Ready to buy Leigh, Akeda or Omnijig

138 views
Skip to first unread message

dary...@yahoo.com

unread,
Jan 13, 2009, 8:43:03 AM1/13/09
to
Howdy folks,

Ready to plunge on a dovetail jig and going shopping on Saturday. My
gut decided Leigh D4R but I seriously looked at the Akeda 24" and
Omnijig. My need: Primarily through dovetails but I can envision a
fair amount of half blinds on drawers as well. Thoughts on each...

Leigh: Undisputed king of the jigs, still top of my list. Wouldn't
mind the Super jig but spending this kind of money I am thinking go
for the additional adjustment of the D4R. Either would include the
VRS. I am a bit concerned about tearout but others don't seem like
they would be any better.

Akeda: Reviews look good, I like the clean package, concerned they
list only two distributors in the US. Also, has variable spacing but
I am unsure if it allows variable sized pins and tails (like Leigh &
Omnijig's two part fingers). Videos at their website leave a bit to
be desired.

Omnijig: "Looks" like a very good copy of Leigh technology with
several more pluses. Concerned though about PC quality, availability,
and getting nickel and dimed with accessories.

Any Akeda or Omni users out there that could talk me out of the Leigh?

Daryl

Leon

unread,
Jan 13, 2009, 9:27:05 AM1/13/09
to

<dary...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:da44c5e7-33bf-462c...@t11g2000yqg.googlegroups.com...

> Howdy folks,
>
> Ready to plunge on a dovetail jig and going shopping on Saturday. My
> gut decided Leigh D4R but I seriously looked at the Akeda 24" and
> Omnijig. My need: Primarily through dovetails but I can envision a
> fair amount of half blinds on drawers as well. Thoughts on each...
>
> Leigh: Undisputed king of the jigs, still top of my list. Wouldn't
> mind the Super jig but spending this kind of money I am thinking go
> for the additional adjustment of the D4R. Either would include the
> VRS. I am a bit concerned about tearout but others don't seem like
> they would be any better.

If you read the very good manual that comes with the Leigh it addresses the
best plan of action to minimize tear out. Basically there is a side and
direction to go when exiting the back and front side of the cut. Following
theinstructions and thinking about the direction that the bit spins will
help you visualize and remember how to cut through the back side of the
board.
Concerning blind DT joints, every bit has a sweet spot depth setting, it
typically is not an exact measured depth of cut so much as a depth that
deliveres the desired results. Practice on scraps to determine every bit's
ideal depth setting. theis is pretty much true with any DT jig. Remember,
you use the same depth setting for cutting the tails and pins, you do not
make depth adjustments mid stream. Start with ALL new scraps with each
depth adjustment. Cutting depth on both sides of the joint have to be
"exactly" equal.


>
> Akeda: Reviews look good, I like the clean package, concerned they
> list only two distributors in the US. Also, has variable spacing but
> I am unsure if it allows variable sized pins and tails (like Leigh &
> Omnijig's two part fingers). Videos at their website leave a bit to
> be desired.

I have had my Leigh for longer than the Akeda has been available and so far
see no reason to change. The #1 think that I don't care for on the Akeda is
all the loose parts.

> Omnijig: "Looks" like a very good copy of Leigh technology with
> several more pluses. Concerned though about PC quality, availability,
> and getting nickel and dimed with accessories.

These things are H U G E, take up a lot of room. There have probably been
more complaints on this news group about the jig than complements.
apparently some kits come with the wrong sized bits.

Basically the Leigh is a prooven performer and all the others are trying to
catch up. The more expensive Leigh with infinitely adjustable fingers IMHO
is the only way to go. You can buy any brand jig and get equal spacing.


LEGE...@yahoo.com

unread,
Jan 13, 2009, 1:46:33 PM1/13/09
to
On Jan 13, 8:43 am, "daryl1...@yahoo.com" <daryl1...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Howdy folks,
>
> Ready to plunge on a dovetail jig and going shopping on Saturday. My
> gut decided Leigh D4R but I seriously looked at the Akeda 24" and
> Omnijig. My need: Primarily through dovetails but I can envision a
> fair amount of half blinds on drawers as well. Thoughts on each...
>
> Leigh: Undisputed king of the jigs, still top of my list. Wouldn't
> mind the Super jig but spending this kind of money I am thinking go
> for the additional adjustment of the D4R. Either would include the
> VRS. I am a bit concerned about tearout but others don't seem like
> they would be any better.

My Leigh Super is for sale, I upgraded to the Akeda. I had two
problems with the Leigh.

1) The guide fingers never wanted to get perfectly level. I followed
the directions for how you're supposed to put pressure when you're
locking down and they'd be all over the place when I put a straight
edge across it.

2) When flipping the guides around to do the other side it would often
shift slightly on me. I could never figure out where it was coming
from because it didn't happen all the time, and if I loosened it and
tried to put pressure to get it over where it ought to be it would
always end up right back where it was. So I would have to move the
stop - which is NOT something that is fun to do, as when the stock is
locked in place you can't move them.

I hope the D4R is better, and as people swear by em it must be.

> Akeda: Reviews look good, I like the clean package, concerned they
> list only two distributors in the US. Also, has variable spacing but
> I am unsure if it allows variable sized pins and tails (like Leigh &
> Omnijig's two part fingers). Videos at their website leave a bit to
> be desired.

