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Can anyone recommend a good quality dovetail jig

Discussion in 'Tools and Materials' started by Yukster, 1 Jan 2019.

  1. Yukster

    Yukster

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    I'm a woodworking hobbyist. I'd like to build some boxes with dovetail joints. I would be grateful for your recommendation for a jig that is good quality and easy to to setup to get accurate results. Thanks for your advice!
     
  2. EddieM

    EddieM

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    Again from what I have read only, Leigh jigs *seem* to have a good online i.e. I read it reputation, maybe others will have a more practical and authorative view.
     
  3. Notch7

    Notch7

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  4. Yukster

    Yukster

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    Thanks Notch7. Would this jig work with any router, such as my Makita RP2301FCXK/2 plunge router?
     
  5. Notch7

    Notch7

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    The jig comes with the guide bushes that go on dewalt type routers. If they dont fit on the makita, you might need a uni base
     
  6. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Note: the trend jig is a fixed spaced jig.

    The Leigh is variable, its a super quality jig, but price and complexity reflects that.
     
  7. Yukster

    Yukster

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    The Leigh jig is woodworking 'porn' but probably exceeds my needs.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jan 2019
  8. Yukster

    Yukster

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    Good to know. I'll check with the supplier
     
  9. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    As does the extended set-up time
     
  10. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Rather than a Unibase, which is a really big clunky thing, an alternative is the Makita adaptor ring designed to take Porter-Cable type guide bushes. The standard guide bush on the Trend is 15.8mm and there should be an equivalent available (5/8in?) in Porter-Cable guide bushes which fit straight into the adaptor
     
  11. Yukster

    Yukster

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    I can cut a half-blind dovetail joint with this Jig, but if i increase the router depth, e.g., the width of the timber i am using i can cut it so that the dovetails are seen from both sides, is that right?
     
    Last edited: 2 Jan 2019
  12. Yukster

    Yukster

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    Thanks JobandKnock. Any chance you could post a link to the Makita adaptor ring designed to take Porter-Cable type guide bushes? I had a look but a few different parts came up in my search and i am not sure which is the right part
     
  13. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    In no particular order, there's the Leigh 721 guide bush adaptor (this works with the Leigh dovetail jig guide bushes, but as they are P-C guide bush compatible they will work - and for anyone wanting to use P-C style guide bushes with any sort of router Leigh actually make quite a range of router adaptors):
    Leigh 721 Guide Bush Adaptor 001_01.jpg
    Another source is the Makita guide bush adaptor (part number 321492-3):
    Makita 321492-3 P-C Guide Bush Adaptor 001_01.JPG
    For anyone reading this at a future date, I got mine from Terrier Tools. Another source is to buy a low-cost Silverline Imperial guide bush set, such as this one:
    Silverline P-C Imperial Guide Bush Set with Makita Adaptor 001_01.jpg
    These sets include a brass version of the adaptor (that's the big ring thingy with four holes in it). It should be noted that this adaptor ring also works in the plunge base for the Makita RT0700/DRT50 and Katsu trim routers (which is why I know of its' existence)

    Another approach is to get a 3D Quality Products adaptor off ebay which allows you to mount a standard Trend/deWalt/Elu 60mm diameter guide bush (as supplied with the Trend dovetail jig) directly to the bottom of a big Makita router.
    3D Makita 3621 Guide Bush Adaptor to Take Elu_Trend Guide Bushes 001_01.jpg
    They also make adaptors to use the Trend/DW/Elu guide bushes on other routers including Hitachi, Ryobi, Erbauer, deWalt DW621/622/Makita 1100, etc that nobody else does. This is a small British business and I can thoroughly recommend their products.

    BTW I find the guide bushes available for the big Makita routers to be measly. For anyone who has already purchased the P-C guide bush adaptor for their "big Mak" but who wants an extended set of metric guide bushes, Axminster sell a very nice set:
    UJK P-C Guide Bush Set 001_01.jpg
    I have a set of these and they are well made. If all you are looking for is guide bushes to use with (mainly Trend) router jigs, these are normally just 16mm (hinge) or 30mm (worktop/lock) sizes and Trend make both those sizes as the GB/US/160 and GB/US/30 respectively. They also do a specialised 16.7mm guide bush, the GB/US/167, which is used instead of the standard 16mm one when a 12.7mm (1/2in) cutter is used instead of the 12mm normally required with the hinge jig (1/2in cutters being a lot easier to source, and often cheaper, than 12mm ones)

    For anyone who's never used guide bushes before I'd like to point out that it will be necessary to check the guide bush for centring on the router collet. If your guide bush isn't concentric with the collet then you'll have all sorts of issues getting a dovetail joint to fit. One readily available centring mandrel is the Festool 492187:
    Festool 492187 Centring Mandrel 001_01.jpg
    Beware, though, that mandrel requires either a 1/4in or 8mm collet to use.
     
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  14. Yukster

    Yukster

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    Trend customer service confirmed that their guide bush wont fir my router. In relation to the Porter Cable style bushes with an adaptor they wrote:

    "As for the Porter Cable style bushes, if they are sitting flush with the base of the router, so enough of the bush is protruding to make good contact with the fingers on the jig template, then yes it should work.
    Unfortunately having not tested this with the jig itself I can not say for sure that it will".

    Has anyone here try this and know if this will work? If I cant find out or it doesn't work, what alternative equivalent jig would you recommend? Axminster recommended this jig https://www.axminster.co.uk/ujk-technology-dovetail-jig-506300 made by them but the one review on their website isn't too complementary.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!
     
    Last edited: 5 Jan 2019
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