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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You can skip to the end, I include the lengthy comments only if you care to tell me that my reasoning is wrong.


Earlier, I looked at this Porter Cable jig:
PORTER-CABLE 4210 12-Inch Dovetail Jig - Amazon.com


I didn't like it, because I was limited to 12 inches. And, I had to use my router by hand - I couldn't use it in a table.



So I kept looking, and I found the MLCS Pins and Tails jig:
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/dovetail_pins_and_tails.html

My problem with this jig, is that it doesn't appear to have a spacer to ensure your parts are aligned properly. And even if I get it right once, every time I have to re-clamp my work (for pieces larger than 12"), I risk messing it up.




I also found Rockler's jig. It has bad reviews, but the concept seems pretty solid. I have a major complaint, however: It relies on me to hold the material steady, with my hands all too close to the router bit.

I could make a jig like theirs, and enlarge the sled. But, then I won't be able to clamp smaller products to make sure the first, spaced cut stays right where it should.
http://www.rockler.com/rockler-router-table-box-joint-jig




The end:

Should I just get the Porter Cable dovetail jig?
 

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I have been looking at box joint jigs too and have made some that work very well. The problem is if you want to change finger sizes you have to redo the whole jig. The Incra is definitely the Cadillac but the price is about the same as a down payment on a real Cadillac. Being facetious but you all get my point. I found this one as something I could live with and thought I would try it out. It came in the mail only today so haven't done anything with it yet. Also, just a little bump in the road is the fact that the building my table saw and chop saw are in collapsed last night under snow load......:eek:........not thrilled about that but will just have to deal with it. This kit was $15 or $16 from the Woodsmith shop. Dave

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That piece of plastic helps my biggest fear. Maybe I will try to make a jig.. I'd prefer dovetails, but a 24" dovetail jig is over $600. :blink:

I have read very good posts and reviews about the Incra I Box Jig which is for box joints.

Not cheap, but the folks who purchased have been happy.

http://www.incrementaltools.com/Articles.asp?ID=313

Many people make their own, but if you want to purchase, this may be the best on the market.
 

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adot45, I've built that jig 3 times; one for myself and 2 for friends and assisted on a few others. If carefully built, it performs as well as the Incra. But the smallest realistic size is 1/4". It can be made to cut 1/8" by using harder steel and grinding the spacers down, but most of us can live w/o 1/8" fingers, and anyway, I have a Lynn jig as well.

I have also encountered some other WWrs who could never get it quite right and hate the jig heartily. If 1/16" is the same to you as 3/32", then I suggest you purchase your jig. However, if you can work in close tolerances and understand the reasoning why jigs especially, need to be built with precision....you'll wind up with a winning box joint jig.

A couple of hints: cut the slots in a piece large enough to handle safely, then cut the pieces to size.
Finally, don't rely upon the threaded inserts (always true for hardwoods) to cut the threads cleanly. Use a tap and then loctite the threads. Nothing more frustrating than trying to make adjustments and having the insert moving around too.

Good luck
 

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adot45, I've built that jig 3 times; one for myself and 2 for friends and assisted on a few others. If carefully built, it performs as well as the Incra. But the smallest realistic size is 1/4". It can be made to cut 1/8" by using harder steel and grinding the spacers down, but most of us can live w/o 1/8" fingers, and anyway, I have a Lynn jig as well.

I have also encountered some other WWrs who could never get it quite right and hate the jig heartily. If 1/16" is the same to you as 3/32", then I suggest you purchase your jig. However, if you can work in close tolerances and understand the reasoning why jigs especially, need to be built with precision....you'll wind up with a winning box joint jig.

A couple of hints: cut the slots in a piece large enough to handle safely, then cut the pieces to size.
Finally, don't rely upon the threaded inserts (always true for hardwoods) to cut the threads cleanly. Use a tap and then loctite the threads. Nothing more frustrating than trying to make adjustments and having the insert moving around too.

Good luck
Thank You for the tips. It will be a while before I start this but I do see the inserts you are talking about. I will probably start a build thread because I don't want to hijack this thread and also there is the fact that I have a drawer full of these Plans Now projects that I looked at and said "huh?"
 
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