I am making lots of drawers using an Akeda dovetail jig. They are
half blind and the wood is 3/4" baltic birch for the front and back
and 1/2" for the sides.
I have made some sample cuts to get the dept of cut adjustment correct.
The current adjustment yields a comfortably tight joint with complete
contact between the pins and tails. However, there is a uniform gap
of about 1/16" between the bottom of the tails on the sides of the drawer
and the pins on the front face of the drawer.
At first I thought some part of a wood layer in the baltic birch had chipped
out during the process of cutting the pins. However, that appears not to be the
case; it has a nice smooth surface formed by the router.
Anybody had this problem with the Akeda?
My definition of tight is the same as yours. I keep looking for a problem
with my setup, but cannot see any solutions that would fix this problem. A
t first I thought the bit slipped. Called them and they said try oil on th
e collett or a new collett. I have done the first; I have a new collett wa
iting for today's trials. But, I don't think it will do anything.
with my setup, but cannot see any solutions that would fix this problem. At
first I thought the bit slipped. Called them and they said try oil on the
collett or a new collett. I have done the first; I have a new collett waiting
for today's trials. But, I don't think it will do anything.
I read your explanation and interpreted it in two different ways. I'll
assume that you mean that the tails are not filling the sockets/tails.
Off hand it sounds like the cut between the tails is not deep enough to
match that of the pins.
Is you wood perfectly flat? Not relying on the jig clamp to flatten it
Is the wood flush on the under side of the guide fingers?
Is the end of the board square to the faces? If it is at a slight angle
it could prevent one face from toughing the bottom of the guide fingers.
"Don't rely on a factory edge to be flat or square to the faces of the
These things to look for are not unique to the Akita however in this
respect the Akita works a lot like most any other DT jig.
As far as the collett is concerned be sure that it's base is not proud
of the router base plate. I could ride on top of some fingers and lift
the router and you end up with shorter tails.
Now having said all of this if the DT's are fitting together nicely,
except for filling the void, when you eventually eliminate the gap you
are likely going to also have to reposition the depth of the bit in the
Typically you cut deeper to tighten a loose fit and cut shallower to
loosen a tight fit.
I have done, and checked many times, all of the above items. That's why it
has been so frustrating. I guess I could try tightening the joint a bit (
again). I will also measure the depth of the bit before starting, after do
ing the pins, and after doing the tails. That would tell me if the collett
is slipping a bit.
has been so frustrating. I guess I could try tightening the joint a bit
(again). I will also measure the depth of the bit before starting, after doing
the pins, and after doing the tails. That would tell me if the collett is
slipping a bit.
Providing the depth of both the pins and tails are not the same,
changing the cutting depth will not do any thing except change the
spacing between the pins and tails. Changing the spacing is what makes
the joint fit looser or tighter.
You absolutely should not be having to change cutter depth between
If your results are yielding different pin and tail lengths either,
1. Your bit is sliping
2. The work is not flush against the bottom of the guide fingers
3. The router is base is not always setting flush with the guide pins.
I've not used the Akeda but my understanding is there's a particular
bushing and bit specific to the jig and other than that it's all stock
preparation. Shouldn't be any depth setting other than that of
appropriate to the stock thickness.
been so frustrating. I guess I could try tightening the joint a bit (again). I
will also measure the depth of the bit before starting, after doing the pins,
and after doing the tails. That would tell me if the collett is slipping a bit.
If you have the manual page 30 has the symptom I think you are
descriping. They are suggesting that your router may have a phenolic
base that is flexing allowing the router to cut deeper most likely at
Not a problem with the base. It's flat and rigid. So far, I have replaced
the collett, used oil on the collett, and begun to record the depth of the
bit from the bottom of the router. At first it varied less than .01 inch
es when routing a set of pins and tails. After 2 or 3 boards it suddenly d
rops the bit and ruins the piece. I did notice a bit of chatter when cutti
ng. I suppose I could try another one of my routers; I also ordered a new b
it to see if it is just a dull bit problem. If that does not work I will g
ive up and resort to the inferior tongue/groove method of making drawers.
Lucky to be able to replace the collet. Years ago I had 2 or 3 different
Craftsman routers and there was no fix. Those particular routers simply
had a hole drilled in the end of the motor armature and slots cut into the
sides. Once the inside wore there was no solution.
That's OK Lew, I have the same problem all the time. In any case, I had or
dered a new clear base from Pat Warner last week. He is on vacation and wi
ll fill it in July. In the mean time I have tried everything else. A new
Whiteside dovetail bit arrived yesterday. I'll try that next - everything
else has been eliminated, except for the idiot pushing the router!
On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 6:23:48 PM UTC-5, Len wrote:
be the case; it has a nice smooth surface formed by the router.
YES! I did eventually solve it. Apparently, it is a common problem with t
he Akeda Jig. I called their support number and they sent me a pdf file tw
o types of gaps that could be occuring. I picked #2 and he described the s
olution over the phone.
SOLUTION: The drawers I was making had .5 inch thick sides and .75 inch fr
ont and back. When cutting the tails, I put the vertical .5 inch board in t
he jig to be cut. My method was to push it up unit it hit the plastic rout
ing guides and then locked it in place. I then put a .75 inch thick scrap i
nto the horizontal position and pushed it up to touch the back of the side
piece. This board is sacrificial and is used to prevent tearout on the ver
tical board. The criterion for a good joint is not that the top of the vert
ical board touch the guides, but that the top must be flush with the top o
f the backer board. You would think that the plastic guides would automatic
ally achieve this, but it doesn't. I needed to push the vertical board upw
ard (really hard)against the plastic guides to get to the flush position.
After that it worked fine - but I had already finished making the joints.
I think that Akeda could make the guides a bit thinner (so the vertica
l board did not touch them) and tell you the criterion is to get the boards
flush, not to touch the bottom of the guides.
A hard lesson to learn!
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