On Wednesday, January 29, 2014 6:29:21 PM UTC-6, Swingman wrote:
I remember my delight when I saw the drawers in the formal dining room's bu
ffet. I expected... well... I don't know what I expected but I didn't expe
ct to see the drawers rabbeted together. I have been using that joint for
years, but was a little embarrassed by it since it seems everyone "knocks o
ut" their full and half blind dovetails perfectly in unlimited numbers on a
n as needed basis. I was pleased as punch to see a professional of your cal
iber use that joint.
I started using that when we were building cabinets on the job back in the
70s as that was the way I was shown/trained. We had a table saw on the job
that did everything we needed if we were working out of town, if not, the
guy I worked for had a wood shop in the back of his warehouse where we woul
Rabbets were easy on the tablesaw. And at that time half lap doors were th
e rage as folks wanted that smooth look, so no panel type doors. For a fan
cy job, we would put beading in a frame pattern inside the perimeter of the
door face, painstakingly cut on a monstrous hand powered miter saw.
I tried out a giant 24" Rockwell jig that a cabinet shop had and loved it.
I waited a couple years after I opened my biz and bought the 12" and never
could get the half blind joints to be completely repeatable without a lot
of fuss. No doubt 1/4 shank steel bits, and smaller routers had something
to do with it. So, after watching a guy at a woodworking show (remember th
ose?) make rabbet joints with his router, a light bulb went on and I starte
d doing that again. This time I made the joints with a router, not a table
So drawers became a no brainer. I used a router bit to groove the drawer f
ace, sides and back for its plywood bottom, a router bit to cut a rabbet in
to the rear of the drawer to inset the back, and a the router again to cut
he locking rabbet on the face. Now the table saw could stay back at the sh
op! I took the properly width dimensioned wood/plywood with me to the job
and I could set up on site and work there. If it was one of my jobs as a G
C, then this was outstanding as I could work on site and keep an eye on the
job at the same time.
I even used that joint in a sets of super heavy duty drawers that were goin
g to be carrying about 50+ pounds of stuff in them at all times. Think of
pan drawers carrying the cast iron dutch oven, Pyrex, cast iron skillets, e
tc., or all the hammers and crap in a garage shop. The pounds add up fast.
And to add to add 500% strength to that joint is easy. 30 mintue epoxy and
few 18 ga. brads and it is unbreakable. Literally. For the record I have
never seen one of my locking rabbets fail when it was just glued with white
glue (go back to the 70s when we used Elmer's White <CONSTRUCTION> grade g
lue!)or any kind of yellow glue with no mechanical fasteners. The oldest o
ne in use is that I know of is about 37 years old!
I like a good dovetail myself and appreciate what goes into them whether th
ey are hand cut or machined. But since I don't do any of it for fun anymor
e I go for speed, dash and accuracy.
Karl - looked for the video and couldn't find it. Could you post a link?
On 1/30/2014 1:12 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I've never had one fail either; and for a decorative touch, and in lieu
of a brad for more strength, I've used 1/8" copper rod, or a contrasting
wood, to pin them with.
Here you go. Not much to it ... just a rough screen capture/SU version
of the steps, in the correct order.
Often in the past didn't do a locking rabbet drawers enough to trust my
memory on my preferred order on the TS since the last time I did a
batch. Basically just wanted something I could use to refresh my memory,
or explain to someone else, away from the shop using a smart phone or iPad.
I happened to learn to my dismay today that Rockler has replaced the jig I
have (it is blue if you happen to know it) with a new an improved model but
they no longer have any spare parts for the old jig. Since the old jig was
kind of shakey in a couple of areas I may be in the market for a new
dovetail jig at somepoint anyway. I saw your reference to the PC 4210. I had
thought that when I need to get a new jig I would get that one (4212
actually as you can do half blind and full dove tails with that one). I
would be interested in knowing why you don't like that one. BTW, I am the
original poster of this topic.
I think mine is the 4212. It's a very nice jig.....BUT
When I got mine, I followed the instructions to the letter
and could not get a half blind dovetail to save my rear end.
