Leigh D4R vs Porter Cable 77240 omnijig (24")? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-30-2010, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Leigh D4R vs Porter Cable 77240 omnijig (24")?

Hello All,

I want to purchase my last dovetail jig. I am leaning towards the Porter Cable 77240 24" omnijig, but am also considering the Leigh D4R.

Is there any reason to pick the Leigh over the omnijig?

A lot of people seem to prefer the Leigh. However, I didn't notice any advantage. Did I miss something?

Is one easier to use than the other?

Has anyone had challenges switching between 3/4" and 1/2" stock? I understand some tuning will be needed, but I imagine it wouldn't be too difficult.

The only difference I noticed between the two jigs is that PC's design seems to be a tiny bit heavier duty and they have depth stops and a nicer clamp.

Leigh's has isolock templates, but I am not really interested in those. I don't have any plans on using my dovetail jig for box joints (I make those with a table saw now).

I wanted to start this year really mastering machine-made dovetails as I have several projects involving drawers boxes and case joinery. I plan on doing a lot of though dovetails on 3/4" cases and 1/2" half blinds on drawers as well as a 1/2" through dovetail or 2 for boxes. Probably next year or so, I'd want to do a blanket chest or 2. I like the ability of both jigs to make custom-sized tails and pins.

I really want this to be the LAST dovetail jig I buy in my life...hence why I am willing to pay so much for a jig.

Creating dovetails has vexed me for years. My rockler half-blind jig is junk. My General Tools EZ Pro's clamps don't work too well in Oak & maple. My hand-cut through dovetails are OK, but I want to make a lot of drawers and and my half-blind hand cuts are mediocre, at best.

I tried to order a katie jig, but had issues with the company even taking my money (take a look at their website and you'll see just how little they have their act together). So 3 months later, I have no jig....it's a shame because their design looks awesome and I loved how you could order a smaller jig and expand down the road. I need to order from a company that I can trust to sell me replacement parts for at least the next few years and preferably for a very long time.

So...rambling aside, is there any reason to get a Leigh over a Porter cable?

Thanks!
Steven

Last edited by JavaGeek; 12-30-2010 at 11:15 AM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-04-2011, 05:27 AM
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hey Steven, I was toying a lot with the Leigh vs. the 24" omnijig, and ended up going with the omnijig and haven't been disappointed. The depth stops are definitely a plus, and I can't imagine having to set the depth without them! As for the Leigh, well I haven't tried one soo I can't say much about them...
I have lately had a problem with the dovetails being too tight but I have a strong feeling it has to do with my router more than the jig, and I haven't put to much effort yet in correcting it with adjusting the jig itself.

Not to mention the jig is built for war. haha it's as solid as can be!

anyways! I hope this helps you out!

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-04-2011, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hands made for wood View Post
hey Steven, I was toying a lot with the Leigh vs. the 24" omnijig, and ended up going with the omnijig and haven't been disappointed. The depth stops are definitely a plus, and I can't imagine having to set the depth without them! As for the Leigh, well I haven't tried one soo I can't say much about them...
I have lately had a problem with the dovetails being too tight but I have a strong feeling it has to do with my router more than the jig, and I haven't put to much effort yet in correcting it with adjusting the jig itself.

Not to mention the jig is built for war. haha it's as solid as can be!

anyways! I hope this helps you out!
as you know bit going in to deep make's dovetale's to tight. not going in far enough will make them loose. Or the pin's is what make's it to tight or loose. I have the gifkin dove tale jig now for 4 yrs i belive now
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-08-2011, 03:22 PM
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I too am looking at these 2 jigs and at one other I have seen advertised in Fine woodworking magizine, it is the AKEDA , it too is for stock up too 24'' wide. I havent seen them and don't know anyone who ownes one, I do have a friend with a Leigh and he said it is difficult to learn, I need somethiing easy to learn so I will actually use it. Please advise
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-09-2011, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by woodmeistro View Post
I havent seen them and don't know anyone who ownes one, I do have a friend with a Leigh and he said it is difficult to learn, I need somethiing easy to learn so I will actually use it. Please advise
If you're looking at premium dovetail jigs, they will be significantly harder to learn than less expensive ones due to variable spacing. If you don't care about having the tails & pins uniform then the less expensive jigs are easier to learn, like the Porter Cable jigs, other than the 24" omnijig.

If you are only interested in through dovetails, consider a template. MLCS sells one for cheap. Keller and Katie sell premium versions. My first choice was the katie jig. I placed the order on their website and they never bothered to fulfill it. It looks like a great jig, though.

Whatever you do, avoid the Rockler dovetail jig at all costs. The half-blind stops don't align accurately at all. There's no point in buying a jig if you have to "hack it" to get the pieces to align. It's also a bit overpriced for a cheap steel base and plastic templates. Oh yeah, and it's really difficult to adjust when you change board widths (going from a 1x4 to a 1x6, for example). Overall, a crappy design.

So back on topic....look at a Porter Cable 4216 or something similar if you want easy to use.

Whenever mine arrives this week, hopefully, I can comment more on the omnijig 24". From the videos, it looked a lot easier to use and more repeatable than the Leigh.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 12:41 AM
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Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and an easy to use dovetail jig are all in the same category. I have the D4R and it makes fabulous dovetails of all sorts. The learning curve is steep but the book is thick and detailed. Keep lots of practice stock on hand. You can spend your kid's inheritance on accessories. I don't know enough about the Omnijig to speak to it.

