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Anyone have and use this? I am trying to cut half blind dovetails with it and have become extremely frustrated. I’ve spent hours trying to get it dialed in with no luck. I get one part perfect and then something else is moves. One stupid question.....the manual says if the joints are losses, then you should heighten the bit. My understanding is this means to move it closer to the base, so it protrudes less from the base. But that didn’t work! And the joints are loose on one side and tight on the other. Frustrated! Any advice? I’m thinking about returning and going with porter cable brand. 

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I ca n't help with your immediate problem but I got a Leigh Dovetail jig - Model RJT 400.   This jig is used with a router table where you move the jig and the router is stationary.  I really like it.  It's just a basic jig (no varable spacing) but when you add the optional sized bits you get a lot of variety of sizes.  Instruction are very good.

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I had the Delta jig for a while and it worked ok..  I upgraded to the Leigh and really like it even though I have to read the manual each time I pull it out.

Only suggestion would be to keep running scrap through it making adjustments until you get it where you want.  Either that or learn to hand cut them.  From the looks of your original post, you could have a lot of practice in by now ;)

 

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I"ve never used, or even seen, that particular jig.  As you found out, there is no margin for error anywhere.   

For half blinds in what cabinets I've built since 1975, which has only been a few a year when I was building new houses, I've used a Rockwell jig that I bought back then, and the same Rockwell (same as Porter-Cable now) router.  There couldn't be a simpler jig, as it only uses wing nuts to clamp the boards in place.  The same Whiteside bit has been in that router for decades, as I haven't wanted to calibrate another one with some unlucky number of test pieces.  I expect the Rockler one is similar to this old one.

The wood parts need to be perfectly flat, straight, and square ended.   They need to be in the jig perfectly flush, all the way across, and exactly registering against the stops.

One other important factor is that the router needs to be kept in the same orientation all the way across the jig while cutting. 

When we use it, I clamp it on a railing on a deck, and have a helper keep the chips blown out in the yard with an electric leaf blower.  It only takes us a little while to run all the drawers in a house's cabinets, but if I had to do it more than once a year, I would come up with a different way.

I also have a Leigh jig, but that one is not completely foolproof either.  I probably should sell that one, since I rarely ever use it.

If I just have a few to do for a piece of furniture, I'll cut them by hand- a lot quieter, more pleasant work, and less stress.

edited to add:  I went and looked at the Rockler jig.  It's a LOT fancier than the old Rockwell that I get perfect joints out of.  Most likely, you just need to be more particular with every little detail, even including the pressure you use on the router.  I can see where a cheap bit could add to the router imperfections.  Get a new Whiteside bit, and it will probably help a lot.

Here's a picture of one exactly like mine that Google found, except mine has wing nuts instead of hex nuts to clamp the boards in place.  I don't remember if I replaced those or not.  If I can make perfect dovetails with this thing, it should be possible with any other jig.

maxresdefault.jpg

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Even expensive jigs are frustrating and difficult to use.  I have the Leigh D4R Pro which is about the nicest jig you can buy and I still wanna pull my hair out during setup.  I can't imagine how depressing it would be to use the Rockler jig.

But keep at it...it's all about test boards.  It might take you an entire day to set it up, but that's how you end up with nice tight joints.  Or you could cut them by hand. :)

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I keep 2 dedicated routers set up for 3/4" material for the Leigh Jig too (can't count in my head, without looking, how many dedicated routers I keep for different things).  Even with a digital bit height gauge, most of the work of getting perfect fitting joints with a router jig, regardless of type, or brand, is in the router set up.

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Thanks to all. So the update is that I’m ready to take a sledge hammer to this thing! I spent another couple hours with It tonight. I got the left side working very well but when I use the right side for the right side of the drawer, it is not very close. I’m frustrated and can’t understand how one side can be so good and the other side so bad, especially when it’s set up the same and I’ve checked the measurements. So now I’m thinking hat I cut all the left sides. Then I adjust the right side and cut all the right sides. Thoughts about this strategy? Or get rid of it for a Leigh ??

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I just sold my Porter Cable dovetail jig and bought the Leigh Super 12 and couldn't be happier. I must reiterate what has been mentioned by some of the others. Stock preparation is critical. Straight and square. It's also critical that the bit is centered in the bushing. I have a centering dealy that came with a Milescraft guide system I bought years ago. In my opinion going from a Rockler to a Porter Cable wouldn't be much of an upgrade. The clamping mechanism on both are junk.

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