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Thread: Note re Bosch 1617 router and Leigh dovetail jig

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Berwick, PA
    Posts
    42

    Note re Bosch 1617 router and Leigh dovetail jig

    I'm writing this in case somebody like me tries to use these two tools together. I've had my Bosch router almost since I started woodworking, and it's had its ups and downs. The newer switch is much better at resisting dust, so I guess I'm glad I had to send it back for authorized service. But that's a different story. Mostly it's fine. I don't use a hand-held router very much. For 1/4" bits, I usually reach for the smaller, lighter, Dewalt, but for 1/2" bits, or the Leigh bits, that won't work. So:

    My beef with the Bosch is the innovative snap in guide bushing feature. Seems pretty cool, and there's even an adaptor for traditional P-C style bushings. Yay! The problem is only that the bushings do not sit flush with the base of the router. They are recessed. So you have less bushing riding on the template. For most templates, it's okay ... less stable than it might be, but it actually allows for templates of thinner material. Maybe it's a feature, not a bug.

    But if you use the variable spacing on the Leigh Jig (mine is the D1600, so this may or may not be relevant for others), the appropriate Bosch bushing is not long enough for all operations, and the P-C style bushing I have is the same when mounted in the Bosch adapter. What's the problem? The space between the guides can allow the bushing to pass between them when routing the pins for half-blind dovetails, meaning your bit will bite into the aluminum bar. Not fatal, but not good, since it roughens up the bar and deepens the sockets into which the tails seat.

    I hope this makes sense. Maybe I'm just raving. It's something I wish I had known, so I thought I'd share. There are several solutions. You could cut thin spacers to go between the jig parts, I guess (this is not the same as the plastic spacer material they give you ... that's for the tail side). Or clamp a board across the whole thing to limit the travel of the router.

    Or you could do what I did ... get a PC 690 and a new piece of aluminum bar stock to replace the one you chewed up on your fancy Leigh dovetail jig.

    I hope this helps someone someday,

    Jim Brown

  2. #2
    Bosch makes bushings with longer noses for just this purpose. I have a couple, and have complained that they don’t work well with standard template material for things like inlays because the protrude too far.

    Problem is Bosch does a poor job marketing these things, and not all bushings are sold in the USA. I’m nit sure off hand which one , if any, work with the Leigh.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
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    5,813
    I'm not familiar with the Bosch router but here's how I fixed the P-C style bushing problem. I bought a Grizzly trim router and wanted it to accept bushings. It didn't as sold. I made a new sub base out of 3/8" acrylic. All I used was a hinge centering bit to duplicate the holes in the factory sub base, router bit 1/4" shank 1/8" cutter and two forstner bits, 1 3/16" for the through hole and 1 3/8" for the bushing shoulder. Drill the mounting holes, mount the acrylic to the base, lower the spinning bit to mark the center of the acrylic. Drill a small through hole then use the forstner bits to drill the holes that contains the bushing. Took me maybe an hour. There may be other premade solutions, I didn't look. If the bushing is not perfectly centered it may not matter as long as you don't rotate the router while routing the dovetails.

  4. #4
    Before I got my Leigh Jigs, I called up customer service and asked specifically what brand(s) of routers they recommend with their jigs. So, I have some dedicated Ryobi routers for this purpose. I don't particularly like the Ryobi line in general, nor these routers in particular, but they see little use, except in the context of the Leigh jigs. As a side note, having used the Leigh jigs several times, I found it easier to use shop made jigs or cut joints in a neanderthal context, as the set up and learning curve time for Leigh products is too much for me to bear.

  5. #5
    I had a Bosch guide bushing come apart. It's was the 1/4" guide. The so-called weld failed.

    If you read the reviews on Amazon, I'm not the only one.

    I've switched over to Porter Cable guides in the Bosch adapter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    474
    For those that prefer the PC bushing--the Bosch 1617 fixed base has a separate set of mounting holes that are tapped in the same pattern as the PC 690--which means that a PC mounting plate fits. Yellow triangle is the PC triangle pattern, red is the Bosch 4 screw mount.
    earl
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Berwick, PA
    Posts
    42
    @Curt: It occurred to me to make a base, but I was feeling stingier with my time than with my money that day. Sometimes it goes the other way ...

    @Thomas: I think the Leigh makes sense if you use it a lot more often than I do OR if you're doing a lot of the same size drawers. I haven't cut half-blind dovetails, but I'm sure someone who could would have had his done before my machine-cut ones were ready. I used it last year on a dresser with graduated drawers of six different heights. So much setup!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Earl McLain View Post
    For those that prefer the PC bushing--the Bosch 1617 fixed base has a separate set of mounting holes that are tapped in the same pattern as the PC 690--which means that a PC mounting plate fits. Yellow triangle is the PC triangle pattern, red is the Bosch 4 screw mount.
    earl
    Earl, had no idea about this. Does the PC mount sit flush and everything? If so, there's your answer.
    That said, I have a D4R Pro and have not had this problem with this router, so it must be specific to your model jig. If you haven't already done so, call Leigh Jigs and they will bend over backwards to help. They sure did when I had issues.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
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    474
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    Earl, had no idea about this. Does the PC mount sit flush and everything? If so, there's your answer.
    That said, I have a D4R Pro and have not had this problem with this router, so it must be specific to your model jig. If you haven't already done so, call Leigh Jigs and they will bend over backwards to help. They sure did when I had issues.
    It will be as flat as the sub-plate allows. Really just allows one to use anything drilled in that pattern--of which there is a lot between the PC 690 and i think the 7518 uses it also. Happy hunting!!
    earl

  10. #10
    Did your jig come with the plastic strips that clip onto the bars?

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