If you do any work with thinner stock the ability to change the
dovetail angle is fantastic. 8 degrees doesn't look right on anything
less than 1/2".

You can change the pin size, but you will have to go through a
complicated and time consuming process of only routing on one side of
the guides and then shifting them for a second pass. You can do lots
of funky stuff like mixing different dovetail angles in the same joint
if you are willing to put in the time to think it through and go
through multiple passes. But if you want to zip through you have to
keep the pins the same size.

I really like the fact that I can just pop in the guides at any time
to perfectly duplicate any previous setup. If you screw up one side
of something you can just replace what you wrecked, which you just
can't do on the Leigh. I have multiple small production runs of
different sizes to do, and setup is WAY faster on the Akeda once you
have the layout worked out. With the Leigh you have to fuss around
with it every time.

The clamp rail on the Akeda always stays parallel with one hand
adjustment, so it is easier to switch different board thicknesses. I
often have the drawer sides thicker than the front and back for my
jewelry box drawers, so that is handy. However I find the cam locks
on the Leigh easier to deal with than the knob when you are zipping
through multiple pieces.

During setup I like that it's easy to just take the VRS right off and
you have unhindered access to see if you have the bit set right. On
the Akeda you pretty much have to pull out the window on the front and
shine a light straight in there to be able to see anything.

I would say if the variable pin size is a deal breaker for you, get
the Leigh. Otherwise they have their pros and cons, for what I do the
Akeda is great.

-Kevin

blackemmons

unread,
Jan 13, 2009, 2:37:28 PM1/13/09
to
On Jan 13, 8:43 am, "daryl1...@yahoo.com" <daryl1...@yahoo.com> wrote:

I am an Akeda BC24 owner. And a very happy one I may add.

You can see my comments here, http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=98823&highlight=dovetail

For what I do, it is the only one for me. Just one persons opinion.

Jim

Heath Roberts

unread,
Jan 13, 2009, 4:33:39 PM1/13/09
to
dary...@yahoo.com wrote:
> Ready to plunge on a dovetail jig and going shopping on Saturday. My
> gut decided Leigh D4R but I seriously looked at the Akeda 24" and
> Omnijig. My need: Primarily through dovetails but I can envision a
> fair amount of half blinds on drawers as well. Thoughts on each...

> Any Akeda or Omni users out there that could talk me out of the Leigh?

I have the Leigh and an Omnijig. The Leigh can be adjusted to do
anything you want it to, and the Omni is good at doing the same (one)
thing over and over. I use the Omni for drawer boxes, and the Leigh
for everything else. If you're going to do the same thing all the
time, get the Omni. Otherwise, get the Leigh (or Akeda, but I have no
experience with Akeda).

len...@yahoo.com

unread,
Jan 13, 2009, 5:30:45 PM1/13/09
to

Yes, I talked with another sawmill creek'er, and this gal also had
good things to say about the Akeda. Sounded impressive to me.

As for me I took the road less traveled .... The Chestmate
(for through dovetails) =0 )
but it does work as you can see here ...
http://picasaweb.google.com/toolmanlh/Toolbox#

nailsh...@aol.com

unread,
Jan 13, 2009, 5:44:23 PM1/13/09
to
All you should ever need to know from a really unbiased, no bullshit
review:

<http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/AKEDAdtJig/AKEDAdovetailJig1.html>

same link if the wrap scrogs:

http://tinyurl.com/7gjfey

If he sounds a bit giddy, that's unusual. He just really likes this
machine. He has turned an uncompromising eye on other products, and
he is not always too nice when reviewing.

Check it out, you will get the best review of the Akeda you will find
anywhere.

Robert

nailsh...@aol.com

unread,
Jan 13, 2009, 6:13:42 PM1/13/09
to
On Jan 13, 4:30 pm, len...@yahoo.com wrote:

> As for me I took the road less traveled .... The Chestmate
> (for through dovetails)  =0 )
> but it does work as you can see here ...http://picasaweb.google.com/toolmanlh/Toolbox#

Wow... nicely done! I like the box, but it should be noted how nice
and crisp the dovetails are in the (white?) oak.

Good job.

Robert

Tom Dacon

unread,
Jan 13, 2009, 11:57:38 PM1/13/09
to
<dary...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:da44c5e7-33bf-462c...@t11g2000yqg.googlegroups.com...

I have a Leigh and really like it. However, it's complicated enough, and I
don't use it frequently enough, that I have to reread parts of the manual
every time I use it. One thing that helps is to slap a piece of tape on
every piece, describing the orientation, the type of cut, and which end of
the jig the piece should go on. Once I get it all organized, though, it goes
fine. And I handle tearout by ripping slim sacrificial pieces on the table
saw and backing up the piece I'm cutting. That takes care of tearout on the
back side, and on the front side you can sneak up on it and then do a
delicate finish cut to get the troublesome side to come out sharp. Dust
extraction helps a lot to allow you to see what's going on (Leigh offers an
accessory). If you use it enough to justify the expense, separate routers
for the straight bit and the dovetail bit are ideal, and I'm a big fan of
the D-handled router bases like the ones that Porter Cable offers for some
of their routers.

