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Newbie, 1ST shot @ dove tails

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  • Newbie, 1ST shot @ dove tails

    Hey everyone Im a newbie here, just registerd tonight. I just got a router for my birthday & finaly got a dovetail bit 1/4in I beleive? can I tell you that I am having the hardest time figuring this out! I realy dont want to spend the 100.00$ for a jig set-up & to be quite honest I realy cant afford it. Is there a a way to make a dove tail jig out of stock? Now I am fairly new to this hobbie/addiction so if you have pictures that would be nice but if not whatever you have will be very appreiciated.
    Thank's alot,

  • #2
    Re: Newbie, 1ST shot @ dove tails

    Here's a starting point for you;

    WoodSmith Dovetails


    • #3
      Re: Newbie, 1ST shot @ dove tails

      Keep an eye out on craigslist or ebay for a used dovetail jig. They are worth what you pay. I just picked up a used Leigh 24" jig for $60 in excellent condition. And if you get one, practice, practice and practice with it. They are great once you get them figured out.



      • #4
        Re: Newbie, 1ST shot @ dove tails

        I think some type of of a jig is a necessity for router cut dovetails, as the spacing is so critical

        in most jigs one cuts both boards at the same time, and the one board is usually off set a Half a dovetail, the flipped around to mate with the side or end of the drawer,

        even with a jig some times the set up is difficult, to get it so all fits and works the way one wants,

        I would suggest you get some form of a template and either make the jig like in the PDF above or save up and get complete jig, (the nice thing now is you have the Internet and can get advice and My guess is to find manufactures videos to watch to remove some of the questions one may have one how to do it),

        I remember struggling through getting it figured out and no one to ask or give me a tip or two,

        I have found the easiest way is once you have the jig and the router and bit all set up leave it that way, and if your doing a lot, dedicate a router for that operation, especially if your doing a lot of that type of thing,

        there are templates and even jigs that are under $50, you will need a collet as well,
        a collet is a guide that lets one use a template, gives a surface that will not tear up the template,
        I see some jigs complete under $30 (not saying that is what one wants) but I see templates starting at $14 one could use to make there own jig, and MLCS has a little different type of template that is more designed for some one with out a jig,

        do a search on you tube or Google for dovetail jig video, and you will get an idea of how a jig works,

        as one gets into wood working, many times the jig or template is what makes the tool work, many buy there jigs, but many make there jigs, to make some task easer, safer and more accurate,

        In manufacturing most ever step is added by some type of jig or guide, now one time projects many times do not lend them selfs to the jig process, as it would take more time and effort to make jigs to cut two boards to exact length, than to measure and cut,
        but on some processes the jig is a necessity,

        I am sure if one was careful one could use a router and bit to clean out the cuts of "hand cut" dove tails if one wanted to do, so, as there a little different spacing of the cut, but still having a guide to keep the router straight would be of a big help,


        I think if you do put out some money for a jig the better (higher quality) the jig the easer it will be to get satisfaction out of the process,

        I had a low cost jig, and later upgraded to a much better unit, and I felt it was worth it for the quality of the work it produced,
        (part of the problem was I had never really learned at the time how to properly set up the cheap unit, the better unit came with a video and that helped a lot, and I think if I would have had the video from the start, it would have made the lower cost unit more effective).
        Last edited by BHD; 11-11-2009, 11:25 AM.
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