Hi all, I bought this jig a while back and used it a few times for half blind dovetails. This was for a bunch of utility drawers for a shop cabinet.
So yesterday my son wanted to build some kitchen drawers, it's complicated, but we are building a few temporary drawers to replace broken drawers as a practice run for using better wood. So some simple pine drawers was the idea. Decided to just use the 3/4" run of the mill stock for the drawer parts. We weren't concerned with precision fit and decided to use the full 3/4" thickness so the drawers would be strong and not fall apart like the existing drawers had. Figured a through dovetail would be nice.
So yesterday I spent several hours trying to understand the supplied instruction manual for the Poor-ter Cable dovetail jig. Now the jig comes looking well made. Having been an engineer, I am nearly certain that an engineer wrote the instruction manual. Now I am not slandering all engineers, after all not all of us are verbally challenged and speak in nonsensical complicated language designed to confuse or obfuscate. What I attempted to do was read and follow the instructions. None of the attempted practice joints were successful. It wasn't until I went to bed and allowed my frustration to subside, that the rational practical side of my brain was allowed to work. It went something like this "hey you dummy, how are you going to make a 3/4" through dovetail using a cutter designed for 1/2" " In other words, if my thinking is correct, a 1/2" dovetail bit only has an angled, dovetail shaped cut, of around 5/8" deep. This means that the tails won't be deep enough for 3/4" thick wood utilizing through dovetails.
Is my thinking correct? ..........So admitting my ignorance in the world of dovetails, I must say that there are glaring omissions in the supplied instructions. For instance it might have been handy to state that there is a maximum thickness of wood that can be through dovetailed. Probably an obvious bit of knowledge to you dovetail experts.
Someday when I get a my woodworking bench built, I will learn how to hand cut dovetails so this won't be an issue.
I will also add that I taught people how to MIG weld, and as a teacher, one of the most valuable skills to have is not a P.h.d. in welding, but being able understand what the STUDENT needs to understand so they can learn.
Lastly, I may have been a bit harsh with Porter Cable, but I do have several of their tools and like the quality.