ok so bartee lamar asked for a review of the leigh D4R dovetail jig , and what i thought it after my first time using it. so here goes nothing
1. i have no affiliation with any company or product line, i am going to call it like i see it
2. i think the leigh D4R is probably the best and most versatile jig on the market today....i did alot of homework before i decided on the this one .
3. it has the best owner and user guide of any tool or piece of equipment i have ever seen anywhere...if it aint in there, you just don't need to know
4. this jig does have a pretty good learning curve , take your time , watch the dvd (i did twice ) and read the book cover to cover .
5. for my first time out i broke one of the cardinal rules. and probably will again . they are very explicit about telling you not to rout at face level for obvious reasons. this things throws lotsa sawdust and chips .....i wore a pair of safety glasses and a full face shield. i routed at face level because i didn't want to goof and go in between the fingers where your not supposed to rout . again practice will overcome this naughty behavior of mine . they are also nice enough to include two 24" sections of bridge material to put in the slots where you are not supposed to go. save the pieces you will use them again and again .
5a. don't pull the router off the finger template until it stops spinning completely (DAMHIKT)
6. to take care of this little dilema untill you get used to it or to make things easier, i would suggest a raised box or bench to clamp the jig to so its at a more work friendly height.
the book also makes this suggestion, but i still think i thought of it first
7. your stock has to be straight, flat , and square ! my tablesaw blade is 8 thousanths out of square with the miter slot , it doesn't seem like much but it did make a diffrence (guess what i am doing soon )
8. for through DT's you rout tails first and then flip the finger guide to do the pins. the pins is where all the adjustment for fit is done . and the people at leigh really nailed it for this . you can adjust pin size by as little as one and a quarter thousanths of an inch ! think you can sneek up on the right fit with that kind of adjustment
8a. i know alot of people have two routers or more to save time with bit changes and setups . if they are not perfectly concentric this will cause you more problems than the time you saved by not changing bits ........dont say i didn't warn you
9. overall i am very happy with my first attempt , this is what i came up with at the end of the day ..... and this morning i finished them off with bottoms .....
10. next time i get some shop time maybe i will add more to this post or do another one for half blinds and sliding dovetails . also if you want to go that far , there are more templates for this jig .....alot of people forget about the isoloc and other patterns they have that work on this same principle. worth the money ?? i don't know ......but it sure is a fine way to add some more details to your work so everyone knows it definetly wasn't made in a factory
11. i hope this helps, if i left anything out please just ask and i will try to answer soonest, thanks for looking grizzly