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Leigh Dovetail Jig

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Leigh Dovetail Jig

Postby Malc2098 » 11 Sep 2018, 17:52

Some of you may remember, my uncle has gifted me his Leigh D4 Dovetail Jig.

I've upgraded it to D4R Pro, and it came with a RVA Router Vacuum Attachment.

Before I decide to start on dovetails, I decided to have a go at finger joints. I bought one of those 1/4" (6.35mm) SOLID CARBIDE 4 FLT BOTTOM CUT END MILL EUROPA TOOL from GBR engineering and it was much easier to handle than a two flute straight cutter, and cheaper, too. I might have to buy a small stock of them.

I have read through the Leigh instructions I don't know how many times, and I know Peter Parfitt says they are very clear instructions for the dovetails, but I struggled a bit, probably because I was only doing one joint and not a whole box. In the instructions, the process is for the whole box, not one joint at a time. But I got there.

Rather than spoiling some of the lovely dog ends that Coley so generously donated to my cause, I started out on OSB, and this was the first result.

(356.22 KiB)

Not bad, I thought for a first go. At least the outer fingers are together! :D

So Now, I've got a bit of confidence handling my T5 with the RVA1 on the D4R Pro, I'll sort out some wood and do all four joints as the instructions tell me and then do the micro adjustments to get them to fit as perfectly as I can.

I'll post the next attempt in a few days.
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Old Oak
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Re: Leigh Dovetail Jig

Postby StevieB » 11 Sep 2018, 18:45

Good start - looks very neat with no breakout.

I have an incra i-box and was struggling to get fine adjustment on it. What I eventually discovered is that you have to micro adjust in pairs as it were - you need to tweak then cut both halves of a completely new joint, you cannot cut one pair, then tweak to adjust one a new side to an existing side - does that make sense? It can take a while to get a good tight fitting joint you are happy with, but once you have that then repeatable cuts are a doddle (until you want to change the finger size or cutter width, when you have to start all over again!).

The above is true of pretty much all of these mechanical methods of cutting joints, since one side is referenced off the other. The same principle will apply to dovetail joints cut this way. Never tried any of the fancy isolock joints, but I presume the same will hold true here also.

Using these systems is far easier than having the time and patience to get proficient by hand for me, but they are still not as simple as the flashy Incra video's would have you believe!
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