Kreg Owners' Community

I know this is the KREG forum, and I use mine all the time, BUT, I am trying to do some dovetail drawers for the first time and I broke my own cardinal rule by purchasing a cheapo 1/2 blind dovetail jig (Craftex) and I just can't seem to get the set-up right.  The pins still need a little hand work every time and I have tried every different suggestion that the mostly useless manual provides. No matter what I try, the pins are always a little to proud.   At this point, I am almost out of scrap lumber (and patience) to continue. 

Does anyone have any thoughts on a good dovetail jig to buy that isn't in the price range of Leigh or AKEDA?

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Check the depth of your bit, I do not remember now which way you move the bit for tighter and looser, but a little difference makes a big difference.

I have a Porter Cable 12" and love it. I have a dedicated router that I keep set up and very seldom have to make any changes. Dont know the model # off hand, but I will check it tomorrow and post it, It was in the $100.00 range about 6 years ago.
Thanks Robert. I have tried playing with the bit depth but will do so again.
Not an expert by any means, but I have been taught to cut them so the pins are always bit proud and then sand them to a suitable finish. I am also told I should be able to get them exact! So far I have not been able to do that. Cutting the intentionally proud prevents me from getting them to short, and having to redo the whole piece. My dove tail jig is " of questionable origin" and my be most of my problem.
Thanks Dave and I see your point - better too big than too small. But like you, the perfectionist in me says I should be able to get them perfect! Maybe I am just expecting too much. Need to stop watching those wood working videos where the joints always seem to be perfect first time around.
Mr. Mike, I would strongly suggest the entry level Journeyman model Keller Dovetail Jig system see http://www.kellerdovetail.com/models.html . My observation is that Keller divides their product line into two main catagories: entry level Journeyman line and Pro line. The Journey jigs are made of a very durable plastic and do not represent a huge tool-fund investment, but do and an excellent job. The other, The Pro, is made of solid aluminum billet material, thus the price difference. I own both, a smaller Journeyman that includes both the tails and pins on one template, and the 24" Pro model that uses a separate jig to make the pins, and another to make the tails. In addition to dovetail joints, Keller also sells a bit for making box joints. If you read a little further in the Keller literature, Keller also sells a kit to create a board holding device called a "caul" (pr. call, as in phone call), otherwise, a Irwin Quik Grip clamp or two will suffice. A Keller jig may be fastened to a bench, or may be inverted and used upsidedown on a router table. The Keller system bits have a top-riding bearing to follow the jig and not machine (eat) your costly jig(s). I have much respect for Mr. Keller and his product, but if there was a book called "Dovetail Joinery for Idiots", this would be the system featured. If you can't do it, tweak it, and do it better the second pass, then you are either blind or stupid, and should not be touching power tools to start with. It's that good and that simple of a system. If you are in the trades and need production capacity, or are a retired mechanical engineer with 20 years to tinker before you die, go ahead and spend the money on a Leigh, otherwise, go with the Keller Dovetail Jig. Best of luck. That's what I know. Joe
Thanks Joe. I will look into the Keller right now!

Joe Nash said:
Mr. Mike, I would strongly suggest the entry level Journeyman model Keller Dovetail Jig system see http://www.kellerdovetail.com/models.html . My observation is that Keller divides their product line into two main catagories: entry level Journeyman line and Pro line. The Journey jigs are made of a very durable plastic and do not represent a huge tool-fund investment, but do and an excellent job. The other, The Pro, is made of solid aluminum billet material, thus the price difference. I own both, a smaller Journeyman that includes both the tails and pins on one template, and the 24" Pro model that uses a separate jig to make the pins, and another to make the tails. In addition to dovetail joints, Keller also sells a bit for making box joints. If you read a little further in the Keller literature, Keller also sells a kit to create a board holding device called a "caul" (pr. call, as in phone call), otherwise, a Irwin Quik Grip clamp or two will suffice. A Keller jig may be fastened to a bench, or may be inverted and used upsidedown on a router table. The Keller system bits have a top-riding bearing to follow the jig and not machine (eat) your costly jig(s). I have much respect for Mr. Keller and his product, but if there was a book called "Dovetail Joinery for Idiots", this would be the system featured. If you can't do it, tweak it, and do it better the second pass, then you are either blind or stupid, and should not be touching power tools to start with. It's that good and that simple of a system. If you are in the trades and need production capacity, or are a retired mechanical engineer with 20 years to tinker before you die, go ahead and spend the money on a Leigh, otherwise, go with the Keller Dovetail Jig. Best of luck. That's what I know. Joe
Mike, I also should mention that there is a DVD one may order in addition to some flash video haning out in cyberspace, like on YouTube, that shows how to use the Keller Jig. You may wish to take my advice with a grain of salt and simply watch the video and see for yourself how to use the system. Mr. Keller has been making pretty much the same product for 20+ years, and kept his focus narrow and to the point. When you watch the official Keller instructional video, I believe it was likely shot on VHS in 1981 or '82 (no leisure suits were harmed or killed in the making of the video), and is still as accurate to today. Aside from making longer jigs for wider stock and adding aluminum jigs to his line, again one has to admire him for his guts to stay on track and make a singular product very, very well. Mr. Keller is also quite cordial and will personally respond by e-mail. The Journeyman jig I bought at a garage sale from a widow that had no idea what it was. That was a small victory two summers ago. When I bought the 24" Pro unit, Mr. Keller called me at home one evening and asked me how I liked his product, and if I had any questions. Now, when was the last time a manufacturer did that for you? Mr. Keller really gives a sh*t about his product. Obviously, I am totally impressed and enthusiastic about the Keller Dovetail System. It really does a good job and doesn't bust the fund - having fun. I give Keller two thumbs and two big toes UP! ; ) Regards, Joe
Joe, thanks again for your advice. That is a great story. For Mr. Keller to call you after buying is unheard of today. I will be investigating Keller further on the weekend. Really appreciate your help and insight.
Mike if you are a hobby wood worker you might want to check out Wood Lines Route-r-joint joint jig I like mine and they stand behind what they sell.
Mike,
I did the same thing years ago and bought the woodriver jig from woodcraft, horrible to say the least. Last year my wife got me the 12 in. Porter Cable and it works like a dream!! Setup is easy, wonderful jig. I have pics on my page of dovetails that it's made.
Justin, Thanks for the advice. It took me awhile to respond as I ended up getting the Porter Cable and have spent the last month making a bunch of stuff including some half blind, and through dovetails, and box joints. I really like the PC a lot. It is so much easier to use than the piece of crap Craftex Jig I bought and you can do so much more with it without so much set up time. Thanks again.

justin waldron said:
Mike,
I did the same thing years ago and bought the woodriver jig from woodcraft, horrible to say the least. Last year my wife got me the 12 in. Porter Cable and it works like a dream!! Setup is easy, wonderful jig. I have pics on my page of dovetails that it's made.
Leigh Super 18. Great instructions and video. I used it to redo all my kitchen and bathroom drawers. A little expensive, but works very well. You will want to add dust collector attachment.

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