Just beginning with woodworking and would like to dive into dovetailing, but
don't want to do them by hand, time is short and I'm not aiming to be a
master craftsman. I'd just like to be able to make some drawers and boxes
for practical storage purposes.
I've got the Porter-Cable plunge router kit and would like recommendations
on perhaps the best and easiest to use. Why's and why nots would be
I gave the $39.95 or whatever it was half blind jig to another
woodworker that then donated it to a school. I now have Keller
through jig and find it's easy to use, effective, and can be used for
whatever width wanted. Sold with both bits and within 5 minutes I was
making sawdust. Around $135.00.
Well, i hate to break the news to you, but by the time you learn to make
dovetails, and drawers (and boxes) correctly, you will have taken a large
step to becoming a "master craftsman". The router you have should suffice
provided you get some guide bushings such as these:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)97088890/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2_etk-tools/102-8875951-9600916?v=glance&s=hi&n"8013
I've used a number of different jigs by different manufacturers. Mostly
lower to mid grade units that overall will perform well, such as this one:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)97089270/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2_etk-tools/102-8875951-9600916?v=glance&s=hi&n"8013
These type blind dovetail jigs limit the max depth your drawer or box to 12"
(or 16" if you get the larger jig). Also, to end up with 1/2 the pin
showing on the first and last dovetail, the drawer size may have to be
limited in depth to 1" or so, depending on your template. But they are
affordable for anywhere from about $50 to $150. Setting up the jig and
router to get the dovetails to fit tight and right will most likely be your
biggest challenge. After that, and a little time for the learning curve, you
can make dovetails to your hearts content with jigs such as these.
I have yet to use a good quality dovetail jig, such as the Leigh d4 (it's on
the top 5 list of things to get next though!) They are more expensive -$400
or so - but the fingers are adjustable thus making dovetails to accomodate
most any depth drawer. I'm sure another member will pick up the ball here
and offer firsthand advise on how hard or easy it is to set it up and use
jigs like this.
In any case, get a good quality sharp dovetail bit. Stay away from generic
bits, as generally, the shank is to short to use safely in a larger router.
(trust me on this one!) Be prepared for some trial and error if you are new
to this. None of the jigs will make dovetails a "no brainer" and all will
require some thinking and practice. --dave
I use the Katie jig. Similar to the Keller, but allows you to do variable
spacing. Works easily and can be used on a router table. A little more
expensive than the phenolic Keller, though.
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