Anyone have the Rocker dovetail jig? How does it work -- honestly?
I understand that most dovetail jigs (lower-end, sub $150) are such a
pain to use that most don't get used.
Also considering the newer Porter-Cable 4212 I believe it is called.
I'm not doing any volume -- should I just learn to handcut dovetails
and be done with it?
I was faced with a similar decision and I decided to try doing them
mostly by hand. I've gotten to the point where I am not going to buy
a cheap power tool or power tool accessory again, especially if I can
get a good quality hand tool to accomplish the same thing for less
money. I don't make that many drawers or other things that require a
dovetail and I can't afford the leigh, so by hand it was.
I got Frank Klausz "Dovetail a Drawer" dvd, watched it, picked my jaw
up off the floor and watched it again. I substituted the band saw for
the hand saw, but chiseled out the waste. I figure eliminate my
cutting ability from the equation at first, perhaps after a few I'll
try it with a hand saw and see how it goes.
I literally just walked out of the shop with the first drawer in
clamps as I type this. I screwed it up the first time, I stopped for
lunch in the middle and when I came back I started cutting before
engaging my brain and cut on the wrong side of the line doing the
tails. I realized as I was picking up the second side. Oops. So now
my drawer is 1.5" shorter than it coulda been. So the one thing I'd
suggest in addition to what Frank tells you is mark the waste areas
with big X's so you don't screw up like me. After that for a first
attempt it went together pretty well, good enough to go in my
I would definitely recommend trying it, and the video will be helpful
even if you end up doing it with a router, I learned quite a bit.
There's also something terribly satisfying about hearing the sound of
the chisel change as the waste breaks free, and I normally groan when
I hear the neanders going about the wood talking to them and whatnot.
Very satisfying experience.
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