One thing that's not stressed enough when people talk about using dovetail
jigs is how much it helps to hog out the waste by other means before you
start cutting wood with the router. Sometimes I'll take a piece to the
bandsaw and rough out the cut to remove waste. Other times I'll take a
straight bit and clear out the middle of the area that the dovetail bit will
finish out. The more contemplative types might use a coping saw. A lot of
people don't know that it's the chips that carry the heat away from the bit,
and if you drive it right into hard wood the bits tend to burn or dull
quickly because the router's cutting wood in a confined space and the heat
can't escape as easily. So make it easy for the router bits and the wood
will appreciate it.

Tom Dacon


Otoe

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 10:29:23 AM1/14/09
to

Before buying new, checkout Craigslist for used. There's an OMNIJig
forsale in the Charlotte area for asking price $275.

Otoe

blackemmons

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 10:50:55 AM1/14/09
to
On Jan 13, 8:43 am, "daryl1...@yahoo.com" <daryl1...@yahoo.com> wrote:

charlieb where are you on this one. You are one of the main reasons I
own the Akeda.

Like Robert said, read the reviews. I called Kevan at Akeda and asked
him about charlib's review. He said he doesn't know him. He has
tried to contact him but he would not return his e-mails. Sounds like
an independent review to me.

Here is a video of the Akeda in case you haven't seen it,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfcDus-l-pU

He is a review from a guy how does a lot of reviews also,
http://www.woodshopdemos.com/aked-1.htm

Keep in mind, these reviews are for the BC16 but from my experience,
everything applies to the BC24.

I also like the short learning curve because it is something I do not
use everyday. My first dovetails were completed and hour after I
opened the box and that includes mounting on the base..........and
they were tight and perfect. One thing I didn't have was the mess on
me and the floor. All of the dust and chips were in the DC.

It may not be for everyone, but since I started using the Akeda, my
frustration with making dovetails from a jig is gone.

Jim

blackemmons

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 11:29:24 AM1/14/09
to
On Jan 13, 8:43 am, "daryl1...@yahoo.com" <daryl1...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Here is the link to charlib's review(and others) http://www.akeda.com/reviews.web.html

MikeWhy

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 3:26:32 PM1/14/09
to
"blackemmons" <black...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:bddcf39a-2508-44bb...@w1g2000prm.googlegroups.com...

=========
I'd been biting my tongue since this thread started, but $500 is a big heap
of spare change. I use a $20 Bear Saw ryoba and a $12 Buck chisel, both of
them 10 years old and otherwise under used. It took a couple of weeks of
evenings and a few bft of #2 common to begin to get them to fit reliably.
But I undertook this as a journey, not as a hurried destination, as much for
the joy of doing so as for a real need. Maybe you're in a different
situation. The biggest and only trick is to saw reliably on a line,
splitting the line (all 3 lines, actually. Everything else is easy once you
can do that. If you haven't spent the money yet, you might consider that
you're actually paying yourself $400+ in real money to learn to cut them by
hand.


nailsh...@aol.com

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 3:54:55 PM1/14/09
to
On Jan 14, 2:26 pm, "MikeWhy" <boat042-nos...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I'd been biting my tongue since this thread started, but $500 is a big heap
> of spare change.

Why in the world would you feel like you needed to bite your tongue?
The thread as started by the OP was specifically about three different
jigs, asking only about dovetail jigs. Although he didn't ask about
instruction on hand cut dovetails, it's all in the family in its own
way, no?

> But I undertook this as a journey, not as a hurried destination, as much for
> the joy of doing so as for a real need. Maybe you're in a different
> situation.

Now you are to it. While your opinion is valued and appreciated,
suppose that the OP tried hand cutting, and didn't think the results
were worth the effort. Maybe he enjoys the other aspects of wood
working more. IME, I bought a dovetail jig years ago simply because I
was too embarrassed for my drawers to be assembled with rabbet cuts.
Although none of them EVER fell apart, a dovetail is a better seller.

I am not at the point in my life where I will sit down and build a few
drawers for a client (or for myself!) that requires a new skill set.
I know they won't appreciate the extra work every time they open that
bathroom vanity, and when I looked at the joints, all I would see
would be bad. Besides, that extra time developing a new skill set may
be going to making my own folding knives.

So to me, it kind of depends on where one is in the stream of things.
One day, one day... I will have to take saw and chisel in hand and do
it. Right now, I make dovetails so infrequently I have to reacquaint
myself with the jig as it is.

>If you haven't spent the money yet, you might consider that
> you're actually paying yourself $400+ in real money to learn to cut them by
> hand.

Whoa... if I go to the shop tonight and get started, can I get the
dough at the end of the week?

JUST KIDDING!!

Robert


len...@yahoo.com

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 6:30:45 PM1/14/09
to

Your absolutely right Tom. That's just what I did with my Chestmate
jig. Much easier to hog the waste out on the bandsaw. Makes it easier
on the tools and me.

