If you’re looking to cut dovetails with a router, then a dovetail jig is an essential tool. They make it easier to create accurate joints without the stress of using a hand tool.
Most jigs use a template that limits the router’s path to cut a specific pattern of pins and tails, along with the sockets between them.
Easy to use
Dovetail jigs are a great tool for beginners and professionals alike, as they make it easier to create accurate dovetail joints. These jigs use a template to guide your router and help you create a precise pattern of pins or tails.
These jigs come in two different forms: fixed and variable. The latter is more versatile and allows you to change templates to create different types of joints.
Variable dovetail jigs get mounted to your bench, but they also feature separate clamps that hold your workpiece steady while you cut. They can be a bit more expensive than fixed dovetail jigs, but they offer a high degree of flexibility and accuracy in your dovetail joints.
This model from Leigh RTJ400 comes with multiple templates for cutting half-blinds, through, rabbeted half-blind and sliding dovetails, along with dovetail dadoes, box joints and miniature dovetails. It also includes on-board tips and gauges to help you set up the router for perfect cuts.
Dovetails are one of the most common and useful joints for woodworkers. They offer a lot of glue surface, precise alignment and mechanical strength. However, they can be tricky to cut without a good dovetail jig.
The jig you choose should deliver accurate joints every time. This is especially true for jigs with variable spacing, which allow you to adjust the guide fingers to set up fully custom joints.
It is also important to secure your workpiece tightly in the jig, as looseness can cause the joint to fall out of place and result in a ruined product. If the jig has moveable fingers, be sure to tighten all the finger screws so the vibration from the router doesn’t loosen them and allow them to slip out of place.
If you plan on making large dovetailed boxes, crates and other cabinets, a jig within the 24-inch capacity range is best. It allows you to expand your capacity and set up more joints in less time, without requiring you to move the board to keep milling.
Dovetail jigs are a great way to produce accurate and reliable through-dovetail or half-blind dovetail joints. They’re also versatile, making them a good addition to any woodworker’s toolkit.
The type of jig you choose will have a big impact on how easy it is to use. There are stock-mounted dovetail jigs that mount to your workpiece and provide a lot of adjustability, as well as bench-mounted jigs that attach to your router table and offer more adjustable features.
A dovetail jig that clamps to a router table offers a more stable and reliable environment for routing your joint than one that mounts to the workpiece itself, which can be difficult to maneuver around.
The Leigh D4R Pro dovetail jig is a great option for anyone who needs a high-quality jig with a wide range of capabilities. It produces through-dovetails and half-blind dovetails in a variety of widths and pin/tail spacings.
A dovetail jig is one of the most durable and easy to use tools in the woodworking toolbox. It can help you create strong and accurate dovetail joints for boxes, drawers, and furniture without fasteners.
These jigs clamp workpieces, and you run a router along the template to cut a dovetail joint. Some jigs use handheld routers to feed the template, while others require a router table.
Some jigs clamp pieces up to 1 3/8 ” thick, making them useful for projects that need to accommodate thicker or more exotic stock. Other jigs have a wider range of clamping capacity, allowing them to secure pieces up to 14″ wide.
If you’re new to routing dovetails, it’s important to know how to properly set up the jig. You may need to fine-tune several settings on the jig and the router bit depth to get the joint to fit perfectly.