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  • dovetail jig

    oh Boy! I'm excited.....
    I ordered the porter cable 4216 dovetail jig "kit"
    This is essentially the model 4212 dovetail jig with the 4215 miniature dovetail guide. Doing it this way saved me about 25 dollars.
    I found the best price at tools-plus.

    My first dealing with the jig will be with 3/4" mdf I will be building a large woofer enclosure for a home theater system for my son.

    At first I thought dovetail joints were magic and I admit to being intimidated, but after watching the videos on the porter cable website I'm eager to get started. This step will move me up the woodworker food chain ladder!

    Does anyone have any tips or secrets regarding the use of a dovetail jig?

    Oh, I have a dewalt DW621 router and it offers plenty of power for this operation.

    Cactus Man

  • #2
    Re: dovetail jig

    You're going have a fun time with the new jig, I got the smaller one 4210
    by Porter Cable, saw the videos too, will try it out in a week, let us know how you're doing with it. I'm using a Dewalt 618 router.
    Last edited by jaco; 01-26-2007, 09:31 PM. Reason: spelling snafu

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    • #3
      Re: dovetail jig

      I don't know about MDF, but with wood you can get a good bit of tear-out on the back side. See if you can put a backer piece behind your workpiece. A good project to start with is to make a box for the jig!
      I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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      • #4
        Re: dovetail jig

        make sure you wear a respirator or mask - machining MDF creates a fog of dust and chips

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        • #5
          Re: dovetail jig..it has arrived

          hi group....

          well the Porter Cable 4216 dovetail jig is here.
          It's essentially the 4212 with the extra templates and bits

          I'm using a dewalt 621 router and have done some test cuts..there is an obvious learning curve.

          My third try is indeed much better than my first. More trials before getting serious!

          I notice though, that my router is scratching the template..Porter Cable has laser etched settings and information on the template. I looked at a plastic bottom but that may also scratch. Aside from using blue painter's tape what am I missing to reduce the scratching as I slide the router in and out?

          Cactus Man

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          • #6
            Re: dovetail jig

            Get a new base for the router. Then wax it. That might help to reduce the scratching? I've been thinking about the same for my plunge router. Original base is getting pretty icky-looking.
            I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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            • #7
              Re: dovetail jig

              I have used my Porter Cable dovetail jig to make well over 100 drawers both with the standard and miniature template - 25 for our kitchen alone. The issue of tearout is more serious if you make drawer sides from any kind of plywood including Baltic Birch. Backer boards help a lot. Repair of tearout is exceptionally easy with wood. Just cut some small "V" slices of wood, apply glue and push them into the tearout and sand them smooth. The repair will be virtually invisible. When machining plywood I cut my pins a little long. That way if some tearout occurs I can sometimes sand it down. Don't be afraid to use wood filler after machining plywood. If anyone asks about the different color the filler imparts to the finish tell them that "... different color woods and how they react with the glue used to manufacture the plywood is just the nature of plywood." This works exceptionally well when the dovetails are loose. Just fill them and sand them smooth. Also if you are experiencing tearout try climbcutting and moving your router a little more slowly. This has worked for me. For some reason climbcutting also seems to result in a tighter joint. That technique is listed in my manual for making boxjoints tighter.

              I have waxed my router base and the template and that seems to help with ease of sliding the router along the template but it doesn't seem to do much to eliminate the scratching issue. I don't know why. But, after all those drawers, the template is in excellent condition; still very readable.

              Also I was told by Woodcraft that Porter Cable no longer makes the specialty bit needed for the jig. A replacement bit is made by Whiteside Part ID# D7-531, Woodcraft # 146433. I plan to use my new bit today. Even though the first one has lasted through all those drawers and is still going strong.

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              • #8
                Re: dovetail jig update from Cactus Man

                I installed some of that slick plastic stuff on the base of my Dewalt DW621 router.
                The stuff is called "slick strip".
                www.eagleamerica.com
                item# 400-1158 or 400-1159
                it runs 5.99 for 3/4x9' or 3"x10 1/2' 19.99

                Of course it's available at other places too, this is only for reference.

                After cleaning the base and cutting it to fit the router now slides across the aluminum templates without scratching.

                I hope this helps others.

                Cactus Man

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                • #9
                  Re: dovetail jig

                  I have the Ridgid combo router set and am considering buying the PC 4216 dovetail jig. Has anyone here used this pair together? Any problem or concerns to be aware of? Would appreciate any advice.

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