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Dovetail Jigs -Leigh,Trend,Axminster ?

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DAZB

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Can anyone recommend a good Dovetail Jig for semi proffessional use ? I would be looking for one that can take a fair bit of use because I would be using it for batches of about 20-25 drawer casings a week.
I have been looking at the Trend DC400 system and also the Leigh jigs but are they really worth paying so much more than , say an Axminster model at £45 ? The Leigh jig looks great but weighs in at around £350 with additional templates costing up to £200 more and I know there is a saying that you get what you pay for but can anyone advise me if the extra cost is justified in terms of quality and end result. Is it worth paying a fortune for one or potentially buying several cheaper models over time ? Any advice is much appreciated.
 

Waka

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DAZB

I can only speak for the Leigh jig, I have had one for about 7 years with the extra mortice template and have to say I find it very good once the set up is done. having said that I haven't touched mine for a couple of years now.

As I don't tend to do batches of joints I have opted for the hand made version of dovetails, still practicing and probably always will.

I'm sure someone will come on the thread and recommend the WR. I did watch the demonstration at the show and was impressed, again useful if you are batch producing.
 

Chris Knight

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DAZB,

I have the Leigh and it would certainly do the job well. I also have aWoodrat and whilst I like it and use it for some things, I have never used it in batch mode and with the Leigh there I have never been tempted to try so cannot truly comment on it for batch work.

Cheaper jigs than the Leigh would probably work OK too but with the Leigh you get flexibility. You can set it up for any drawer height (rather than having the jig dictate this). You can pick the spacing, you can do both through and half-blind dovetails and it is fine-tunable for fit.

Woodshop Demos ( http://www.woodshopdemos.com/menu2.htm ) did a big review of various jigs and you may want to look there
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Daz

The cheaper jigs will all cut fixed width mechanical dovetails. If this is OK then that would be the cheapest way to go.

However, for the Leigh vs Rat debate, have a look at this thread: -

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2882&start=0

If you are normally cutting the same size drawers you could always buy the Stots dovetail master from Axminster, about 20'ish, and then cut your own templates in something like Tufnol. This has the advantage of being incredibly cheap and robust.

Cheers
Neil
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Simon

SimonA":23cx096w said:
You could also have a look at the Festool Dovetail jig.....
IIRC, and I could be totally wrong here, but isn't the Festool a fixed width jig for about the same price as the Leigh?

Cheers
Neil
 
A

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Leigh is flexible way beyond others. I don't use mine for batch work but love it when I do use it. Solidly built and able to produce any DT you want

Maybe a second hand Leigh? Waka?
 

Waka

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Philly made a good point regarding the Incra fence, thats another good option. I have seen the results and am well impressed. ALL philly has to do is convince me that I need one for my soon to be new homemade Router table.

Tony, are you trying to sell my tools?

Off the air until later in the week, flying off to work.
 

Alf

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Another thing to consider perhaps; how you want the dovetails to look? The 'Rat arguably comes closest to looking handcut, while at the other end of the spectrum the fixed jigs will look most machine-made. FWIW.

Cheers, Alf
 
A

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Waka":hu9j2yws said:
Tony, are you trying to sell my tools?

.
Not at all :oops: Sorry if I posted out of turn - I just thought that Daz's post and your reply seemed to fit together nicely.
 

houtslager

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well for those looking for a jig at less then new cost here is one for sale.I am tending to do all my dt's by hand so no longer need it.It come with 2 jigs one for dts and the other for finger joints. As I still cannot get the hang of linking pictures for this site, anyone interested will have to go to UK Woodworking groups on MSN and look at my photo album there. Price is € 200 all in but ex post.First serious pm to me gets it.
All the best HS
 

Chris Knight

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HS,
houtslager":3jluimdc said:
I am tending to do all my dt's by hand
I am surprised that you can afford the time as a professional maker - presumably your clients are prepared to pay for the hand made look rather than that you are actually able to make them quicker by hand than machine - always accepting of course that a single drawer may be quicker by hand than with a jig.

BTW do you still plan to pick up that sharpener from me?
 

PitBull

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Dazb,

As a hobbyist WWer I recently went through the same decision-making process - Leigh or Trend - somewhat to my surprise (!) I ended up with a WoodRat due to its greater flexibility in terms of max width of board, number of different possible joints, wall mounting, and with respect to DTs only; the completely variable spacing, max depth of cut, and the hand-cut look of DTs.

For the record, the relevant thread (complete with some useful comparative numbers) can be found at https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2882. Enjoy :)
 

SimonA

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Neil, you are right about it being a fixed spacing dovetail jig, but I don't think its as expensive as the Leigh, about £200. The nice thing about this one is the fact the the extra jigs (finger, dowel and different spacing doves etc) only cost about £40-50 which is which is about £250 cheaper than the Leigh!

SimonA
 

Philly

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Waka,
Look into my eyes, you are feeling sleepy.......... :shock:
You want an Incra, you want an Incra........................

Philly :twisted:
 
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