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Thread: Tool review-PC 4212 dovetail jig

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Michigan
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    2,434

    Tool review-PC 4212 dovetail jig

    Fine Woodworking recently ran a test on 15 dovetail jigs in their issue #187.

    I can't improve on their report which they gave high praises for this jig, but I thought I could give my expierience using it.

    First I am not a person who can read a book or instructions and understand it completely right from there (other than house blueprints). I am the type of person that if I am shown how to do something I can pretty much keep it in the memory bank forever....So I asked friend, neighbor and fellow FW member Keith July if he'd mind helping me go through the procedure on how to make this jig work. Thankfully he was available to help me out.

    In the FWW article it says the instruction manual could be better, I agree but once you get through it it is very easy, fast and simple.

    The one thing I didn't understand at first was the reason for a scrap piece...then I could see you want it to keep from tearout while making the joints. The jig has a built in guage to adjust router depth which was a great feature. The only fault of mine was that it was shipped with two router template guides of the same size, which for me was a easy fix. One phone call and a quick 15 minute drive to Johnsons workbench where my wife bought the jig and I was back in business.

    I have a router dedicated to each bit, but it is so easy to set this up that you wouldn't need two routers....I got em for Christmas presents so I'll probably keep them as dedicated dovetail jig routers. I am also going to use a extra base cabinet I have to fix the jig permanently to and use the drawers to keep necesary items for this process.

    Like I said it is quick, easy, and simple and once I got it in my head on how to set things up it was a breeze to start making dovetails of which I am well satisfied with the results.
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southern Louisiana
    Posts
    947
    thanks for posting this steve, i have had this jig for 6 months and regretfully have not had time to even give it a try. just been to busy. but i do plan to use it very soon. i think the dedicated router idea is the way i'd like to go. especially since the PC's are fairly cheap right now.

    glad you like it and glad to know it's an easy learning curve.

    thanks
    chris

  3. #3
    Steve Clardy Guest
    Mines 6 months old or so.
    Just about have it down pat.

    I use premade maple ply drawer side material, so I had some tearout issues right off the bat.

    I tape my joint on the drawer side. It almost elimanted the tearout issues, but not quite.
    I also found I have to climb cut, which helps with tearout.
    Before I was climb cutting, then going back to clean it up. Wrong.
    That makes a loose joint. Just do the climb cut, making sure to stay on the guide with the router insert collar.
    I too use a dedicated router. Soon I will switch the base to a D base, but not now. Too many cab drawers to do
    Overall I too think its a great jig.
    I think they kind of cheaped out on the support brackets for the templates though. Could be heavier made.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC
    Posts
    292
    I agree on the brackets. Could be heavier, they have a bit more flex than I would like. All in all it is a decent jig IMO. I bought it for quick and dirty dovetails, as I haven't learned to handcut them yet, and sometimes my Leigh is a hassle.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,434
    .....but with the scrap piece in place to minimize tearout it also serves to support the template, how does the support brackets come into play once the knobs are tightened and the scrap piece is in place?
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  6. #6
    Steve Clardy Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ash View Post
    .....but with the scrap piece in place to minimize tearout it also serves to support the template, how does the support brackets come into play once the knobs are tightened and the scrap piece is in place?
    My thinking, for long term use, seems they would be somewhat thicker.

    When I install the drawer side, if you put too much pressure upward, you can actually flex the template up. Course that would mean the template could be thicker also, or supported differently

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ill.
    Posts
    57
    Thanks, Steve. Good report on a great jig!!!

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