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Leigh dovetail jig?

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flanajb

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I have an axminster dovetail jig and you have to use a top mounted bearing cutter. The issue with this is that you have to do the cut in one hit and when you are using hardwoods it is too much. I was thinking of getting the leigh jig as I think that uses guide bushings. This will enable me to use a straight bit to take out the majority and to then use the dovetail cutter in one hit to finish the job?

I am also keen to understand whether they are worth there money, or whether they are just a gimic and a waste of time?

Thanks
 

Modernist

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Yes they do use a special guide bush. I have a 24" model, which I wouldn't mind selling, complete with new guide bush and a set of cutters for both dovetail and straight cuts, manual, 8mm collet reducer and special tool. £200 delivered.
 

jasonB

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Its going to be a lot of faffing about if you take it out with a straight bit first.

What size shank bits are you using on teh AXI? I find even on teh Leigh if you use 1/4" shank cutters they chatter and cut oversize but teh 8mm ones are far more rigid, this draw had 20mm deep dovetails in maple, cut no problem.



I think they are worth teh money and that sounds a good offer.
 

Benchwayze

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flanajb":3joj92cp said:
I have an axminster dovetail jig and you have to use a top mounted bearing cutter. The issue with this is that you have to do the cut in one hit and when you are using hardwoods it is too much. I was thinking of getting the leigh jig as I think that uses guide bushings. This will enable me to use a straight bit to take out the majority and to then use the dovetail cutter in one hit to finish the job?

I am also keen to understand whether they are worth there money, or whether they are just a gimic and a waste of time?

Thanks
I suppose it would Flan but:

The Leigh Jig is a great tool if you are in a hurry.But when you think about it, it's only as good as the routers and cutters you use with it.

However, to your idea of switching bits. The Leigh uses a full depth cut, but you work from front to rear so you don't make a full cut.You remove the waste from side to side, unless the gap is just the width of the cutter.

When using a smaller router such as an MOF96e Leigh also suggest using 8mm shank cutters in place of 1/4" shanks, to cut down on chatter. If you change cutters in the middle of a cut, I don't think that will suit the Leigh's way of operation.

I can't be sure on that, because I have never done it. In fact I always have two routers fitted with each bit I require, to save on time. If I was ultra-lazy I would also buy a spare finger plate so I could set fingers on that for the opposite end of the jig. I could then simply replace the finger plate and crack on.

I never had a bit break on me, and I find with a good powerful router (Elu 177E are mine) there really isn't much of a problem.
Maybe you might find removing waste with a straight cutter useful when using the smaller dovetail cutters on sliding dovetails. But other than that, I wouldn't go to the trouble of switching cutters in mid operation.

If Leigh do suggest this these days, then cutters are not what they used to be.

As for cutters, I find Titman, Wealden and Griffiths to be the best.
Griffiths I am unsure about because I think they might have ceased trading.

HTH

John :D
 

flanajb

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Thanks for your posts. I think the issue was due to me trying to use a 1/4" router and as a result it suffered with lots of chatter. In the end the bearing dislodged from the cheap axminster router cutter :-(
 

Modernist

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Mine is a D4 not the D4R or S but I think they are essentially the same.









As you can see the guide bush is new, the cutters sharp (8mm) and the manual is excellent.
 

flanajb

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I assume that with these jigs you are constrained to drawer heights of limited dimensions due to the finger fixing on the jig ?
 

Modernist

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flanajb":22it1pcg said:
I assume that with these jigs you are constrained to drawer heights of limited dimensions due to the finger fixing on the jig ?
No it will handle up to 24" timber width, if I understand you correctly, so it can be used for carcass joints aswell.
 

Benchwayze

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The fingers are adjustable along the finger plate, to allow variable spacing; even asymmetrically spaced tails.

The Leigh Jig can also be used for end-grain trimming, up to the width of the jig, if you use the cross-cutting bar, and a straight cutter, with a bush.
John :)
 

misterfish

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If you look on the Leigh web site they have a number of video demonstrations - http://www.leighjigs.com/vids.php#

My D4 came with a 50 minute instruction VHS video. I converted this to an mpg video file (fortunately before the video machine died). PM me if you want a copy (too big to email or upload on to my web space).

Misterfish
 

marcros

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misterfish":15uufiu7 said:
If you look on the Leigh web site they have a number of video demonstrations - http://www.leighjigs.com/vids.php#

My D4 came with a 50 minute instruction VHS video. I converted this to an mpg video file (fortunately before the video machine died). PM me if you want a copy (too big to email or upload on to my web space).

Misterfish
It is well worth watching this video. It explains it very well, as does the manual (which is downloadable on the leigh site). The youtube demos are very much that- purely showing what can be done rather than an indepth "how".

As to the difference between the d4, the d4r and d4s there is probably very little. You can upgrade, but when I looked at doing so to my d4, I found that it had already been supplied from new with most of the parts needed.
 
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