Lenny

blackemmons

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 6:59:58 PM1/14/09
to
On Jan 14, 3:26 pm, "MikeWhy" <boat042-nos...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> "blackemmons" <blackemm...@yahoo.com> wrote in message

>
> news:bddcf39a-2508-44bb...@w1g2000prm.googlegroups.com...
> On Jan 13, 8:43 am, "daryl1...@yahoo.com" <daryl1...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > Howdy folks,
>
> > Ready to plunge on a dovetail jig and going shopping on Saturday. My
> > gut decided Leigh D4R but I seriously looked at the Akeda 24" and
> > Omnijig. My need: Primarily through dovetails but I can envision a
> > fair amount of half blinds on drawers as well. Thoughts on each...
>
> > Leigh: Undisputed king of the jigs, still top of my list. Wouldn't
> > mind the Super jig but spending this kind of money I am thinking go
> > for the additional adjustment of the D4R. Either would include the
> > VRS. I am a bit concerned about tearout but others don't seem like
> > they would be any better.
>
> > Akeda: Reviews look good, I like the clean package, concerned they
> > list only two distributors in the US. Also, has variable spacing but
> > I am unsure if it allows variable sized pins and tails (like Leigh &
> > Omnijig's two part fingers). Videos at their website leave a bit to
> > be desired.
>
> > Omnijig: "Looks" like a very good copy of Leigh technology with
> > several more pluses. Concerned though about PC quality, availability,
> > and getting nickel and dimed with accessories.
>
> > Any Akeda or Omni users out there that could talk me out of the Leigh?
>
> > Daryl
>
> Here is the link to charlib's review(and others)http://www.akeda.com/reviews.web.html

>
> =========
> I'd been biting my tongue since this thread started, but $500 is a big heap
> of spare change. I use a $20 Bear Saw ryoba and a $12 Buck chisel, both of
> them 10 years old and otherwise under used. It took a couple of weeks of
> evenings and a few bft of #2 common to begin to get them to fit reliably.
> But I undertook this as a journey, not as a hurried destination, as much for
> the joy of doing so as for a real need. Maybe you're in a different
> situation. The biggest and only trick is to saw reliably on a line,
> splitting the line (all 3 lines, actually. Everything else is easy once you
> can do that. If you haven't spent the money yet, you might consider that
> you're actually paying yourself $400+ in real money to learn to cut them by
> hand.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

MikeWhy,

I really admire folks that can and do cut dovetails by hand. It's
just not my thing.

I'm not a hand tool guy either. Some folks are and applaud their
talents.

To me it boils down to what you like to do as a hobby. I ride a
cruiser motorcycle, some folks like crotch rockets. When I was
hunting I did it with a gun, some folks like bow and arrow. I play
pedal steel guitar, some people can't stand it. I fish with a rod and
reel, some folks use dynamite.

Again, I commend you on your ability to cut dovetails by hand.

Jim

MikeWhy

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 7:15:25 PM1/14/09
to
<nailsh...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:7a0ff285-f403-4073...@w35g2000yqm.googlegroups.com...

On Jan 14, 2:26 pm, "MikeWhy" <boat042-nos...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I'd been biting my tongue since this thread started, but $500 is a big
> heap
> of spare change.

Why in the world would you feel like you needed to bite your tongue?
The thread as started by the OP was specifically about three different
jigs, asking only about dovetail jigs. Although he didn't ask about
instruction on hand cut dovetails, it's all in the family in its own
way, no?

=====
Simply, I was there once myself, and expected that I was just wasting breath
and bandwidth. Gagging on those price tags was more than I could stand,
though.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>
> But I undertook this as a journey, not as a hurried destination, as much
> for
> the joy of doing so as for a real need. Maybe you're in a different
> situation.

Now you are to it. While your opinion is valued and appreciated,
suppose that the OP tried hand cutting, and didn't think the results
were worth the effort. Maybe he enjoys the other aspects of wood
working more. IME, I bought a dovetail jig years ago simply because I
was too embarrassed for my drawers to be assembled with rabbet cuts.
Although none of them EVER fell apart, a dovetail is a better seller.

========
The first ones will always suck, as simple and basic as they seem after the
fact. My premise, though, is that dovetails are simple and can be readily
mastered. I really don't place much value in the handwork of itself. No one
has to know I cut them by hand as much out of laziness as to snub my nose at
the cliche. I'm just tired of tedious setups. It really is as much or more
work to set up the jig and router to make a few drawers, than to mark and
saw a few lines.

As to learning the skill... Seriously, two weeks of evenings and 6' of 4/4
hardwood, 2 or 3 inches at a time. I used #2 common cherry I had on hand.
1/2" is even easier, but maybe not as valuable

I set out initially looking just to pass the time. Along the way, I learned
to use handsaws, and found myself liberated. It's all in the saw. If it
starts bad, it'll never fit. A bandsaw comes closest, but it still can't
easily cut pins. Think of a dozuki as an easily portable, infinitely
flexible bandsaw, more than adequate for joinery. I even resaw small boards
by hand sometimes, just because I can. So, it's really not the dovetails
that I'm writing about. It's really about handsaws. Fast, easy dovetails
were just a bonus, even if it started out as the idea. (How more basic can
you get? ;)

But the point, after all that, is that hand cut dovetails are fast and easy,
less work rather than more. Depends how many you're making, of course. For a
coupla dozen dressers... I'd have to think about it. ;)

>>>>>>
I am not at the point in my life where I will sit down and build a few
drawers for a client (or for myself!) that requires a new skill set.
I know they won't appreciate the extra work every time they open that
bathroom vanity, and when I looked at the joints, all I would see
would be bad. Besides, that extra time developing a new skill set may
be going to making my own folding knives.

