's on the "advanced manual".
http://www.deltaportercable.com/jigs/dovetail /
I noticed something "odd", the combinations can't exceed 1" in total when mixing and matching...
Chris Friesen wrote:

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

I had the same experience, same dovetail jig. Same Freud replacement bit.
Max
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I knew I wasn't the only one....
Thanks for speaking up
Max wrote:
I had the same experience, same dovetail jig.
Same Freud replacement bit.
Max
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I got to thinking, have you tried using a slightly smaller diameter guide bushing? That will let the bit cut a wider path.
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.