Omnijig vs. other dovetail jigs.

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NCGrimbo

NCGrimbo
Corporate Member
I've been looking at getting a dovetail jog for many years, but haven't been able to decide on what to go with. I'm now leaning towards the Omnijig from PC/Delta. It seems to me that it will really make the setup super easy compared to other jigs. Does anyone on the site have experience using the Omnigjig and using another jig that can give me some opinions? When you reply, please rember to tell me what jigs you have used.

Thanks,
NCGrimbo
 

Travis Porter

New User
Travis
I don't have it, but I have looked at it for a LONG LONG LONG TIME. It is a VERY nice jig. Very well made, and very well thought out.

To give perspective, I have two dovetail jigs, a Leigh 24" and a PC 4212. When I bought the Leigh, I had never heard of an omni jig
 

Charles Lent

Charley
Corporate Member
I have the Leigh D4R but have used an Omnijig, once. The Leigh manual is significantly better, and you can adjust the width of the pins on the Leigh but can't on the Omnijig. Both allow you to adjust the width of the tails. You you have to measure and record your bit depths in the manual after a bit of trial and error the first time that you use a new dovetail bit on the Leigh if you are doing 1/2 blind dovetails. On the Omnijig you can set the height of the "barstools" after going through the same trial and error process to get the bit height correct. This "barstool height will then let you set the bit depth without measuring the next time that you need to cut that same size 1/2 blind dovetail with that router bit, without the need to look up a previously recorded bit depth measurement. With the Omnijig I understand that you can cut both the pins and tails at the same time. You can likely do this on the Leigh D4R too if you don't adjust the pin width and keep it set on minimum (I haven't tried this). You can cut both at once on the Leigh Superjigs as their pin width is not adjustable. The router guide forks on these are not split and are made very similar to those on the Omnijig. The board clamping and adjust-ability seems to be better on the Leigh D4R too. When I tried the Omnijig it had a vacuum chip removal attachment. I purchased the one for the Leigh D4R and find that both collect the chips about as well, but the D4R chip collector is more easily installed and removed. These jigs are kind of like Ford and Chevy. Both work very similar. It's the fine points that make you choose one over the other. I prefer the "feel" of the Leigh D4R over the Omnijig. The pin width adjust-ability is an added plus. The Leigh D4R is also a bit cheaper than the Omnijig, but. I think you will be happy whichever one you choose. I've used other jigs in the past that had fixed pin/tail sizes. I can't remember the brands, but I do remember having considerable difficulty getting reliable joints as there was way too much tolerance error in them.

Charley

Charley
 
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Charles Lent

Charley
Corporate Member
There is a Leigh D3 jig in the "For Sale" items on the left of the screen. The Leigh website was offering an upgrade kit to convert a D3 to a D4 jig, but I don't see it listed anymore. They may still have it though if you call or e-mail them requesting it. It consisted mostly of the improved clamping system.

Charley
 

BKind2Anmls

Susan
Corporate Member
I have the large OmniJig and you CAN adjust the pins and tails width. I had great results with it three times and trouble one time. The additional templates (i.e. mini) are very expensive, though.
 

BKind2Anmls

Susan
Corporate Member
I have the large OmniJig and it's a good jig. However, if I had it to do over I would use the bandsaw/tablesaw method featured in Fine Woodworking and saved my money for something else.
 

Joe Scharle

Joe
Corporate Member
Since you asked about other jigs, I think the Woodrat or newer Router Boss though not technically dove tail jigs, offer the widest range of options for cutting dove tails. Also, they're excellent mortisers, slotting cutters and many other overarm operations. However, it's use as a dovetail machine does require the operator to possess good spatial skills.
I also have a Leigh Super w/ VRS and it's a good jig and I tend towards my $19.95 Harbor Freight HB jig for quick kitchen/vanity drawers. Akeda is highly touted too, though I've never used one.
Hand cutting dove tails can be satisfying until your vision starts to suffer or you're faced with a dozen corners, but I recommend anyone trying to decide on a jig to hand cut at least one corner with available tools. This will give you a better idea of what to look for in your selection.
 

Bigdog72

Moderator
Geoff
I have the older version of the Omni jig and love it. I have the adjustable size template and the half blind. The additional templates are hard to find and very expensive. The jig is easy to set up and offers good results.

 

NCGrimbo

NCGrimbo
Corporate Member
Thanks for the info guys. Anyone care to give me some lessons on their jig? I think my decision will come down to actually using the jigs and seeing which ones I am more comfortable using.

Thanks,
NCGrimbo
 
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