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Thread: Dovetain jigs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Dovetain jigs

    I never thought I would but I am giving some serious consideration to the Leigh or Akeda dove tail jig. I have worked on handcut dovetails and gotten decent at it. Problem is I forget what I learned since I rarely do them. So I am thinking that maybe a Leigh wouldn't be a bad option. They are mighty pricey so I was hoping someone had some experience with one and could tell me about it.

    Jeff
    Not cheap but defiantly frugal!
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    I've had my Leigh for about ten years. Great tool. Very versatile - just like the advertising/hype says it is. Not nearly as hard to use as you've probably heard. If you can read the instruction book, you can use the jig. You'll get good results first time, everytime.

    In case I was too ambivalent, let me clarify: I Like It!
    Jim D.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC
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    292
    I have had a Leigh D4 24" for almost 15 years now. It is a flexible machine. Down side to it is for half blind dovetails you have to cut the pins and tails seperately which slows you down. I did buy a PC 4212 a while back, and although it does a good job, it doesn't compare to having the flexibility. I will only use it where the joints won't show up much. The cost of a Leigh is a lot to swallow, but I can sincerely say I would buy it again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    I agree with everything Travis and Jim say, however I still have to get the book down and read through it every time I use the jig.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Do any of you have a dedicated router for the jig? I have one I never use and could let it setup if that was an advantage. I have read that getting the bit depth right was a pain on most of them.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  6. #6
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    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northville, MI
    Posts
    507
    I have had the jig for several years and really like it. Since I don't use it on a regular basis I always have to refer back to the manual. Since I don't use it that often I can't justify having a dedicated router for it.
    Jim

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Do any of you have a dedicated router for the jig? I have one I never use and could let it setup if that was an advantage. I have read that getting the bit depth right was a pain on most of them.
    With the Leigh, you'll need two separate bits (unless you're cutting half-blind DTs), so if you want dedicated routers, you'll need two of them. I have several routers, so I usually use two, with the DT bit in one, and the straight bit in the other. It's not necessary, though. Once you set the bit height, you vary the pin size (fit) by adjusting the carraige on the jig.
    Jim D.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2006
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    Wake Forest, NC
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    I too have to get the book out every single time. I do make notes of bit settings to make it easier. I do not have a dedicated router for it. When doing through dovetails I use two routers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Zushi, Japan
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    I also have the Leigh D4 24 and find it to be a good DT jig. To be honest it's the only DT jig I've owned but do like it for its ease of use and flexibility. One thing about the flexibility is there are also several templates available allowing Isoloc, finger joints and mortice and tenon joints. I just purchased the mortice and tenon template but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Thanks for the input. I sort of expected to hear good things on this jig. At that price it should be good! I am surprised to learn that you need two bits. I haven't seen any details on how it works but I have a hard time seeing how you use a straight bit to cut dovetails. Of course I have not looked at the info on the jig either. But I will before I pop that kind of change on one!

    Thanks again
    Jeff
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

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