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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a Leigh TD 514 24" dovetail jig a couple weeks ago. I am rounding up parts that I need, router bits, collars, etc., to start playing with it. This is my first dovetail jig. Has anyone played with the Leigh TD 514 and what did you think of the jig?

Mart
 

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Hi there, not sure if the jig you mention is similar to the D4, but i find that the D4 is superb, takes a bit of messing about learning how to use it, but once setup properly, the results are realy fantastic :thumbsup:
 

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I'd agree with Wildecoyote (used to get those on Beacon Hill),
The Leigh jigs are brilliant. many people are scared away because they look to cmplicated, but this is a reflection of their versatility. I have a D4R, with thfinger joint template and love it.
You might try having a look at the Leigh webpage and also talking to their Tech people regarding parts, compatability with more recent jigs etc. The you can hit epay with a vengeance.

Regards,

Orson
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys for the replies. Since I posted first on this I have played with the jig considerably. I went to their web site and downloaded the tiny manual, all four pages of it. I managed to figure it out and by running several test pieces got some very good results.

The first few attempts were pathetic, but after a few flashes of cognition I began to understand the jig and now we get along just fine.:blink:

My first project with it was a large pine toy box with 16 inch sides. The joint came out very nice and really looks striking. The only real challenge is the initial fitting and adjusting the thin cardboard shims to get just the right fit. After that it really makes a great joint. I consider myself fortunate to have found a 24 inch jig in Alaska for a reasonable price. I had just about resigned myself to paying the price for a new PC or Leigh when I found this one. My next project is requiring dovetails is an oak version of the same chest. I am anxious to see how that comes out - lots of test pieces first.

Mart
 

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I've used the 24" mod. for 15 yrs. Mostly blanket chest case and cabinet case works.
The machine is one of the top made and versatile for its purpose tools I have.

I suggest using some white pine for training.
When milling most tails/pins, I rough out the waste using the band saw,, very helpfull for machining hardwoods or long router bit extension setups (typically thick wood with through DT )
I give mine a through wipe down with plenty of Johnson's paste wax, and built a 1/2" ply box for storage.

Big remember, have to do first time every time- approach the router or insert and remove the router out the front of the adjustable jig fingers.
Because, If you have a DT bit in the router and lift the router Straight up,, the bit will hit the comb and crash.

I sell furniture kit lumber sets also, if you are thinking about a blanket chest or other.
jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow!

Very nice chest. Your dovetailed base gives me a great idea for the base on the oak chest I am working on. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the tips.

Mart
 

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Tanks. Mart.
I build chest as>
Base with 1"x1" screw strips that connect to the frame.
In the pic, the chest has 2 frames.
The bottom frame has no panel.
Its just to show a molding profile from the outside.
The next upper frame has 2 eastern red cedar panels for flavor.

I like to add a sliding box also,, either removable or captured by dado's and its runner sticks.

I build chest so they are screwed together in layer so the piece can be disassembled for work/refinish by layers,, in the future :detective: :thumbsup: (that's Detective and Thumbs up :smile: smile,,,,,, I love these Smiles,, what a way to communicate)

Chests are easy to make (once you've mastered panel construction).
If you add drawers then just locate the sides and back of the drawer box onto the layer frames. The front is the drawer fronts (for a no face frame look).
Or go all out and make a 3 or 4 side box with DT's for the drawer box.
Its easy once you learn the Leigh DT jig

You'll be looking for a drum or wide belt sander next:yes: <- Yes.
My Bro-inlaw purchased a woodteck drum sander,, he says it flattens panels better than he ever could with a belt sander (he's 3rd gen. woodworker, since he was to young to buy 3.2% beer)

Ya'll remember that? 3.2% beer?
Simpler times,, yes.

jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You read my mind. I am looking forward to getting a drum sander in the not to distant future. What do you think of the open end types that allow one to double the capacity of the sander, i.e. an 18 inch can do 36 inches.

I am fairly new to this dovetail jig business. Are you able to cut half blind dovetails with the TD514? I do have a cheap 12 inch jig for drawers but it offers no flexibility on changing tail and pin size.

Thanks for the great advice.

Mart
 

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I haven't heard much about or seen an open side sander in action.
Obviously the concern is the overlap area on a wide board that needed an overlap run.
I think overall though, I'd vote for the fixed distance type.
What are they 24"ish, that's a wide panel.
jim
 

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I think they sell the 3.2 beer in utah.

I have a D4R and I love it. I do not have the time to perfect hand cutting dovetails and this lets me do everything I would want to with a dovetail jig. The only downside, is it does take a little bit to get going with it. Once setup and going, you fly through them.
 

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I think Leigh still carries parts the the TD 514. I need a set of shims for mine. I'll know Monday morning if they can still help me out.

Solidwood, do you tongue & groove your boards before you glue them? Nice looking chests!
 

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Per Leigh, none of their newer products (i.e. templates) are compatable with the TD-514. They still carry all the parts if needed. If you need shims, they can be made from heavy card stock such as cutting up file folders. I think you may need a 7/16" guide bushing for your router though (at least that's what the instruction manual says). I can copy and post the part of the manual that states what's needed if you'd like. I'm just starting out on the 514 myself.
 

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I have a question on DT jigs. I just bought a 12". The guide bushing goes in my router base fine, but is about 1/8' proud of the bottom. That means the router base doesn't sit down flat on the jig template, just the bushing. Is that OK? I worry about tipping the router as I move it thru the slots. Thanks.
 

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On a Leigh jig, the bushing should fit between/inside the fingers and the router should rest level on the jig. The router bit should only touch the wood and nothing else. If I understand you correctly, it sounds like your bushing is too large for the jig. I would check with the manufacturer of your jig and only use what they recommend.

 

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The bushing came with the jig. Maybe I didn't describe it clearly.

The nipple part that does the guiding is fine. When I mount the bushing in my router base, it extends proud of the bottom of the base. So instead of the entire plastic base riding on the template, only the flat surface of the bushing does (approx. 1 sq/in).

It seems to me the router would be "tippy" with so little surface area riding the template.

I tried a dry run with no bit, no blank, no power, and it seems stable enough, so maybe I'm concerned over nothing. I'll see how it goes with some scrap. If I still have ten fingers to type with, I'll report back...
 

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It was not pretty. So I went down to big box and bought a one-size-fits-all accessory baseplate with a recessed template hole. Everything fits flush and tight. I think I'm good to go (except for the endless adjustment cycle I'm NOT looking forward to...)
 

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I too had problems with my stock Bosch router base plate. I ended up using an after market Jasper plate. It accepted the Leigh bushing just fine. Without a bit, the only thing that extends past the base plate is the bushing itself. Everything else is flush with the plate.:thumbsup:
 

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Yep! That looks quite a bit like the one I just got. And the center hole is recessed just enough for the brass bushing to be flush with the plate.

Did some fine-tuning of the setup tonight and am getting pretty decent joints.

But I'm using some of that pre-finished 1/2" plywood drawer stock, and I'm getting a lot of splitting the first ply off of the "tail" piece (the vertical piece when in the jig.) I'm wondering about adding a sacrificial backer board to minimize the tearout.
 
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