=========
I appreciate a good knife. That's why I buy them. ;) If it were a matter of
learning to hammer forge my own Damascus, using the forge and other tools I
already had on hand, I might consider it. The startup cost, fume extraction,
... Do you see? I had an el cheapo handsaw just lying around.

>>>>>>>>>>
So to me, it kind of depends on where one is in the stream of things.
One day, one day... I will have to take saw and chisel in hand and do
it. Right now, I make dovetails so infrequently I have to reacquaint
myself with the jig as it is.

========
;)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>If you haven't spent the money yet, you might consider that
> you're actually paying yourself $400+ in real money to learn to cut them
> by
> hand.

Whoa... if I go to the shop tonight and get started, can I get the
dough at the end of the week?

JUST KIDDING!!
==========
Of course you can. NO kidding!! Sell the jigs and the bits. ;) I think there
might be one interested buyers within earshot. (For sure, I doubt I swayed
them at all.)


Larry

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 7:34:08 PM1/14/09
to
"MikeWhy" <boat042...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:BRrbl.116$Lr6...@flpi143.ffdc.sbc.com:

> "blackemmons" <black...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:bddcf39a-2508-44bb...@w1g2000prm.googleg

> roups.com... On Jan 13, 8:43 am, "daryl1...@yahoo.com"

This hits home... Just last weekend I decided I was determined
to cut at least one set of dovetails by hand just to say I had
done it and I figured it would be a good learning experience
also. Well it was a learning experience alright. I learned
that a sharp carbide bit turning at high RPM is the way to go.
Next time I get that wild hair I'll buy a dovetail jig.

After hogging out what I could using a band saw, I set after
it with a newly purchased dovetail saw from Lee Valley. I was
able to cut following the lines amazingly well. I was really
impressed with myself. Then I got out the hammer and chisel to
start cleaning them up.

The only parallel I can think of is similar to chopping wood
with an axe. You ever swing an axe, hit the mark, and then
can't pull the axe back out? That is exactly what it was like
working with hard maple.

I worked for somewhere around 5 hours or so making sure I
didn't screw up and take too much off and ruin it. I never did
that but I was still working on the first joint and it still
didn't quite fit together. Close but no cigar. It looked
really good but it wasn't quite there yet.

I have a lot of admiration for someone with the patience and
talent to do that because I certainly don't. Since I left
myself an extra inch on the board just in case, I sawed the
damn thing off and started over. Decided on a box joint
instead. Built the jig and had all of the joints cut in about
1 1/2 hours...

YMMV

Larry

MikeWhy

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 8:48:35 PM1/14/09
to
"Larry" <rid...@my.valkyrie> wrote in message
news:Xns9B93BCF...@207.115.33.102...

> "MikeWhy" <boat042...@yahoo.com> wrote in
> news:BRrbl.116$Lr6...@flpi143.ffdc.sbc.com:
>

On the off chance you'll try it again... I don't bother to hog out with a
saw. Saw down to the gauge line, and just cut the marking gauge line with
the chisel. It *is* rather like axing out wood. Cut straight down at the
line, then chip back to it to pop out a wedge of the waste wood. Repeat a
couple of times, each time taking out another bite, just with like an axe.
Flip to cut from the other side when you get halfway. There is a little bit
of art in knowing how far the chisel will drift back toward the gauge line,
but mostly it's just brute Neanderthal at its primal best.


Larry

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 11:04:17 PM1/14/09
to
"MikeWhy" <boat042...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:wzwbl.133$Lr6...@flpi143.ffdc.sbc.com:

I'll probably try it again, when I have more time, but it'll
be softer wood. Can't waste a nice dovetail saw...

StephenM

unread,
Jan 15, 2009, 8:38:40 AM1/15/09
to
> I worked for somewhere around 5 hours or so making sure I
> didn't screw up and take too much off and ruin it

A couple of points:

1. I don't think that 5 hours is an adequate investment in time. I think 1
hour each on 5 quick & sloppies would be better time pent developing the
skill and figuring out what works.

2. Over time, I have become somewhat jaded by the whole "dovetail" concept.
With a glued in plywood bottom, and a well fitting lock rabbet, you will
have throw a drawer across the room to break a drawer. Even then, the wall
might win. IMO, there is no *practical* reason for dovetails in this age of
modern glue. I will probably never make a *utility* drawer with a dovetail
again.

I can think of 2 really good reasons to design in dovetails:

*aesthetics (they look pretty) I can tell the difference between a
variable-spaced machine-cut dovetail and I prefer the look of delicate pins,
even at the expense of some accuracy. I acknowledge that joe-non-woodworker
would probably select dead-nuts machine accuracy 9 times out of 10.

*customer-perceived quality. Joe-average has been trained to believe that
quality drawers *should* be dovetailed. You would have to get to have some
serious skills not to use a jig to create a kitchen full of dovetailed
drawers.

