Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Lake Gaston, NC
Leigh jig, the easy way
I bought a used Leigh jig a while back, and was getting it set up today. It didn't take long to see there would be a lot of time wasted switching bits, and making test cuts, so I came up with a much easier way.
System: Two routers. One with a straight bit, and one with the dovetail bit. I didn't have but one of the Leigh adjustable bushings, but a 3/8" bushing with a 1/4" shank spiral 1/4" straight cutter looked like it was close enough. I only had the one 8mm collet reducer that came with the kit, so I used that with the included dovetail bit. It worked fine with the other bushing and bit.
Now with two routers, each with bits that would work without swapping, I eyeballed the depth for the first test cuts, measured the amount it was off with a digital depth micrometer, adjusted, and made another test cut. One more adjustment to tighten up the pins, and it was good to go.
Once it was set up like this, it only took a few minutes to cut dovetails on a new Oak handsaw box. I thought about cutting them by hand, but I've been putting off making the box, and setting this jig up, so it solved both of those.
I wrote down the depth of bits in the Leigh book, but put both 960s in a toolbox ready to go again when called on for 3/4 material.
It took longer to step off the box sides with dividers, and decide how I wanted to space the pin and tails, than it did to cut them.