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Thread: Leigh D4R Pro

  1. #16
    For half blind dovetails only one router and one bit required.

    Best hint I have is clean and wax the router base, the guide, and the jig fingers. Should be able to move the router with 2 fingers when cutting. And better results with finesse not force.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Gornall View Post
    For half blind dovetails only one router and one bit required.
    This is generally correct. The D4, however, is often used for a variety of through dovetails as well as other kinds of through joinery where two cutters are used. That's where the two router scenario comes into play for folks who want to adjust both cutters and test fit prior to cutting the production workpieces. Through joinery is popular for casework which the D4 is nicely suited to in some cases because of the width.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    black river falls wisconsin
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    766
    Nice to have 2 routers so when making deep dovetails can cut with straight bit first. Safes the dovetail bit from maybe breaking.........

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
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    1,157
    Just got home and unboxed the D4R Pro and the aluminum body doesnít sit flat. It has some twist diagonally end to end as it will rock back and forth slightly. Checked on numerous known flat surfaces like workbench, Table Saw, and my straight edge. Is this normal? Will it affect anything? Just checking before I mount it on a board so I know if I need to contact Leigh or Highland tomorrow.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    Call the place where you bought it. I'm certain that they will exchange it. I've never heard of this problem, but it could have happened in shipment.

    Charley

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
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    Will have to do so Monday. Bought it in Atlanta on a trip but live too far away to exchange in person. Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lent View Post
    Call the place where you bought it. I'm certain that they will exchange it. I've never heard of this problem, but it could have happened in shipment.

    Charley

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Goodyear, AZ
    Posts
    23
    You may be right about the fixed base router. Initially I tried to cut some dovetails on a piece of scrap 1/2" plywood. I had another scrap piece for the spacer board. I started cutting and the plywood was not working for me and thought the dovetail bits in the accessory box might be the problem, so I sent Leigh an email asking about the quality of the router bits. They told me they were of excellent quality and that the issues I was having were related to my use of plywood. I then used Poplar and after about 6 or 7 attempts - I was able to cut mediocre dovetails. Over the next couple of weeks I would attempt dovetails when I went out to the garage and finally cut some useable dovetails. I subsequently took fundamentals of wood working at a private woodworking school in downtown Phoenix. It was 90% hand tools including hand-cut dovetails. That help me understand what the jig was doing and where I could improve. I love the jig but once in a while, I'll hand-cut some dovetails just to keep my skill set up.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    2,351
    I bought some sandpaper with adhesive backing on it and put it on the clamp bars and keeps the wood from moving. This has helped me a bunch.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    If you bought it in Atlanta, the only place that I know that sells the Leigh products is Highland Woodworking. They are a great company to do business with, and where I bought my D4R and my FMT Pro jigs. Doing business with them and Leigh guarantees that they will make it right no matter the problem. Both great companies to deal with.

    Charley

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,516
    Plywood is not for dovetailing, especially not the common plywood. I have had success using top quality Baltic Birch plywood, but even that will sometimes delaminate and chip out when trying to cut dovetails. When I want to cut a strong joint in Baltic Birch plywood I now use an Incra I-Box jig and a Freud SBOX8 blade set on my Unisaw. It makes great box joints in Baltic Birch plywood with only very rarely a chip out. Attached are a couple of photos of my Baltic Birch box joints.

    Charley
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #26
    When I got my D4R Pro, I spent a few weeks working with the jig. After testing Festool, Bosch, PC and Dewalt routers, I found the Dewalt DW618 to be the best fit for me and the jig. I also use the 8mm shank bits.
    Believe me when I say, it took me many hours to be able to get good fitting dovetails. I had to make several very minute adjustments to both the jig and my own techniques in the process. In doing so, I learned a lot about how the jig works and I gained a real appreciation of its design. Now I can get very repeatable joints in solid wood and Birch ply. Now I use the jig for dovetails as well as box joints.
    If your thinking is that the D4R Pro is a plug and play jig, producing excellent joints out of the box, then you'd be wrong. At least for me, it took very fine adjustments to the jig, as well as to my technique. It was real learning experience. That said, I think it's a very well engineered, precision jig, that is capable to producing very fine joints. What you get from it will depend completely upon what you put into it.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
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    1,157
    Correct, Highland. I spoke to them this morning and sent them an email with video clip so they could check with Leigh to see if it is of concern. I’m going to hold off doing anything with it until I get their feedback.

    That said, I’m excited to start trying to learn to use it. I have no illusions about it being plug and play and fully expect it will take practice and work just like all of my other tools.

    Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lent View Post
    If you bought it in Atlanta, the only place that I know that sells the Leigh products is Highland Woodworking. They are a great company to do business with, and where I bought my D4R and my FMT Pro jigs. Doing business with them and Leigh guarantees that they will make it right no matter the problem. Both great companies to deal with.

    Charley

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,516
    Don't hesitate to call Leigh CS about this. By now they will have heard from Highland. I had a small problem with my FMT jig when I bought it and spent time on the phone with both. Barry Martens at Leigh was the one who helped me. He may no longer be in CS, because it was many years ago. Rest assured that Leigh will make it right for you. They are one of the best companies that I've ever done business with.

    Charley

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
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    I received email back from Highland which included their email from Leigh. The response was to screw it to a board and go to work. They said the bottom was not machined and was inconsequential to the operation of the jig. And that screwing it to the board would not induce too much stress into the aluminum per their opinion after viewing my video. That as long as the top and front machined surfaces were flat that the jig was fine and good to go. I can always shim it as I screw it down so that the tightening of the screws doesn’t stress the aluminum as much.

    My head still says it should be square and flat but I assume they know what they are talking about. I guess they machined the top flat while the bottom was not but my head keeps telling me it shouldn’t be this way. I may call Leigh direct today to speak further with the person that sent the email. They are on pacific time so it will have to be this afternoon.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    I can almost appreciate that response, especially since it's pretty common to fasten the D4 to something. Mine is mounted on an MDF "stand" that raises it up off the work surface so it's easier to view the "business end" of the router while cutting joinery. I'm sure if there was any minor anomalies to the bottom of the jig, the act of fastening it down would deal with things. But if you feel that the tool has more than "minor" deviations, then you should absolutely pursue a remedy. I think it's a good idea to chat with Leigh directly so nothing gets lost in translation.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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