-Steve


russell...@yahoo.com

unread,
Jan 15, 2009, 11:05:46 AM1/15/09
to
On Jan 14, 6:34 pm, Larry <rid...@my.valkyrie> wrote:
> "MikeWhy" <boat042-nos...@yahoo.com> wrote innews:BRrbl.116$Lr6...@flpi143.ffdc.sbc.com:
>
>
>
>
>
> > "blackemmons" <blackemm...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> Larry- Hide quoted text -

>
> - Show quoted text -

When you started reading did you read the Encyclopedia Brittanica as
your first book? Probably not. Assuming you play a musical
instrument and its a violin, did you start with a Beethoven piece as
your first music? Probably not. The first time you went jogging did
you run a marathon? Probably not. Today everyone thinks they should
be an expert the first time they try something. At least on hobby
type stuff.

opa...@gmail.com

unread,
Jan 15, 2009, 11:32:48 AM1/15/09
to
I'm curious how you know where to remove the waste before using the
jig. I have Leigh D4- do you have to set the piece in the jig first,
mark the areas to be cut by tracing the template fingers, or what?
You'd have to make an allowance for the guide bushing, so how do you
know where to cut on the bandsaw???

Cheers

LEGE...@yahoo.com

unread,
Jan 15, 2009, 2:40:20 PM1/15/09
to
On Jan 14, 7:15 pm, "MikeWhy" <boat042-nos...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I set out initially looking just to pass the time. Along the way, I learned
> to use handsaws, and found myself liberated. It's all in the saw. If it
> starts bad, it'll never fit. A bandsaw comes closest, but it still can't
> easily cut pins.

Sure it can, on through dovetails. Make an auxiliary table at the
dovetail angle. Cut one side of the pins. Rotate table. Cut other
side.

I watched "Dovetail a Drawer" and I followed that, but using the
bandsaw instead of hand saws. I did many drawers and boxes and a
large chest that way, until I got to the point where I needed to do
more production than I could maintain my sanity still doing it that
way.

If I just have a single box or drawer to make, I still think it's
easier to do it that way than get out the jig and set up the routers.
And a certain satisfaction doing it that way too. A trained monkey
could do it with the jig once it's setup, combined with the noisy
router spinning bits of carbide at ungodly speeds a few inches from
parts of my anatomy I'd like to keep intact, it's not really a fun
exercise.

-Kevin

Larry

unread,
Jan 15, 2009, 6:13:11 PM1/15/09
to
"russell...@yahoo.com" <russell...@yahoo.com> wrote
in
news:81895f98-23bc-4e3e...@i20g2000prf.googlegr
oups.com:

Pretty quick to judge someone you know nothing about... I had
no expectation of being an expert, in fact far from it. I
simply wanted a project that I wasn't embarrassed for people
to see. I have the rest of my life to learn and there was no
need to ruin a project while learning. When I have some down
time I'll try again.

Larry

-MIKE-

unread,
Jan 15, 2009, 8:35:37 PM1/15/09
to

Larry, I didn't see anything insulting in what he wrote.
In fact, you can just as easily see the opposite.

Like....
"Hey man, don't worry about it. No one starts out on the violin playing
Beethoven. In today's culture, people expect to be experts at
everything, but it takes practice, doesn't it?"


--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
--Elvin Jones (1927-2004)
--
http://mikedrums.com
mi...@mikedrumsDOT.com
---remove "DOT" ^^^^ to reply

Leon

unread,
Jan 16, 2009, 3:06:29 PM1/16/09
to

"duke...@yahoo.com" <opa...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:f9b20ca2-ffd8-4cd0...@r15g2000prd.googlegroups.com...

I'm curious how you know where to remove the waste before using the
jig. I have Leigh D4- do you have to set the piece in the jig first,
mark the areas to be cut by tracing the template fingers, or what?
You'd have to make an allowance for the guide bushing, so how do you
know where to cut on the bandsaw???

Cheers


Yes, place the wood in the jig first and then remove the waste with a
straight bit. Then put the DT bit in and clean up the cuts.
Personally I never cut the excess out to begin with, I take it all out with
the DT bit. If done properly you don't have problems.
IIRC Leigh recommends to make a shallow pass on the front side from right to
left to begin the cut and minimize tear out on the front side and then left
to right in 3 or 4 light passes until you reach the back of the cut. At the
back side of the cut and before the bit breaks out of the back side the bit
should exit on the right back side and reenter on the back left side to
minimize tear out on the back side.


Larry

unread,
Jan 16, 2009, 5:52:19 PM1/16/09
to
-MIKE- <mi...@mikedrumsDOT.com> wrote in
news:gkoo9b$mhp$1...@news.motzarella.org:
>>> When you started reading did you read the Encyclopedia
>>> Brittanica as your first book? Probably not. Assuming
>>> you play a musical instrument and its a violin, did you
>>> start with a Beethoven piece as your first music?
>>> Probably not. The first time you went jogging did you run
>>> a marathon? Probably not. Today everyone thinks they
>>> should be an expert the first time they try something.
>>> At least on hobby type stuff.
>>
>> Pretty quick to judge someone you know nothing about... I
>> had no expectation of being an expert, in fact far from
>> it. I simply wanted a project that I wasn't embarrassed
>> for people to see. I have the rest of my life to learn and
>> there was no need to ruin a project while learning. When I
>> have some down time I'll try again.
>>
>> Larry
>>
>
> Larry, I didn't see anything insulting in what he wrote.
> In fact, you can just as easily see the opposite.
>
> Like....
> "Hey man, don't worry about it. No one starts out on the
> violin playing Beethoven. In today's culture, people expect
> to be experts at everything, but it takes practice, doesn't
> it?"
>
>

If I misinterpreted what he said, I apologize. That said, how
is it possible to not understand "Today everyone thinks they
should be an expert the first time they try something." Only
the young and dumb seem to have that character flaw. Old farts
like me understand that nothing is as easy as it looks. If it
does look easy, it's probably because the guy doing it is good
at what he does.

