Dovetail joints are a beautiful addition to your woodworking project. George shares his buying advice on what to look for when purchasing a dovetail jig.
Dovetail Buying Advice Wood workers love a dovetail joint, the people who receiver you’re working projects love to see a dovetail joint and there’s nothing like a dovetail joint that fits great and goes together well. I get asked all the time about dovetail jigs, I have a couple of things I want to tell you about. One, I recommend you shop for capacity, versatility and easy use. So for capacity you know there are a lot of jigs out there that will easily handle 12 inch components. What if you want to do a blanket chest that’s 22 or 24 inches deep? What about joints outside the dovetails, I can show you what I’m talking about. I have a jig here that will let me cover these things that I’m telling you about. I can make a story board or a lay out board as wide as I want to, so it's a little bit unique in that, have that firmly clamped in place, then there’s a corresponding pin in the dovetail jig that goes into that curve. You can really see now how I’m getting my diversity in lay out in this and again that infinite capacity, my cuts are made here that provides the tail cuts I need on this one. Now with just a simple change over I’ll be able to do pins and sockets. With that change over on the jig and a fresh story board here clamped on my story board, same curves as I did on my layout. I’m ready to cut pins and sockets. Now we talked about a couple of buying advice things here, one is the infinite, the diversity of layout that we can get, capacity, we got those covered here, and what about the ability for a jig to change for dovetails to other functions. Some jigs are capable of doing box joints finger joints as well; let’s have a look at that. I can cut a part of this here, here is how it goes. That provides the mortars; there is still one function that I can show you. Now I can put this jig on and I’m going to use one side of that slot and watch what I get. Look for diversity of layout so you can control the layout rather than be married into a layout that’s dictated by a fixed dovetail jig. The more the jig will do, the more bang you can get out of it, the more projects you can use it for so that diversity is a wonderful thing to have in any tool in your shop.