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  • Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

    I'm interested in making dovetail joints, but I'm not interested in spending $200-$400 for a jig to do it. (The Leigh D4 jig costs $480, and Rockler is sold out?!? Wow.) And it looks to me like the jigs are restricted to style (blind, half blind, or through) and/or dovetail size, so more accessories are required after the initial cost. That's a significant investment.

    I don't mind spending money on a good product, unless I can make something of similar quality myself. Dovetail jig templates themselves don't look like they'd be that difficult to make, but I haven't tried yet, and I can't find much info on the net about making them. Has anyone [successfully] made their own dovetail jig? The Template Master from Stots, if it performs as advertised, would be useful. Has anyone used that gizmo?

    - djb
    sigpic

    A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

    Restore the Republic.

  • #2
    Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

    A shame the Rockler is sold out, I got mine there for $120 for blind, half-blind, and through jigs

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

      djb,

      Check out the forum "Whats new in Power Tools" post "are you interested". Garager found an excellent deal on Amazon for a Porter Cable router and dove tail jig. Per his last e-mail, he was able to get the rebate too.
      If at first you don't succeed, try reading the owners manual.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

        I've seen them before for routers......just don't remember where. You might just try a search for router dovetail jigs and see what pops up.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

          my dad has the rockler dove tail jig that he wants to sell Still in the box never used. he recieved an other one for christmass and so wants to sell this one. If you are intrested I can ask him how much he wants for it. here is the link to the one he has.......


          http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=16384
          American by birth. Canadian at heart.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

            Click on the link below not the best deal right now, but if you try to follow your favorite tools, eventualy it shows up as a super deal, patients. Its still 39% off I believe.









            http://www.amazon.com/Porter-Cable-4...6?ie=UTF8&s=hi
            Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

            http://www.contractorspub.com

            A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

              I'm leaning toward the Stots Template Master. For 40 bucks it is certainly the cheapest investment available to make dovetail joints, but it also appears to be the most versatile. Routing can be done on a router table, for example. And there's no limit to the size of stock that can be dovetailed. I found a few reviews of the TM, all with positive comments about its accuracy and versatility. Check out this guy who put dovetail joints on a blanket box over 22" wide.

              - djb
              sigpic

              A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

              Restore the Republic.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

                Theres many different kinds of set ups for joints, everyone of them will do a good or a great job. There's no disputing that, my thoughts about it is the time consuming it takes to do the job and how many stiles of jigs you need to make and the area of space the jigs take up. I love to make jigs, but I am also running out of space. But my biggest issue (for me) is the time it takes to do things. Now if money is the issue, you have to improvise and that method your showing seems to do a very nice job, so go for it and let us know how it goes for you, djb. A table saw make great joints too, I've done quite a few myself.
                Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                http://www.contractorspub.com

                A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

                  Originally posted by garager View Post
                  ...my thoughts about it is the time consuming it takes to do the job and how many stiles of jigs you need to make and the area of space the jigs take up...if money is the issue, you have to improvise and that method your showing seems to do a very nice job, so go for it and let us know how it goes for you...
                  Time: The time I spend woodworking is my leisure time. It's a hobby for me, not an occupation, so I get the same satisfaction spending time making my own jigs or router table as I do making a piece of furniture.

                  Space: Like a lot of folks, my "shop" is my garage, so space is a premium. But I have an attic I can store jigs in.

                  Money: I don't mind spending money on a good product, unless I can make something of similar quality myself.

                  So it looks like (Time + Space + Money) = Template Master

                  It may be a while before I actually get it and make any dovetails, but I'll post a review here when I do.
                  Thanks for everyone's comments.

                  - djb

                  PS - Can you cut dovetails on a table saw?
                  sigpic

                  A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

                  Restore the Republic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

                    Just another 2-cents in favor of the Rockler dovetail jig. They had it on sale a little while back for the combo kit (Through and half-blind templates) for $99.99. The nice thing with this jig set is that it includes both the router bit and the guide bushing. They just came out with an additional attachment which retrofits on their jig to help with dust collection. I scooped that up as soon as it came out since each time I've made some drawers I had a huge mess to sweep up. ;-)

                    If you're not in a huge hurry, I'd give it serious consideration. Through & half blind templates, bit, bushing, and dust collection attachment for less than $200 total. If they put 'em on sale at the price I got, the whole kit for $150 (plus tax & SH). The only thing I'd caution about is that their new included bit has an 8mm shank, so you have to use a 1/2" router and their included collet adapter. When I got mine it had a 1/4" shank, so I can use either of my routers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

                      PS - Can you cut dovetails on a table saw?
                      My bad, I was thinking of finger joints with that one, sorry about that.
                      Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                      http://www.contractorspub.com

                      A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

                        This post has been an interesting one to read. Like others here, I was considering the purchase of a jig - HOWEVER - I already own a Kreg Pocket Hole kit and a Porter-Cable Jointer (Biscuit Cutter) (Joiner? I never get that right) In addition to using these two tools, I have made many other strong joints for building drawers using mechanical fasteners and/or just glue.