I'll never know what was really meant as googlegroups are
normally filtered.

Larry

charlieb

unread,
Jan 17, 2009, 1:27:38 AM1/17/09
to
DAryl:

Once again late to the part but here's some input for your decision

1. There are more LEIGH DT jig owners out there than AKEDA owners
because
LEIGH has been making and selling them longer than anyone else
(they were
the first out with variable spacing).

2. LEIGH - and the similar PC Omni Jig - are the previous generation of
VS
DT jigs. The LEIGH evolved overtime to correct shortcomings of
earlier
models. The newest version is the latest corrections/enhancments.
Both still keep the Align This Line To That Line operation and the
Flip This Around, Put It Back That Way - and Align This Line To
That Line
procedure.

Both also have levers and handles and nobs - sticking out all over
hell

The AKEDA was designed from a blank piece of paper - starting with
the
criteria of what it should do and to make it as easy as possible
for the
user and somewhat intuitive - and ACCURATE.

Its support for the router is built like a tank - not an accessory
or an
afterthought upgrade.

The internal - tighten and loosen either from the left or right
side -
parallel clamp - for both the vertical part and the horizontal
part.

The "snap in guides" can only snap in place in 1/8th inch
increments.
A pencil line, even a relatively fat one, is all you need to locate
a
guide - you don't need to try and see alignment marks and get them
to line up precisely.

No tools are required to tighten or loosen fingers for moving them.
With the snap in guides you pop one out - move it - and snap it
back
in.

Lots more here


http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/AKEDAdtJig/AKEDAdovetailJig2A.html

And don't believe ANY dt jig requires NO SET UP or TEST CUTS.
Your parts will seldom be EXACTLY 1/2" OR 3/4" thick. You have
to set the bit depth of cut to the ACTUAL stock thickness you HAVE.

As for the limited number of sources for buying an AKEDA - mine
came
missing some screws. I called AKEDA's 800 number and Kevan (Kevin)
was the person I talked with. Two days later I had the screws -
and
an AKEDA DT bit as a Sorry About The Problem gift.

This thing is built to last so I doubt you'd need spare parts in
the
future. Oh - and WhiteSide carries AKEDA DT bits

Hope this doesn't come too late - and helps with your decision.

charlie b

russell...@yahoo.com

unread,
Jan 19, 2009, 10:00:17 AM1/19/09
to
On Jan 16, 4:52 pm, Larry <rid...@my.valkyrie> wrote:
> -MIKE- <m...@mikedrumsDOT.com> wrote innews:gkoo9b$mhp$1...@news.motzarella.org:
> Larry- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

In your previous post you said this:

"This hits home... Just last weekend I decided I was determined
to cut at least one set of dovetails by hand just to say I had
done it and I figured it would be a good learning experience
also. Well it was a learning experience alright. I learned
that a sharp carbide bit turning at high RPM is the way to go.
Next time I get that wild hair I'll buy a dovetail jig."

So you try cutting dovetails by hand once, then decide a machine is
the only way to go. And so I will say it again:

MikeWhy

unread,
Jan 19, 2009, 11:25:48 AM1/19/09
to
<russell...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:cb0f46a9-d072-4a7d...@p36g2000prp.googlegroups.com...

In your previous post you said this:

"This hits home... Just last weekend I decided I was determined
to cut at least one set of dovetails by hand just to say I had
done it and I figured it would be a good learning experience
also. Well it was a learning experience alright. I learned
that a sharp carbide bit turning at high RPM is the way to go.
Next time I get that wild hair I'll buy a dovetail jig."

So you try cutting dovetails by hand once, then decide a machine is
the only way to go. And so I will say it again:

Today everyone thinks they should be an expert the first time they try
something.

===========

Nah. He said: "I tried grilling a steak for myself once. What a mess! Next
time, I'll order out." And then he went on to detail the mess, which was all
entirely typical and easily correctable. You'd have to make some pretty wild
assumptions about the person to reach the conclusions you did, none of them
supported by the rest of his message. So far, it says more about you than
him.


blackemmons

unread,
Jan 19, 2009, 12:38:46 PM1/19/09
to
On Jan 19, 11:25 am, "MikeWhy" <boat042-nos...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> <russellseat...@yahoo.com> wrote in message

Mike,

Like I said previously, I admire someone who can cut dovetails by hand
and they can and should take pride in that.

What I don't understand is MikeWhy you are so upset? It's a personal
choice. Just like buying a car or anything else. Or...........using
a snow-blower instead of a snow shovel, or............. a pneumatic
nailer instead of a hammer, or........... Some folks get better
results doing things a different way.

If I were building a log cabin today I sure as hell wouldn't be using
an axe. Even if I had the time. It's just a personal choice and not
an attack on you.

Jim

MikeWhy

unread,
Jan 19, 2009, 1:11:38 PM1/19/09
to
"blackemmons" <black...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:92de8339-185f-45b8...@d36g2000prf.googlegroups.com...

