Choosing The Best Dovetail Jig
The most effective dovetail jigs clamp your workpiece in position, making it possible for you to run a router around a template. This generates an interweaving joint that seems like many bird’s tails, just like the name implies. A dovetail joint is an extremely powerful, stable joint with a good amount of surface area for gluing. This guide is going to help you pick the best dovetail jig for your workshop.
To further help you with the buying process, allow us to outline what features you ought to consider when buying the best dovetail jig.
Dovetail Jig Type
Fixed – This is the standard kind of dovetail jig that utilizes a template to guide your router when making the cuts. While the fixed dovetail jig isn’t almost as versatile on the onset, you can usually switch out the templates to create various kinds of joints. It’s also worth noting that fixed dovetail jigs are drastically more painless to use than variable dovetail jigs.
Variable – This is the new kind of dovetail jig, and it is typically marked as “infinitely variable” that’s technically correct. Basically, a variable dovetail jig permits you to set the placement of the various fingers to support your own “template.” While this boosts the variable dovetail jig’s versatility much higher than a fixed model’s, it would make this particular kind of jig quite tough to work with.
Templates are the guides used by fixed dovetail jigs to direct your wood router since it cuts the workpiece to make the joint. Based on how costly and well-crafted the dovetail jig is, you may have several templates out there, enabling you to create a wider assortment of various forms of joints.
Beyond providing several guides, some manufacturers double-side the templates to expand further the number of various joints you can make. Remember, several double-sided templates intend for you to cut the tails with one side and the pins with the other, and so check the directions to ensure you make use of the template properly.
This is among the crucial attributes to think about when selecting a dovetail jig. It eventually limits the dimensions of the workpiece you can utilize and affects your power to make blind joints. The most advertised capability of any dovetail jig will be the width and decides precisely how wide the joining face your workpiece might be.
Nevertheless, the thickness or depth of the workpiece is often as important. However, not many dovetail jigs allow you to cut depths beyond one ½ inch. Although not universal, the gaps between the fingers of a template are usually ½ inch wide. However, variable dovetail jigs can certainly significantly increase or shrink distance.
Based on how frequently you work with your dovetail jig, this is an incredibly important quality or one that’s good to have at the high end. For the most part, metals will be the materials you must search for, although various metals perform better for multiple parts of the dovetail jig.
When it involves the base, aluminum is quickly the most typical material used as it’s both lightweight and sturdy, decreasing the entire weight of the dovetail jig. The template & fingers, on the other hand, should be produced from steel to expand their lifetime as long as possible.
For single-piece dovetail jigs, many brands are going to use aluminum for the body and fingertips, and that isn’t inherently a lousy option, just become more cautious when dealing with it. In case you’re searching for a cheap dovetail jig, phenolic plastic material is moderately sturdy at first. However, it is going to lose structural integrity the more you use it.
Given how precise dovetail joints must be, the stability of any dovetail jig is pretty significant, though it’s not always paramount when buying the jig. This is since you can always work with your own clamps and base to secure the workpiece before cutting the wood, which increases the time it requires using the jig.
When it relates to dovetail jigs that have their very own securing method, cam lock clamps are undoubtedly the most effective as they’re not merely simple to use but hold workpiece from shifting while being cut. Some models use pressure knobs to hold the workpiece in place, which may work, though they’re less than as steady and will mar the surface of the wood.
Tips For Using A Dovetail Jig
If any wobble or play happens in the jig or workpieces, the results will not be as precise. Clamp the jig base securely to the workpiece or the table to ensure the best joints.
If the boards come from a shop, make sure to square upwards their ends prior to placing them in the router jig. Factory ends are hardly ever square, and routing them in a dovetail jig will develop a box that wobbles or does not assemble correctly. Consider running them over a jointer to guarantee that many of the surfaces are completely square. If it wasn’t, a hand plane is going to do the trick.
Alignment is everything. When you are clamping the workpiece in the jig, assure that things are square and aligned correctly. Don’t hurry and ensure that this particular part of the procedure is right. A blunder in this here will end with a poorly cut joint and two boards that do not align properly. This level is a lot more crucial when repositioning a jig to get a wider board: A tiny error here can hold joint from coming together at all.
For results that are consistent, make sure the jig or workpiece is clamped securely on the table.
Square the ends on the boards before milling them over the jig.
Ensure precise alignment, particularly when repositioning the jig on a bigger board.