Questions about a Leigh D3

I am sure some here have this jig or have used it, and I have a couple of questions about it. I don't have another jig in this range, still puttering along with the old PC I have had for years.
But I am thinking I might want to get in the fray with something like this. I know the subsequent models are supposed to be superior in every way, but I still remember when this one and its predecessor were the kings of the hill.
From what I can tell on the Leigh website, many newer fixtures for the D4 as well as others will will fit on this jig, so it isn't totally obsolete. I had a friend years ago (since gone to his great reward) that loved his Leigh D3 like a son. But he stressed the fact that it was no easy to learn and not easy to get set up. Once set up he claimed, almost bullet proof.
Honestly, I am not even sure at this point how much I would use this thing. But I would like to tinker with one of these to see how I like it. I wouldn't normally be looking, but I think I can get a 24" model that is lightly used, with the original manual for about $100 or less.
All opinions welcome.
Robert
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From what I understand, the D4 could have been named the D3.1. IIRC the D3 can be upgraded with a kit through Leigh to virtually give it the same features as the D4. Your friend was correct about set up. These jigs had to be assembled initially. After that it is moderately more difficult to learn than the standard less inexpensive "blind DT only" jig. These less inexpensive jigs allow you to cut the tails and pins at the same time on 2 pieces with 1 pass of the router after getting the correct cutting depth set right. With the Leigh these cuts have to be done independently because the stops are not off set like they are on the inexpensive jigs. It can be a bit more confusing keeping all you pieces orientated correctly and the cutting steps are doubled. If "your" old jig is similar in respect to this situation the learning curve should be pretty shallow. I would suggest reading the Leigh instruction manual to learn how to set up the finger template. IIRC you can down load the manual, maybe. In good shape, $100 sounds like a deal.
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SNIP of good thoughts .

Well, I have tried to do the right thing. I looked... and I DID find a Festool dovetail jig. I was afraid... I didn't look at the price. It is avaible in Europe now, but I think it uses their router base bottom with their own collets, not PC style. I couldn't find it over here. Thanks to the powers that be...
Besides, like I said, I don't know how often I would use it. Web searching this (or any Leigh dovetail jig) across several forums that although it is probably the best overall jig for versatility, <<many>> feel they could retire if they had a nickel for every one that sits on shelves or under work tables. I could find almost no one that used the variable spaced features to their full extent, save and except professionals, demos guys, or folks with plenty of time on their hands.
I did find a lot of folks that suggested to buy dedicated jigs for dedicated joints if you were going to do production. One guy had three different 4112 jigs like I have to do two sizes of box joints and one for half blind dovetails. Since he worked his designs around the jog, he had no need for variable spacing. And he bought all three for under half of the price of the Leigh he was looking at with three different templates.
An excellent idea on reading the instruction book online, though. I found I can download the D3 manual as a pdf from Leigh, and they also say that their D4 basic instruction is almost the exact thing on their website. Again, good idea.
Robert
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wrote in message

LOL, Yeah!

Well really, the jig does not take any time to set up as far as adjusting the fingers. I do it all the time and although I do have some time on my hands, LOL. I takes maybe 2 or 3 extra minutes to put the fingers where you want them and any where works. You cannot get them spaced wrong.

Onre thing I might mention, while the jig is a bit more complex than the common jig the F1 Box Joint template that you can add is FANTASTIC. It turely is a no brainer and workks great. Easier to use than any DT jig once the adjustable guide bushing is set up.
Basically the Leigh is way over kill for standard half blond DT's. For through and eye candy details it won't let you down.
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wrote:

We use a D3 as our main jig in the shop. It is the only jig we have used sine it was purchase (new). My wife often works with me in the shop and will will double team through dove tails with here running a router on the right and me running one on the left. We once did a run of 30 boxes this way. It was a marathon routing session.
I have never really had any trouble setting up the jig. It doesnt get used daily, or even monthly, in our shop. That said, I also dont have any experience with newer jigs that may be even more simple to setup. I am sure this info doesnt contribute a lot to your decision, but we have been happy with the jig since it was new.
Mark
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I appreciate the comments. I really thought there would be more folks out there familiar with this one.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Robert, it's very simple. A person cannot have too many tools.
Leigh jigs are coveted by many. Other manufactures would like you to believe their products are as good or better than Leigh. Does that not tell you anything?
I bought mine new, with no regret. You said you can get one for $100.
Thats a no brainer.
You will get $100 worth of satisfaction when you make your first Dovetail.
LdB
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