I spent an entire Saturday chewing up plywood and gave up on
that and went to 3/4" white pine. I planed that down to 1/2"
and had perfectly flat and square material.
I "finally" got a "fair"
joint but not what I would call perfect.
I made a visit to my tool vendor and told them my story.
They laughed and told me that the bit provided by PC was
out of spec and I needed to buy a real bit made by Freud
to get the "perfect" results.
They did get better but the jig required a LOT more setting
up to get the desired results.
It's just not worth it to me to have to fight my own tools
to get the results I want. I stick with the locking rabbet
for the future.
I can always do thru dovetails if I really want to go to
Your results may be entirely different.
The problem was the bit was .0002 off in size and that greatly affected
the end result. That's what you get using cheaply produced bits from
China. PC later switched suppliers and the problem went away.
I suspect my jig just had the bad luck of getting one of the bad
I contacted PC about the problem and they sent me 2 new bits but
never mentioned the fact about wrong sized bits being a issue.
I was finally able to produce half blind dovetails but with a
great deal of "readjusting"....
I'm not going to doubt that you had bit problems, I have heard the same
BUT I would suspect that every bit manufactured would be out by at least
by two ten thousandths.
I suspect that in addition to the bit there has to be another problem as
you indicated that a replacement bit did not totally solve the problem.
Either way, I'm with you, blind DT's are a PIA.
Thanks for the detailed reply Pat. I know the Leigh jig is supposed to be
the best but it is too much money for my taste. Thanks again too for posting
the sketchup video of your process for making the locking rabbet joints. 12
years ago before I started doing any woodworking I had a professional
cabinet maker do a builtin for our new house. The locking rabbet joint is
what he used. I have always wondered how he got that perfect fit. Now I
If I had to chose between my Leigh D4 and my Akeda DC16, I believe I
would take the Akeda for half blind dovetails for the consistency
between the _first and last part cut_.
What always bothered me about the Leigh is that about half way through a
production run of say 40 drawer sides with half blinds dovetail, the fit
would start to suffer. No matter how consistent and careful you were in
using the router, somehow, somewhere, the carefully aligned setup would
go South enough to throw the fit off.
That does not engender confidence in your equipment when running
carefully dimensioned, expensive stock through the process.
And, the Akeda is a tad bit easier to setup, although the documentation
is not nearly as illuminating as the Leigh's instruction manual.
Start and scroll to the right the next three photos (that is if Google,
in their infinite wisdom in knowing better than I want I want to
accomplish, doesn't redirect you to a Miley Cyrus twerk).
Biggest problem with the Akeda is, and last time I checked, that the
company for all practical purposes has gone out of business, although
you could/can still buy needed parts.
And, speaking of dust, another thing I like about the Akeda ... that
photo was taken during routing ... note the absence of dust.
Hooked up to the Festool C22E, you can hardly tell you've cut a set of
dovetails _with a router_.
Selling the rights does not guarantee continuation.
I have watched many companies buy the rights to produce, and then can
the product. They just want to eliminate the competition. Smart or
asshole companies whichever way you think about it, try to negotiate a
royalty, because they know they will not produce it. Then they get it
for practically nothing. A company wanting to sell has to include a
guarantee in there contract that the company markets and produces it to
a certain level to protect their interests or not do the royalty type of
I think I acquired the same blue jig off someone from Craig's list a couple
years back. I'm still very much a rookie but practicing as much as I can. I've
spent a lot of time working with this jig, but unfortunately it didn't come with
a manual. I looked online but am only able to find instructions for the grey
model which seems to have a different scale/setup than the blue one. Most
problematic, I can't find any definitive advice on where to set the template
fingers so I know I'll get the proper cut depth without a lot of trial and
error. The adjustment I'm referring to is the two bolts on the very back of the
machine that let you slide the plastic template forward and back. Also having
problems keeping the template parallel to the work piece. Do you happen to have
any setup instructions or advice on that? Thanks!
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