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post #7 of 13 Old 01-16-2016, 07:10 PM
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Omnijig Porter Cable Dovetail

I just purchased the 24" Omnijig and miniature dovetail template. I wanted the ability to make narrow pins in 1/2" stock. I have never had to make test cuts, but you do have to understand what the depth stops do because I had to tweak them a little. It does make a tight joint using the factory settings, and I suppose some test cuts would be in order if you prefer a looser joint. I've never seen or used the Leigh, but I'm happy with the Porter Cable and glad I purchased it.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-16-2016, 09:26 PM
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I have the Leigh D4 and I like it just fine. I like being able to vary the spacing to suit the width of my stock, and have the ability to produce any size pins & tails that I want. The Leigh also priduces sliding dovetails relatively easily, and makes very nice rabbeted half blinds for drawer boxes with integral fronts.
Never used an omnijjig so can't comment there
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-17-2016, 11:57 AM
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I don't know anyone who uses the Leigh that is unhappy with it. I've also heard good things about the PC Omnijig.

Personally I've been leaning towards getting the Leigh RTJ400 for use with my router table. And just when I started to seriously consider purchasing one, I was given a PC 4212 dovetail jig. I guess I'll play with that one first.

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post #10 of 13 Old 01-17-2016, 12:21 PM
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I started with the PC 4212, went to the Rockler (bigger mistake) and finally settled on the Leigh and never looked back. I have no experience with the PC 77240 so I can't judge that one. It looks like their adjustable fingers are a copy of the Leigh system. I also think the Leigh RJT400 looks interesting if you have a router table. As with any of them their is a learning process so if you don't use it often you will have to refer to the instructions between setups.

Joe B. 41
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-17-2016, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Joeb41 View Post
I started with the PC 4212, went to the Rockler (bigger mistake) and finally settled on the Leigh and never looked back. I have no experience with the PC 77240 so I can't judge that one. It looks like their adjustable fingers are a copy of the Leigh system. I also think the Leigh RJT400 looks interesting if you have a router table. As with any of them their is a learning process so if you don't use it often you will have to refer to the instructions between setups.
A PC4212 is a very nice machine. Not anywhere near what I would call a 'mistake'.

Anyone that is comfortable with the 4212 will have no issues with the Omnijig.

The Omnijig is going to have better dust collection, better clamps, better fine tuners ('finer' tuners I should say), and the ability to adjust your machine for radius fronts on your boxes to an extent without having to resort to using shims and 'guessing' on your angles...







Unlike the 4212 - The Omnijig does not 'force' you to work in inch and 1/4 increments for things to work out evenly on the ends. You can tweak the stops or the fingers fairly quickly to allow for ANY size box up to 24" inches. Does not matter if the sides are 5", or 6 1/4", or 11 7/8", etc... Thickness not an issue either...

If I were to do this stack on my 4212 - I would have to wear a fairly long shirt / jacket lest my pockets WOULD end up full of dust / chips and the machine is going to limit me to particular increments on my sides for the ends to come out the way I want them with ease.



I get NO crap tossed in my pockets with the Omnijig.

I don't like the front stabilizer bar things on the Omnijig or the Leigh. They help teach bad habits in my opinion. The bad habit in particular being to raise UP the router after finishing the cuts. That habit leads to a jacked up template or bit sooner or later.

In the same way that you don't 'need' that stabilizer with the 4212 - You don't 'need' it with the Omnijig either. The dust collection will work just fine without it (providing you have a proper DC) and without all that crap in the way you can get in the habit of pulling the router straight out instead of up. (you don't jack up templates this way)

A stack of boxes this size = about a half of a trash can full of chips if using NO DC at all. I would estimate that I lose only about 10% of chips to the floor (or on me) when using my Omnijig with a 2HP DC fairly close to it and NO front stabilizer bar.

The template itself is rigid enough and large enough to the point that flex is not an issue and you have plenty of room for a full size baseplate on your router.

The dust collection on the Omnijig is good to the point that I don't have to bust out the 'fixin to shoot chips everywhere' gear for the girls.

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post #12 of 13 Old 01-17-2016, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlaineW View Post
I just purchased the 24" Omnijig and miniature dovetail template. I wanted the ability to make narrow pins in 1/2" stock. I have never had to make test cuts, but you do have to understand what the depth stops do because I had to tweak them a little. It does make a tight joint using the factory settings, and I suppose some test cuts would be in order if you prefer a looser joint. I've never seen or used the Leigh, but I'm happy with the Porter Cable and glad I purchased it.
This may or may NOT help you...



Taking a sharpie and doing little 'tic' marks on the ends of the adjusters made things a LOT easier for me.

Welcome to the site!
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-03-2017, 11:00 AM
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Omnijig questions

I have an opportunity to purchase and Omnijig 7116 Type 1 dovetail jig in pristine condition to the extent that he has stated that he purchased it USED approximately 10 years ago from a woman after her husband passed away however, he has never used it. In the pictures it looks brand new. The seller is asking $250 and comes with a half blind template and that is it. I will have to travel 2 hours each way to make the purchase. I have offered less, but he does not seem willing to budge.

My intent is to use it to make a blanket chest or two.

As most of you know this model, Omnijig 7116 Type 1 dovetail jig, is different than the Ominjig 7116 and the Omnijig 77240. From what I can tell it seems to be the predecessor to the Ominjig 7116 and the 77240 and has not nearly the features of either.

My questions are:

1) $250.00 is significantly lower that what I am seeing the 7116 and 77240 priced however, from what I can see from reading different forums it may be just a little high. Is this a good price?

2) I am just getting into using a dovetail jig so what can this model not do that the newer models can?

3) How difficult is it to get parts etc. for this model because from what I have been reading online everything looks discontinued

4) Please share anything that you feel pertinent in relation to this unit as I know very little.

Thanks for the input and I look forward to reading your reply
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