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Dovetail jigs - UJK vs Trend vs others?

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OliT

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I've been offered a dovetail jig for my birthday. I was looking at the UJK one as it does finger joints too, but still scratching my head about whether it's worth the extra money over the Trend one.

Any thoughts? Is there something else I should be looking at?

Oli
 

Logger

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I have trend cdj 600 and find it really good, but have not tried others to compare. I bought a couple of the other templates for finger jointing etc.

I got it at a sale price. Part of my reasoning was i already had the trend t5 router and quite a lot of other trend tools and jigs and never been disappointed.

Having said that, they all work exactly the same way, so would have thought others perform well.

Nick
 

Pete Maddex

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I gave mine away, far to tricky to setup the best way would be a dedicated router set and left to do dovetails only.

Pete
 

ajcr27

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I would recommend the Leigh Dovetail jigs but they are in a different price bracket to the likes of Trend and UJK.
 

Logger

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Yes, the leigh ones are meant to be the best, but i could not justify that price.

I spent a bit of time setting up first time, writing down the cutter depth etc on the board my jig is clamped to. After that, i fit the drawers to be cut against, fit the cutter and guide bush to my router and i am good to go. I tend to make my drawers the same thickness, so the cutter depth is the only setting i have to set (17mm depth).

Cheers

Nick
 

Myfordman

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The main problem with the fixed spacing ones are that the job has to be designed around the spacing as a few sizes are not feasible. That said for infrequent use they are good value.
 

Jonathan S

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I'm going something simular to Nick, keep all stock the same thickness, generally its good practice to sand insides before you cut, doing it after will open the joint.
I keep a sample of the joint to make set up easy. Keep router base and all parts it comes into contact with well waxed. Make sure your marking out and labelling is spot on! and if your stock is not 100% flat don't try and use it.

I've had the CMT300 for many years its cuts perfect dovetails quickly, just done 27 beach draw boxes for a big kitchen.
If I was to buy another jig I would probably look at the UJK offering, it looks like it has a nice dust extraction set up.

Jonathan



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Woody2Shoes

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OliT":f06zc2c5 said:
I've been offered a dovetail jig for my birthday. I was looking at the UJK one as it does finger joints too, but still scratching my head about whether it's worth the extra money over the Trend one.

Any thoughts? Is there something else I should be looking at?

Oli
Hi - I have a (now discontinued) DeWalt jig which is a direct copy of the very popular Porter Cable design. I'm 99% certain that the UKJ jig is a clone (or very near clone) of the Porter Cable design as well (the 7 degree angle, the dust extraction etc etc are telltales). My 2d's worth:

1) With any jig, the usefullness is much extended by availability of spares (especially the compatible router bits, which are sometimes obscure sizes/shapes). So UKJ, Trend and Leigh jigs would be the only ones on my long list for this reason (I wouldn't buy a 'no name' one, unless I knew it to be a direct clone/equivalent of one of these). All three can produce - with some practice - repeatable, sound joints at a good rate of speed.

2) Porter Cable produces two very excellent manuals (a basic and a 'supplemetal' see link below) - these manuals are the best I've seen. On this basis, I'd veer towards the UKJ jig (on the understanding that it is a clone of the Porter Cable). I wouldn't buy the Porter Cable one, because their support network in the UK is less strong - although you can of course buy their stuff from the US e.g. via Rockler, who are explicitly geared up to sell to the UK - https://www.rockler.com/4212-porter-cab ... vetail-jig

3) As an alternative, if you have a router table I'd also consider jigs designed to work with that (which can also potentially do dovetails and box joints) e.g. this type of thing: https://woodworkersworkshop.co.uk/colle ... nce-system

4) I haven't used my jig much since I learned to cut them by hand - you can get infinite variety in layout and design and arguably much better looking results almost as quickly - on Youtube, Doucette & Wolfe videos are but one inspiration for batching out handcut dovetails e.g: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjatEL ... 03Q80iTc_g

Cheers, W2S
 

GrahamF

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Woody2Shoes":3huwl0v9 said:
I wouldn't buy the Porter Cable one, because their support network in the UK is less strong - although you can of course buy their stuff from the US
Support for Leigh isn't good in UK either. I needed some plastic spacer strips for mine, Axminster quoted 3 months delivery, contacted Leigh who won't supply direct to UK but put me on to Canadian agent who had stock but postage was crippling. In the end, bought from German agent. Cutters available from Whiteside and others so no prob. with those.
 

OliT

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Thanks all, lots to think about.

I'm leaning towards the UJK because you can cut finger joints without having to buy the additional parts that I would need for the trend, so total cost comes in lower.

Oli
 

Eric The Viking

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There are probably 100 threads on this by now, similar to the ones on the right end to open an egg.

After a bit of faffing about I have given up on the standardized ones (such as Porter Cable), and I have a Stots-type which I am keeping. It lets you make templates from it, as well as doing dovetails directly. It is also very simple in design and setup.

If you Google it you will see pics, which will show you what to look for. IIRC, Rutlands sold a similar one for a while, and I thought the idea died with the inventor, but I have since seen licenced versions for sale In the USA, where it was patented.

Simple, elegant and effective. If you want versatility as well, you probably need some suitably sharp chisels... :)
 

SVB

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Another vote for woodrat. HSS bits are ace in terms of overall design asthetic.
 
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