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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'd like to drop the 200 bucks on the porter cable big kit, but for now its not in the cards. Anyhow, has anyone used the harbor freight dovetail jig? For 29.99 on sale now, it seems like it could be worth a try. (I'm not usually a harbor freight tool guy for anything other than the random hammer)
 

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DRTYBYRD
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So, I'd like to drop the 200 bucks on the porter cable big kit, but for now its not in the cards. Anyhow, has anyone used the harbor freight dovetail jig? For 29.99 on sale now, it seems like it could be worth a try. (I'm not usually a harbor freight tool guy for anything other than the random hammer)

ryan - I just pick one up yesterday on the "what the hell - why not" factor. I have not set it up as I had to do a b-day dinner for the wife. I have never used a jig, so I will not be able to compare it to anything but i will try to get it set-up tonight and give you some feedback.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I stopped and took a look at them.....they don't look terrible for the price. Its all metal, which is better than the other used one's i've looked at. I think i'll take a shot and give it a try. If it sucks, i'm out 23 bucks.
 

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I've had one since they were $19.95 (long time) and use it for all my quick DT jobs. Grizzly has the same unit, but more importantly, they have the Woodstock manual on-line. BTW, anytime you can download a Woodstock manual on anything....do it! The manual has a table for matching the router base to the back-stop fence. Worth anything!
I have owned Leigh jigs and they are excellent, and I still use my Woodrat for one-off dovetails, but for 'need 6 drawers before lunch', I grab the HF.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I picked one up yesterday, and I may break it out tonight and give it a try.

With a 25% off coupon it came to 23 bucks, if its terrible I'm out less than a good router bit, if its useable, I saved 150 bucks over the porter cable.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So after trying the harbor freight jig last night, i was about to take it back and just take on the wrath of my wife for dropping the money on the porter cable jig........however I thought i'd try the woodstock manual quick on setup before just throwing in the towel, and damn......it makes a big difference.......after 6 attempts with the harbor freight manual......the second attempt using the setup directions from the woodstock manual looks like this.....
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I haven't yet, but it's about to be screwed to a board, and then as needed screwed down to my workbench. The guy who owned the house before me screwed all kinds of stuff to the workbench top, so I'm not too concerned with marring it.
 

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DRTYBYRD
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I haven't yet, but it's about to be screwed to a board, and then as needed screwed down to my workbench. The guy who owned the house before me screwed all kinds of stuff to the workbench top, so I'm not too concerned with marring it.

Haven't built that "dream workbench" as of yet. I am going to rig up something that allows me to attach it to my router table extension wing on my ts.
 

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Now that you have that jig tuned and ready for work, remember the

I.D.I.O.T. Rule

INSIDE of the DRAWER IS the OUTSIDE of the TREE

This forces the seasonal expansion into the drawer and not against the case side.

But if you're always going to use quartersawn oak for your drawers, forget all the above :laughing:
 

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I haven't yet, but it's about to be screwed to a board, and then as needed screwed down to my workbench. The guy who owned the house before me screwed all kinds of stuff to the workbench top, so I'm not too concerned with marring it.
If you don't mind another suggestion, you might consider projecting your base board out in front to act as stop edge for the 'tails' board, and wide enough for clamping instead of screwing down. And if you don't already have a helpful reminder, you can use this:

PINS on ENDS and TAILS on SIDES (TAILS hang down, just like a pony)
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you don't mind another suggestion, you might consider projecting your base board out in front to act as stop edge for the 'tails' board, and wide enough for clamping instead of screwing down. And if you don't already have a helpful reminder, you can use this:

PINS on ENDS and TAILS on SIDES (TAILS hang down, just like a pony)

Alright....i'm man enough to admit when I don't know something.....once in a while.....so this is the first project i've ever used dovetails on....and what you just posted, makes very little sense....

Also....this will be the skirt under a table top....is there a dovetail etiquette....should the tails be on the end of the table or the side?
 

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Sorry for any confusion; I was talking about drawers or any other box.
But you've got me on the table apron question. I routinely use a dovetailed top stretcher on the drawer opening of small tables, but I have not dovetailed the apron to the legs. Offhand, it sounds difficult, but it's a good possibility that I can't picture what you mean.

I have built large 3 sided box structures adapted into tables. In that case you would want to cut the pins on the top piece (or end), so that when lifted the pins would also lift the tails. If the pins are placed on the sides, when the top is lifted (assuming no glue) the tails would just slide off of the pins. Also, dovetails are only strong when cut into end grain, they tend to snap off when cut on edge or on the long grain.

Well, I hope I'm not creating more confusion, just let me know if I am...
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok, I got one good joint as pictured above.....and now every one is getting worse. I've reset everything.....and attempted 20 more joints.....can't get one to work. I think this jig is going back......and maybe i'll just pick up the porter cable.......it kinda annoys me that the templates are 50-60 bucks a shot for the other templates.....
 

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Well I picked one up yesterday, and I may break it out tonight and give it a try.

With a 25% off coupon it came to 23 bucks, if its terrible I'm out less than a good router bit, if its useable, I saved 150 bucks over the porter cable.

What PC jig are you talking about?

Mine was a LOT more than that... :yes:
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've been looking at the 4212.....maybe just the 4210 for now and get the other plate later....
 
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