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Gifkins Dovetail Jig

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DavidN

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Has anybody purchased the Gifkins Dovetail jig and is it worth the money
Any comments would be appreciated as I am considering raiding my
grandchildrens piggy bank to buy one
Thanks
DavidN
 

colinc

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Hi, I have one but haven't used it a lot yet. I have made a number of test joints though and once I tuned the fit using the paper shims provided it turned out perfect joints very quickly.

I guess that the downside is that it only produces one size of dovetail and only through dovetails. Once you've grasped how it works it is incredibly quick and set-up is easy.

I bought the optional shim set that allows you to vary the spacing - takes a little working out but easy once you've got it.

Do you have a specific job in mind for it?

colin
 

DavidN

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Thank you for your input Colin
I look at the jig as a general jig for dovetails But have just found out
it is not sold over here anymore you have to get from the supplier in australia.
I will use the bog standard dovetail jig that on the market
But many thanks for your input
Regards
David N
 

colinc

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I bought mine from Peter Lloyd - a demo from Peter helped a lot.

I don't know if you are aware how it works but you have two cutters, a dovetail bearing guided cutter running in parallel slots and a straight running in tapered slots. You probably won't see why without having the bits in your hand but adjustment of the cutter heights is non-critical and doesn't affect the fit so set up is easy.

Peter demonstrates it on a purpose made table that has two routers, one for each cutter, so the whold process is very quick. I suspect much quicker that the more common style.

I would also go on to suggest that the way the fit can be adjusted by use of paper shims give you greater control over the fit of the joint than the conventional jig.

As I said before, it does one job, but it does it superbly.

Roger Gifkiins' site is worth looking at: www.gifkins.co.au

There is a review from GWW at: http://www.gifkins.com.au/GWReview.pdf

There is lots of useful general material to read, not just about his jigs. I like his wooden hinges: http://www.gifkins.com.au/SingleActionWoodenHinge.pdf

regards

Colin
 

colinc

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I went straight to the horse's mouth...

Peter is concentrating on making boxes - and very good they are too! I did so enjoy seeing Peter's work at woodworking exhibitions.

If you want to buy a jig then an email to Roger Gifkins is probably the way to go. If anyone with a jig needs additional templates in the near future, you might first contact Peter as he has some stock left.

As I said before it's a quality product - David's a bit far away but if anyone wants to try one before buying they're welcome to come over and have a play.

regards

Colin
 

Chris

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Classic Hand Tools (www.classichandtools.com) are now the UK distributor for the Gifkins Dovetail Jig. I bought mine from Peter Lloyd and have found it to be first-class. The design has changed now, but the basic principle is still the same. It produces super results and with a bit of trial and error you can produce some stunning boxes.
 

Saintsman

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Hi Chris,

I bought my Gifkins jig direct from Roger in Oz just before Classic Hand Tools started handling them. Doh.........

I can thoroughly recommend it: easy and quick to set up (especially with the silly person's guide DVD) and produces good accurate joints, albeit only through dovetails. Good idea to buy at least one additional template.

Paul
 

motownmartin

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It looks very easy to use, I looked at this about 6 Months ago but felt restricted to through dovetails, then another £50 for each additional template then £110 for the finger joint template, with all that in mind I opted for the Incra and with that you get 50 templates and a good accurate fence for the router table.
 

Steve Maskery

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Can I offer an alternative?

Dovetails jigs are great, aren't they? But they are a pain too.

Years ago I had a wolfcraft jig, it was ghastly. Then I bought a Leigh. It produced perfect dovetails once I'd spent a morning working out how to use it, but it sat on the shelf for 364 days of the year.

If you are looking for a production jig, fine, spend lots of money on a good jig and I'm sure you will get the benefit of it.

But if you are a hobbyist and are understandably in awe of some of the dovetail work seen (like the work of Rob Cosman and Tony here) then I urge you to be inspired and encouraged rather than daunted.

For a fraction of the cost of good jig you can buy a world-class dovetail saw and, whilst your first efforts will not be excellent, you can spend a day practising and by the end you will have DTs you can show to people. You'll have a learning curve with a jig, too, I can assure you. And the whole process will be MUCH more satisfying.

The other avenue to explore, and this is how I do mine, is to use a bandsaw. The method is well-documented in Mark Duginski's Bandsaw Book and I have made a couple of improvements myself, which I wrote up in GW a year or two back. You get most of the flexibility of hand-cut DTs with good production speed and with minimal setup. And the best bit is (assuming you have a bandsaw, of course) the financial outlay is approximately nil.

Something to ponder, anyway.

My 2p.
Cheers
Steve
 

Saintsman

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Steve,

I agree completely: nothing is as satisfying (in woodwork at least........) as trying hand-cut DTs, failing miserably but persevering and eventually achieving something pretty good.

Trouble is, I like gadgets and it's always interesting to have several means at one's disposal for achieving the same (or very similar ends). As you say bandsawn DTs are also very effective and efficient: they're next on my 'must have a go at that' list.

Cheers,

Paul
 

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