                        All this being said, other than the obvious visual appeal and strength of dovetail joints, what's all the fuss?

                        People are mentioning time and money and I'm wondering if dovetail joints are truly that "special".

                        Looking forward to responses...

                        Skip
                        Stay well and play well.
                        Skip

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

                          Originally posted by skipsax View Post
                          This post has been an interesting one to read. Like others here, I was considering the purchase of a jig - HOWEVER - I already own a Kreg Pocket Hole kit and a Porter-Cable Jointer (Biscuit Cutter) (Joiner? I never get that right) In addition to using these two tools, I have made many other strong joints for building drawers using mechanical fasteners and/or just glue.

                          All this being said, other than the obvious visual appeal and strength of dovetail joints, what's all the fuss?

                          People are mentioning time and money and I'm wondering if dovetail joints are truly that "special".

                          Looking forward to responses...

                          Skip
                          Skip I think dovetails speak of your wood working prowness. Properly done dovetails add interest and beauty to most projects. They also display your expertise and skill. This along with their strength sends a message to all that view your work that you have accomplished a major milestone in woodworking.

                          I see little point in going to the work of making dovetails where they won't be seen and yes your right there are many other ways to make joints and to attach two pieces of wood together.

                          Dovetails come in many sizes and shapes, first are the template made dovetails. In some cases these are loosely cut and production based.

                          Then there are the machine cut dovetails using a template or dovetail jig

                          The next step up is craftsmans machine cut dovetails done by bandsaws and chisels following hand laid out shapes.

                          At the top is the varied spaced hand cut, finely fitted dovetails in contrasting woods used more as decoration rather than just a method to join wood together.
                          Rev Ed

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

                            The bottom line is this: a gadget is worth what someone will pay for it. Determining if it's worth the cost depends on who's doing the determining.

                            For me, whether it's an automobile, power tools, whatever, I look at the cost:value ratio. I'm pretty tight with my money (I like to call it frugal ), so I always consider if the value I get out will be at least equal to (or greater than) the cost I put in. But if I've never owned or used a gadget before, there's no way for me to estimate the value of it. In these cases I usually try to ease in at the low end of the cost range and go from there. (I fully understand how "cheap" tools are often poor examples of what a decent tool could do, so I consider that as well. I bought a $500 TS3650 instead of a $2,500 cabinet saw, but I didn't end up with a "cheap" saw.) And if I can make the gadget myself that will work just as well for less money, I'll do it.

                            A router table, for example. I could spend hundreds of dollars for a manufactured router table, or I could make one myself for 40 bucks. So I made a $40 table, and after the experience of building and using it I will either (a) like it and keep it, (b) learn from building it and make another one that is better, or (c) realize I can't build one as good as a manufactured table and invest in one. That doesn't mean the Bench Dog Pro Max router table isn't worth $300+, but it does mean it isn't worth it to me. At least not right now.

                            It's the same deal with this dovetail thing. There's no question that dovetail joints are aesthetically pleasing, and I'd like to add some interest and beauty to my wood projects. There are all kinds of gadgets that someone wants to sell me that will make dovetailing easier, but at what cost? And what value would these gadgets be to me?

                            If I sound crass in some of my previous emails, I mean no harm. It's just that I'm on a mission to find the cheapest way to see how much value dovetail joints can add to my woodworking hobby. Only then can I adjust the value side of the equation. Who knows, I may decide that the Leigh jig is worth every penny of $480!

                            - djb
                            Last edited by djb; 03-02-2007, 04:40 PM. Reason: clarity(?)
                            sigpic

                            A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

                            Restore the Republic.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Homemade Dovetail Jig(?)

                              I think you found it, djb. Template Master sounds like your game plan, so go for it, let us know how it works for you. Now with me buying the Porter Cable 892DT Router Combo Pack - 4212 12" Deluxe Dovetail Jig w/892 - 2 1/4 HP Router, has nothing to do with business, it has everything to do with kids, and a busy life style. I need to redo my cabinets and when I do, I need to do them quickly, kids are demanding with sports and school, visiting friends, ect. Thats all there is to that, so its worth spending a few dollars more for me to get the job done faster, then when I don't need what ever I purchased I can always sell them. I'm always trying to save a few bucks too, that is why I bought the combo package at a great deal and lots of thoughts...
                              Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                              http://www.contractorspub.com

                              A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

                              Comment

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