Your opinion on dove tail jig


I looking a buying a dovetail jig and was wondering if I could get some info from you all. I'm looking at the PC 4212 and the Rockler jig. From what I've read there was some problems in getting bits for the PC but there now seems to be a place in Fla that has them. The big thing is, which of the two would you recommend from having used one or the other/ or both? I've never had any experience making these joints so I'd really like to get one that is "easy" to setup. Any help? TIA
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leigh d4

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Isn't that kind of like suggesting a Bently to someone looking for a Buick?
Jesus. I had no idea these jigs went for $400+.

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On Sat, 14 Jan 2006 03:33:18 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

From an old post of mine:
Call The Japan Woodworker at 1-800-537-7820 and ask for the Razor Saw (for hardwood) as advertised in FWW at $25.95, delivered. Then goto http://www.thebestthings.com/books/video_dovetail.htm Dovetail a Drawer" is the Frank Klausz classic about handcutting dovies. $14.95 VHS or $17.95 DVD.
For $45 or so + a bit of time, you'll learn a new skill AND have a valuable new tool to show for it.
--- Chaos, panic, and disorder--my work here is done. http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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Yeah, but he was Clearly asking about power tool jigs. :o)
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On Sat, 14 Jan 2006 05:13:48 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Lobby

Yabbut, he screamed over the price of a stupid jig, so...
Providing more options to limited thinkers is what I do best, Lob. Ask me about pineywood, stain, or poly. (_they_ aren't options) <chortle>
--- Chaos, panic, and disorder--my work here is done. http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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For $45 or so + a bit of time, you'll learn a new skill AND have a valuable new tool to show for it.
Amen brother! When I want dovetails I either cut them by hand or use my homemade set of spacer blocks on the router table. The only cost was my time and a little scrap wood. Bugs
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Since you haven't made dovetails before, I would suggest you view the Mark Duginske Videos on Mastering Your Table Saw and/or Mastering Your Band Saw. I found these at my local library, you might be able to find them at your local library.
He shows an easy way to make simple dovetails with simple home made jigs.
djs
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kajunmanbr wrote:

I received the PC 4212 for Christmas and would recommend it. There is a bit of a learning curve since the instruction manual is woefully inadequate. If someone took the time to produce a video on using this jig I do believe it would be a big seller.
I plan to get out and make some drawers with it this morning...just as soon as my wife says its late enough and I won't wake the neighbors.
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Sorry you haven't gotten any useful replies, but probably no one has used the PC4212 and the Rockler. We here tend to have more expensive jigs, or make them by hand. I for instance have a PC7216, which I use to maybe 5% of its capabilities.
I recommend http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/leigh3.htm It is clear, detailed, and accurate. I was about to buy a Woodhaven when Amazon had the PC7216 at $140 off the normal price, and I couldn't resist. Maybe it was a typo, who knows.
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Bullshit. More Toller elitist dipshitism.
Two things you will find with this group: (1) There are people on here that have used just about everything out there. (2) Ask a question one day and there will be no responses. Ask the same question a few days later and you will get all kinds of responses. Depends on who is reading the group at the time and who feels like responding. I have the PC 4112. Works just fine. It does take careful setup the first time but once there, no problems. Uses a standard dovetail bit you can get anywhere.
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Hartville Tools has their 18" model GFK1800 on sale for $ 127.49. I have one and it is just like the Porter-Cable only 6" longer. Here is the Link: http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/11195?PHPSESSID 4b3db9b737ef69985965ad5e8ea27a

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Hartville claims they Make the PC jig and that bits, etc. can be used with either.
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For half-blind, production work, on things that last 15 or so years due not to structural issues but cosmetic (kitchen/bath cabinets, utilitarian furniture), the $60 Rockler jig will work fine.
For through dovetail work, again more production oriented, the Keller 1500 at $100 is great.
For "real" furniture making, the kind of stuff you'd like to see live after you, there's nothing quite like hand cut.
Sure you can spend $400 on the Leigh or Akeda. But I'll bet you that for non-production work, for those one of a kind pieces, if you know how to hand cut that you'll be about even if not ahead of the setup required of those expensive jigs.
Bill
ps - Here's a link to an online comparison: http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/dovetail_jig_compare.htm
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wrote:

I second the Leigh D4. I know it's pretty expensive, so I'm sure you could get along just fine with the Porter Cable jig or Keller. I feel I can say this because in addition to the D4, I also have a Craftsman dovetail jig from around 35 years ago. I use that one along with a Craftsman router permanently setup to cut 1/2 inch half blind dovetails in 1/2 stock for drawer making.
There's otherways to use power tools to make dovetails. But those also involve some degree of chisel use. I just watched David Marks on Wood Works make his dovetail bench. The process there involves the use of the bandsaw followed by japanese dovetail chisels. The result was really remarkable.
While the D4 may be expensive, think of the versatility and it's ability to attach some different templates and make more whimsical dovetail shapes like "bears ears" or the box joint jig. It's an extremely versatile machine worth every penny.
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I *third* the Leigh D4. I started w/ a Keller, which is OK as far as it goes (after all, it is 1/3 the price).
But the Leigh will give you infinitely variable dovetail spacing, and, if you ever do a project where you have a number of drawers the do, the savings in production time on the D4 will pay for itself.
Just my opinion.
Bill
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This would be a bad investment if the OP ends up like me. I have the PC jig he was looking at. I used it to make a small box, just to try it out. Worked great but I haven't used it since (several years now). Doubt I'll use it again. Wouldn't want to spend that kind of money on something that would never get used.

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If there is a better jig that the Leigh D4 I'd like to know what it is. I love my D4. I've heard some good reports on the Akeda, it's pretty high too.

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I've looked at the leigh d4. Actually from what I've read on it, it sounds like a great tool. I suppose if I were looking for something for 'production' type work it would be the way I'd go. Since I only do 'hobby' work I don't need to invest that much for the jig. I do appreciate all the response.
back to the lurk mode.

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It's all a matter of priorities.
I got the D4 several years ago and love it. At the time I did not have many tools. Shoot I did not even have a crappy table saw.
Things to think about. If you need a part where do you go? Sometimes I don't have the time to make the drive to woodcraft. I call leigh on Monday and by Friday most often I have the part. The few times I've had a problem (usually because I can't read some days) I call or email them and find out what I've been doing wrong.
Frankly there is nothing worst than buying something and then not getting help with it. With many companies your on your own when all you need is 50 cent part to replace something broken because you did somethign dumb.
Some say the D4 is too expensive. Its all a matter of priorities. Do you want to spend your time hand cutting dovetails or finishing a project? I prefer to finish more projects.
Besides what is woodworking but an excuse to buy more toys.
kajunmanbr wrote:

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