I was at The Woodworking Show last weekend in the Twin Cities, and I watched
a gentleman use a Leigh D4 dovetail jig. I need to make some kitchen cabinet
drawers in the future, and after the fact, have decided that maybe the Leigh
jig would have been a good purchase. I wouldn't mind putting in a little extra
time to make some fancy joints in drawers to show off some of my talents. (OK
I know there isn't a lot of skill, but most people wouldn't make there own
cabinets anyways. It is just a personal pride in doing something that others
won't spend money to do. Understand what I mean? My theory is that my time is
cheap, and if I get personal satisfaction that is good for me. I like to do
things that aren't practical for others, my neighbor has a lot more money than
me, but he isn't into woodworking so I can do things like this). Anyways, this
person at the show had a combination deal for about $525.00 and change, where
you got the D4 jig, a bunch of router bits (8mm and adapter for router),
vaccuum attachment, and some other perks. I didn't want to buy it then because
I hadn't done much reading about it, but I can't find anyone who has a similar
deal. Let me know if you are aware of one. I thought about the PC omni jig,
but I think I will enjoy the versatility of the Leigh better. Let me hear your
You may want to look at Lee Valley site first and see what the optional
"Bear Ears" templates and others cost and then decide on how fancy you want
to get. I have the D4 and there is a learning curve but it sure is nice
once you learn.
I have the D4 and it is awesome. As with anything, it takes a little
getting used to it to get good at it, but I'm not one of those that feel the
Leigh was difficult to figure out. Bascially, if you can follow
instructions (with pictures, no less), then you'll do fine with this jig.
The manual is extensive, but that's not to say complicated. The jig itself
has a lot of versatility, so that lends to varied instructions depending on
what you are trying to do. For making simple through dovetails or
half-blinds, it is VERY easy (IMNSHO).
I recently bought the finger joint attachment and have used that a few times
now, too. Not inexpensive, but it has the same type of flexibility that
I've come to appreciate from the D4 and so I felt good about the purchase.
If you've seen it in person, then you have the best perspective on how
satisfied you will be with it. I highly recommend it.
The Leigh D4 is a top notch tool for production dovetail cutting in a small
shop. Its versatility makes it a bit difficult to fully master without
frequent reference to the excellent manual. However, if you can read, and
particularly if you finished your basic education prior to 1972, you should
have little trouble using it for the most complicated tasks.
Actually got the idea from an old time cabinet/furniture maker in England
back in the early 60's, who called them "saddles". Definitely a handy, but
frequently overlooked by most, aid to a myriad of tasks ... and a great use
for plywood scraps.
I have a D4. It took few hours to read the manual (comprhensive), watch
the video and set it up.
Dovetails in no time. Made a few mistakes (who doesn't) but nice neat
tight joints. Great quality. Very happy.
BTW if you want to do M&T joint the FMT is awesome.
Thanks for all the replies! I really appreciate all the honesty here, it
doesn't always come out in magazine reviews. I am sure of the post stating I
would be alright if I completed my basic education before 1972. Does it
deteriorate real quickly after that? I graduated from college (Industrial
Education major) in 1983. Will that help bring me back into the fold? LOL
Have a good day!
I have the D4 and I'm very happy with it. It's definitly in the cry
once category: expensive, but worth the price. I think it's biggest
strength is in mass production. You'll be making a lot of drawers for
teh cabinets, this will let you cut all of the dovetails in an
afternoon, complete with hand cut looking variable spacing. The only
two downsides for me are that ther thinest pin isn't that thin. Also,
I have a hard time remembering which way the boards should face. I
have to really think about what I'm doing. They're just nitpicks
though. Make sure you have a good router with good concentricity. I
use the small porter cable now and it works great. I had a ryobi
before and got poor results. The dust collector is only so-so.
firstname.lastname@example.org (ToolMiser) wrote in message
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