I see a number of cheapo dovetail jigs on ebay, they look identical in
construction to what JET is selling.
Question: If I'm doing a small amount of dovetailing for occasional
projects, will these be OK or should I spring for the more expensive
Porter Cable ones. The PC is about 3 times as much, and doesn't have
a lever quick release.
Why do it ? Biscuits are quicker, finger joints are more
router-friendly. If I'm cutting dovetails, I want good ones, not ugly
symmetrical ones. For anything "practical rather than decorative", I
don't use dovetails.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
I'm big on biscuits, but Dovetails are, well, cool and look nice..
They are also stronger in certain applications.
I had done google search already, but I wasn't getting a clear
opinion on whether the Porter Cable ~$120 one was worth the extra
money over a $30 harbor freight one.
Someone posted a Keller jig, I think I might try to get it.
On Fri, 23 Jan 2004 01:25:14 +0000, Andy Dingley
The Jet is a decent jig for the money. I just finished 24 drawer boxes with
it and had great results. The manual however absolutely sucks. Do not follow
its instructions on bit height. Also there is a formula for determining the
fence placement from the front of the jig. This too is wrong and wont work.
This is all documented over at Amazons website. Several users had the same
complaints. With a few test cuts in some scrap material though its east to
dial it in on your own, it took me about half an hour of fooling with it and
afterwards I never did a thing througout all 24 drawers.
18 months ago, I bought a Rockler (clone) jig to do my first dovetails in
my first drawer. 5 hours later, with the help of two experienced
instructors, we had a drawer. When I tried it again two weeks later, at
home, I put it away in frustration.
I gave it away this winter when I was cleaning my shop, and a friend of my
sons' expressed an interest in it.
Not that I gave up on dovetails. When I couldn't use the Rockler jig
effectively for what I wanted to do, I headed to Woodcraft, intending to
buy the Keller or similar jig. The Akeda came home with me instead. 45
minutes to rubber mallet tight through dovetails on a small toolchest I was
A good jig, or most good tooling, is an investment. A 'cheapie' is often
the path to frustration. If I wanted frustration, I'd turn the lights off
in the shop, and come inside and watch CNN.
If you feel that you shouldn't spend the money for the better tool, then
Andy is right. Cut them by hand. Supposedly better for the soul anyhow.
First time I seen it, the Akeda jig, I fell in love with it! It's easy to
set up and easy to use. My question Patriarch, have you tried any other bits
besides the "Akeda" bits? I was wondering if they had to be their brand. It
don't matter, I have all the sizes, but thinking ahead when the get dull or
whatever, trying to use an off the wall brand.
"Cartoons don't have any deep meaning.
They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh."
My Akeda bits are still sharp enough for what I want to do. My
understanding, however, is that these are somewhat different than
'standard'. If Akeda doesn't get back up and running, I would hope that
Woodcraft, their exclusive US distributor, would make some arrangement to
carry replacement pieces.
I would hope. It's a neat jig, and I'd like to use it for years to come.
I've been told that Akeda dovetails jigs would resume production "real
soon." This from the President of Akeda, Kevan Lear.
Also, found some interesting web pages related to Akeda, Leigh, and
other joinery "stuff":
I'm a no-dust freak so the superior dust collection capability of the
Akeda apeals to me.
Certainly no shame in ordering a Leigh. Were I buying today, given what
has happened to Akeda, I would make the same decision.
I am a better, more confident woodworker than I was a year ago. Not
perfect, just more experienced than I used to be.
Best wished to Akeda.
I recently purchased the Rockler DT Jig as well. I found it pretty easy to
use. I had never routed or hand cut dovetails before. After an hour or
two, I had a nice tightly joined drawer.
I would suggest purchasing the aluminum template. The plastic one that come
with it is really flimsy (but useable).
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