Mike,

=========
I'm not upset at all. Cursed google groups postings make it difficult to
keep the attributions clear. My writing starts with "=====\n Nah. ..." Yell
again if that doesn't clear it up.

But, if I were to build with green logs, I would at least try to hew and
joint a few the old way. If I had other choices -- a small mill, in
particular -- I'm too big a cheapskate to waste a whole log that way. They'd
be planks and timbers instead.


LEGE...@yahoo.com

unread,
Jan 19, 2009, 4:10:10 PM1/19/09
to
On Jan 17, 1:27 am, charlieb <charl...@accesscom.com> wrote:
> Oh - and WhiteSide carries AKEDA DT bits

I think the Whiteside bits are for the original Akeda bits though,
with the 1/4" shank and over/under size straight bits. Akeda now uses
8mm bits and over/under size router bushings, with a single straight
bit. Woodcraft still has the old bits on clearance for $3/bit, along
with extra guides.

And I will also echo that I had a slightly defective straight bit, and
Kevan sent me out a new one no questions asked. Well, other than my
address.


-Kevin

blackemmons

unread,
Jan 19, 2009, 5:14:45 PM1/19/09
to

I have some of the Whiteside bits from Woodcraft and they are 1/4"
shaft. Still a good deal though.

I just bought the standard sizes and not the over and under. I have
the over and under bushings with my unit but I have never used them.

Mike - Sorry if there was any misunderstanding.

Jim

Larry

unread,
Jan 19, 2009, 7:21:48 PM1/19/09
to
"MikeWhy" <boat042...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:un3dl.2391$%54....@nlpi070.nbdc.sbc.com:

> "blackemmons" <black...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:92de8339-185f-45b8...@d36g2000prf.google

> groups.com... On Jan 19, 11:25 am, "MikeWhy"


> <boat042-nos...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> <russellseat...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>>
>> news:cb0f46a9-d072-4a7d...@p36g2000prp.googl

>> egroups.com... In your previous post you said this:


>>
>> "This hits home... Just last weekend I decided I was
>> determined to cut at least one set of dovetails by hand
>> just to say I had done it and I figured it would be a good
>> learning experience also. Well it was a learning
>> experience alright. I learned that a sharp carbide bit
>> turning at high RPM is the way to go. Next time I get that
>> wild hair I'll buy a dovetail jig."
>>
>> So you try cutting dovetails by hand once, then decide a
>> machine is the only way to go. And so I will say it again:
>>
>> Today everyone thinks they should be an expert the first
>> time they try something. ===========
>>

So I'll say it again, since you've clarified that I did
understand you correctly the first time...

You've made an idiotic blanket statement that is completely
untrue. You don't know a damn thing about me nor how much
effort I am willing to put into learning a new skill. End of
discussion.

Regards,
Larry

MikeWhy

unread,
Jan 19, 2009, 9:10:04 PM1/19/09
to
I don't have any confidence that the attribution of those words was clear,
since you left my newstag on top. The words you quoted were posted by
<russellseat...@yahoo.com>


"Larry" <rid...@my.valkyrie> wrote in message

news:Xns9B98BAD...@207.115.33.102...

Larry

unread,
Jan 19, 2009, 9:22:17 PM1/19/09
to
"MikeWhy" <boat042...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:Onadl.18907$ZP4....@nlpi067.nbdc.sbc.com:

> I don't have any confidence that the attribution of those
> words was clear, since you left my newstag on top. The
> words you quoted were posted by
><russellseat...@yahoo.com>
>
>
> "Larry" <rid...@my.valkyrie> wrote in message
> news:Xns9B98BAD...@207.115.33.102...
>> "MikeWhy" <boat042...@yahoo.com> wrote in
>> news:un3dl.2391$%54....@nlpi070.nbdc.sbc.com:
>>
>>> "blackemmons" <black...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>>> news:92de8339-185f-45b8...@d36g2000prf.goog

>>> le groups.com... On Jan 19, 11:25 am, "MikeWhy"


>>> <boat042-nos...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>> <russellseat...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>>>>
>>>> news:cb0f46a9-d072-4a7d...@p36g2000prp.goo

>>>> gl egroups.com... In your previous post you said this:


>>>>
>>>> "This hits home... Just last weekend I decided I was
>>>> determined to cut at least one set of dovetails by hand
>>>> just to say I had done it and I figured it would be a
>>>> good learning experience also. Well it was a learning
>>>> experience alright. I learned that a sharp carbide bit
>>>> turning at high RPM is the way to go. Next time I get
>>>> that wild hair I'll buy a dovetail jig."
>>>>
>>>> So you try cutting dovetails by hand once, then decide a
>>>> machine is the only way to go. And so I will say it
>>>> again:
>>>>
>>>> Today everyone thinks they should be an expert the first
>>>> time they try something. ===========
>>>>
>>
>> So I'll say it again, since you've clarified that I did
>> understand you correctly the first time...
>>
>> You've made an idiotic blanket statement that is
>> completely untrue. You don't know a damn thing about me
>> nor how much effort I am willing to put into learning a
>> new skill. End of discussion.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Larry
>
>

That was clearly not intended for you, my apologies. My
trimming skills are deficient.

Larry

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages