I (believe I) know that company was bought out by another and out of
commission, sorta, until early this year. Seems like they're still not
up since clicking on 'dealers' tells you to wait til "early 2007".
They weren't at the Baltimore WW show (right?). And now, Woodcraft has
their product on sale.
So, my question is, are they coming out with a new, improved model, or
is this just matters related to the reorg (aside from the sale), or...?
There's a bit of history with the Akeda DT jig. They floated the
idea of this jig maybe five years ago. At the time it was being
called The Euro Jig and they only had 3D CAD renderings of the
jig - no internal details shown and not info about how it worked
other than to say it required "no test cuts" and could do variable
spaced and variable sized half blind and through dovetails - using
a router. They had a survey on their site asking about desired
features and your willingness to buy a set up at different price
About a year later they announced that they would be taking
advanced orders on the jig, with a 25-30% discount off the
price it would be released to the public. Given the lack of info
and a price tag just below a comparable Leigh DT jig, I don't
think they got many advanced orders.
When the unit finally started showing up in stores and started
getting reviews in WWing mags their marketing boys had
gotten to it - just the basic jig for around $300 and the
"Dust Collector accessories kit" for another $250 or so. The
latter included more "finger" sets and the bits etc.
Their jig got good reviews and began showing up in WWing stores
and in catalogs. They seemed to be selling well
AND THEN - they had a big fire. Lost inventory AND manufacturing
capabilities - for close to a year.
I'm guessing the company went through some serious financial
problems but seemed to have gotten through it all. There
have been more comparison reviews over the last year but
the price point has always been an issue - especially when
compared with the relativley new DJ16 - the "less expensive"
Leigh dovetail jig with 16" width capacity.
At $400 for the Akeda AND the "Dust Collection/Accessories Kit"
I'm interested. Will be checking one out this weekend at
WoodCraft. My concern with both the Leigh and the Akeda is
the 1/4" shank router bits. Also need more info on what
the price is for all the remaining guide sets for a complete
package to use all the jig's capabilities. Will report back what
- an admitted tool phreak who can already do what both the
Leigh and Akeda can do using the JoinTech Cabinet Maker
System in/on my router table - but it's just a little more
complicated. I'm going to be making my kitchen cabinets
and drawers so anything that makes it faster and easier
is a great excuse for getting another toy - er make that
ps to my earlier post
the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System does a lot more than just
dovetail and finger/box joints and I've used it a bunch. Does
sliding dovetails too. with replacable zero clearance fence
inserts and a fence you can move in 0.001" increments it's
also handy with bit sets like frame and panel / cope &stick
finger joints - graduated sizes in graduated drawers
half blinds on both ends of graduated drawers
lots of finger/box, dovetails and sliding dovetails used for chisel
racks. - great low risk practice that yields useful things. By using
sliding dovetails, I can change internal rack configurations in the
future cause the sliding DTs don't need to be glued in.
Consider the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System rather than just
a dovetail jig. LOTS more capabilities AND can use 1/2" shank
router bits rather than the more delicate 1/4" shank.
(told you I was a tool phreak)
Excellent! Thanx a lot for the info/advice!
Had planned to go to Baltimore WW'g show to explore options but it was
so small, didn't have the Akeda, didn't have the nifty new ww'g drill
presses, that I blew it off. Chantilly's coming up in mid March and if
the project extends out that long (it undoubtedly will) I'll be
investigating Jointech. Someone else mentioned a Jointech precision
fence system that got my curiosity up.
Anyway, I've requested a catalog. The Cabinet Maker system sounds
really interesting. The saw train I'd want to see. I have an
Excalibur fence that is driving me bananas in that as you lock down the
fence, it moves about 1/16". Don't know if I've got something set
wrong or it's a "feature". Other issue w/saw train would be if it was
sturdy enough to cut sheets of ply.
It's certainly not a feature. I own an Excalibur fence and it locks down
perfectly. Things I'd investigate are that all fastening bolts for both
rails are properly tightened. Looking along the length of the rails, are
they straight? Next I'd look at the fence itself and make sure that none of
the adjustment screws under the front lock down lever are missing or
otherwise loose. It's also possible that the lock down lever itself is not
working as it should. Have a look at that and possibly disassemble it to
look at the cam on the lever itself for pits or uneven surface.
1/6" out of alignment is a visibly noticeable misalignment. Can you see the
fence move out of alignment when locking down or does it just end up the way
without any noticeable movement? Depending on how it happens will point to
particular areas to investigate.
Some will tell you that having lock down rails on both sides of a saw is
functionally bad for a fence, but that's a load of crap. Most fences of any
quality whether two rail models or single rail models work well if they're
adjusted properly. And, the Excalibur is a well made, good working tool.
Thanx for the detailed reply!
Finally! Sorry for the delay and hope you don't ignore this "dated"
It's not 1/16, but it is 1/32 which is still a problem. Sometimes
less, but when I'm trying to get exactly on the mark and it jinks over
a tad, it's problematic. Sometimes, it's consistent - it moves, I
release, nudge/adjust, and relock only to find it back in exactly the
same wrong spot.
Checked on much of your suggestions and none seem to be an issue.
Haven't looked at lock down lever and cam yet.
What happens is I move the fence to the location; then, as I push the
lock down lever down, the fence (not noticeably to me) ends up 1/32
leftwards. Sometimes it doesn't move, but often it does. For some
reason, I have the idea that it *appears* to be pivoting from the back
(i.e. the back part of the fence is stationary and the front moves),
but that may be an illusion.
There must be something out of adjustment, I presume and hope it's
I knew it'd do half blind and through DTs as well as box joints.
sure about sliding dovetails. I imagine the length of the sliding
is limited by the width of the jig. On the JoinTech you can make
as long as you want. You refence off the fence and one edge of the
piece to have the female part of the dovetailed slot. The male part
of the dovetail is done with the piece held upright, face against the
fence. Because the dovetail bit's cutting height doesn't change when
cutting both the male and female parts, you can sneak up on the fit
by moving the fence in very fine increments, taking a little off BOTH
sides of the male dovetail.
So the jig comes with an 8mm collet - for each of the popular
Now I'll grant you that dovetail jigs - like the Leigh - have lower
"cognative friction" than the Incra and JoinTech fence system
with templates. With the latter, the process of cutting the
pins and tails is not as intuitive as the Leigh, and Akeda.
On the other hand, having a precision positionable fence, with
micro adjustability AND replaceable zero clearance fence
inserts makes doing lock joints, lock miter joints and frame
and panel work not only possible - but fairly easy.
Though I have the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System, I'll probably
get the Akeda package deal anyway. OR - I could save up some
more money and get THE LEIGH FMT!
Things are going to get interesting pretty shortly...
Porter Cable has completely redone the Omnijig and it will
do all that plus it will also do mortise & tenon joinery.
The web site is pretty dim on the features, but I did
hear the short version of the machine at IWF this past
That goes "directly" at the Leigh jig and it's cousin
the Leigh FMT....
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