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I want to treat myself: dovetail jigs and router tables

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  • I want to treat myself: dovetail jigs and router tables

    I'm teaching summer school, not too much fun, but thought I'd treat myself for doing so. I'm thinking about a buying a dovetail jig and a router table. For jigs, I've looked at the rockler complete dovetail jig and the porter cable 4212 12-Inch Deluxe Dovetail Jig. Never done dovetails before, but want to make some nice drawers for two night stands I'm working on.

    For a router table, I've pretty much only looked at the rockler table that fits on the table saw. I assume it will fit the ridgid saw?

    I'd be grateful for any comments or suggestions.

    Thanks Dennis

  • #2
    Re: I want to treat myself: dovetail jigs and router tables

    Juuust my two-cents and experience.

    I've been very happy with the Rockler dovetail jig. I have the add-on dust collector thing, and I'm glad I got it (dovetail work makes a HUGE mess), and also the schmaltzy stand thing. I made a custom drawer for it and it's been great to have for both the storage and the working height (I'm 6'1").
    Right now Rockler has (on their Outlet page) the jig kit, and the stand included for only $139.99, but the link is busted... try calling customer service to get that price.
    The link says "Rockler Dovetail Jig with FREE Stand - Internet Only Special! " but since it's broken maybe they'll accommodate a call...

    Just as an aside, Rockler has free shipping 'til Father's day via promotion code V8776 (enter it on one of the Checkout pages).

    Take the money you save on the jig and think about getting the Bench Dog ProMax or the MLCS cast iron router table extension. I have the ProMax and *love* it.

    Edit:JUST got a MLCS email with Father's Day promotions, and here's a cool way to save yourself some money there, as well:

    Order a $100 Gift Certificate and pay ONLY $90 (SAVE $10!): USE COUPON CODE FDGC100
    Order a $150 Gift Certificate and pay ONLY $132 (SAVE $18): USE COUPON CODE FDGC150
    Order a $200 Gift Certificate and pay ONLY $175 (SAVE $25): USE COUPON CODE FDGC200

    Offer expires @ 11:59 pm ET on Father's Day, June 15, 2008. Gift certificates sent using the e-mail option will arrive on time even on Father's Day, but order soon to make sure mail certificates arrive on time!


    Ordering Instructions:Click the link below to be taken to our Gift Certificate page. Order a Gift Certificate for $100, $150, or $200 and proceed to the Shopping Cart. Type the appropriate coupon code from above into the "Enter Coupon Code" field below the Shipping options on our Shopping Cart (Step 1). Discount will NOT be reflected in your online order total but WILL be properly deducted prior to offline processing of your credit card.
    Link: http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/cgi-m...e964&cert=gift


    Sooo.... buy a $200 gift certification (for only $175) and then pickup a router table extension (link: http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...er_table4.html)
    Last edited by Wood_Junkie; 06-06-2008, 12:48 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: I want to treat myself: dovetail jigs and router tables

      I have the Porter Cable dovetail jig along with with the mini template. I like it except for the chip problem. There are chips and sawdust all over me from my waist down and all over the floor. A big pain.

      My router table is a JessEm with the JessEm Mast-R-Lift Exel with the Microdial. A great unit. I dedicated a 3 1/4 hp Porter Cable router to the table. I bought the entire router but have never used the bottom. In retrospect I would only buy the router motor and save a few bucks.

      I also bought a foot switch to start the router. That foot switch has the potential to be dangerous. I can't tell you how many times I inadvertently stepped on it and of course the router started. Now I am super cautious and unplug it when I am not actively routing or when I change bits. I never had a really close call and don't want one.

      -Tom
      Last edited by Tom W; 06-06-2008, 01:25 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: I want to treat myself: dovetail jigs and router tables

        Here is a Podcast from the Woodsmith Magazine that explains those 2 models and how to do the dovetails.

        The posd cast is downloadable.
        There is a link in the page to see manymore Posdcasts, collect them all!

        http://www.woodworkingonline.com/200...cut-dovetails/


        You will be happy you visited that.

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        • #5
          Re: I want to treat myself: dovetail jigs and router tables

          DW, I've got the Porter Cable jig and it works well for production type work. I only have the half blind template and it's typically the jig I use when I have to make a lot of drawers in a short amount of time. I also own the Akeda 16" which is a treat to use. It's simplistic in it's approach, the dust collection is outstanding and the box like design gives you good control.
          I'd vote for the Bench dog extension was well. I have one on my 3650 and it's a well machined top.
          BTW, you're brave for doing summer school. Where do you teach? I teach history at Gilbert High and by the time June rolls around I need a little break from the classroom. I don't know if I'd ever do summer school.

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          • #6
            Re: I want to treat myself: dovetail jigs and router tables

            DW-

            Just my .02.

            I put one of those Rockler router tables inside my 3650 and I love it. I like that I can use my TS fence to square the router fence easily. The only change I made on it was I ploughed a dado across it & put a miter slot in it.

            -Hef

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            • #7
              Re: I want to treat myself: dovetail jigs and router tables

              I just wanted to fill you on what I did decide to get.....I purchsed the Porter Cable 4212 dovetail jig in the end. It arrived past week with a bunch of other stuff, woo hoo!! Not so fast on the woo hoo though. The jig was slightly defective. The threaded hole for the left offset guide was damaged - threads partly stripped and the screw went in at an angle, not perpendicular. However, I contacted Coastal Tool in CT where I purchased the jig online, and they sent me a return shipping label the same day and will ship another jig when they get this one back. I have to say I was REALLY impressed with their customer service on this issue. Great customer service and great prices too.

              I'll hold off on the router table for now however.

              Cheers Dennis

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