Recommendations on dovetail joint guides or templates?

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lnelson

New User
Larry
I just entered a long post in the DIY section about our upcoming kitchen and bath renovations and our need to find a great designer to work with on the projects. As I think about how I will approach the cabinet work, these big projects might be a good time for me to upgrade my approach to drawer construction. I have traditionally used ½” wood for the box and done a rabbit joint assembled with glue and nails. I have always appreciated the look of dovetail joints and believe this would be a good addition to my projects.
So the question is, does anyone have any recommendation on a good jig or fixture to make dovetail joints easy and consistent? Also, if any of you have suggestions on jigs and/or fixtures that I should steer away from, or that do not work very well, I would appreciate this information as well.
I have tons more renovation work to get done on this house so it needs to be something that allows me to bang out the drawer boxes quickly. It probably doesn’t make any difference but I will be making the boxes out of alder. Thanks for any suggestions or guidance on this.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I have a Leigh I would sell very low, abut 1/3 retail. I don't have the bits, but they need to be replaced periodically anyway.
 

Tim Sherwood

Tim
Corporate Member
I use the Porter Cable 4200. It's a mid priced unit. NCWW had a dovetailing workshop a few months ago where we tried several different jigs. I don't think I could recommend any of the entry level jigs.
 

Joe Scharle

Joe
Corporate Member
For utility drawers, my goto is a Harbor Freight jig. Kitchen/vanity drawers are usually the same depth, so it's set one up and go. I sold my Leigh jig because my Woodrat is more versatile. Grizzly now has the old, excellent Woodstock manual available for download.
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
NCWW had a dovetailing workshop a few months ago where we tried several different jigs. I don't think I could recommend any of the entry level jigs.

I participated in the Workshop Tim is referring to, and I whole-heartedly agree w/ his assessment: the entry level jigs were not reliable, and more trouble than they are worth. And it was my jig we were using. :gar-La;

Given the amount of renovation work you have ahead, I think it would be well worth the money to buy a good jig. Set it up once, and use it forever.

Bill
 

Barron

New User
Barron
I like the Porter-Cable 4212, and I found the "riser" box that Shop Notes has plans for helpful in putting the jig at a good height over the bench. The Shop Notes show has an episode dedicated to using this jig.
 

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
I have had good luck with the Leigh D4/D4R. Once you get it setup, they go pretty quickly.

+1. I have an older version but it works great. It takes a little practice at first to learn what you're doing but once you have the hang of it they do go fairly quickly. It's a nice jig.

Red
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
I like the Porter-Cable 4212, and I found the "riser" box that Shop Notes has plans for helpful in putting the jig at a good height over the bench. The Shop Notes show has an episode dedicated to using this jig.
I also own a PC 4212. Actually two of them as I bought a second used just for the bits. Read the manual,set it up, and bang out drawers all day long.
 

lnelson

New User
Larry
Thanks to all for the input on the dovetail jog question. Based on the numerous recommendations, I ordered a Porter Cable from Amazon for $149. I am looking forward to getting it set-up and into use in my shop.

Regards,

Larry
 
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