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General Tools E-Z Pro Dovetailer Pinboard Guide Plate Makes Cutting Long, Clean Dovetails Easy
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General Tools Dovetailer dovetail cutting jig The General Tool's Dovetail is priced economically and designed with features for cutting long joints and both through and half-blind joints.

In a nutshell, here’s how it works: the jig’s aluminum framework clamps to a workpiece with four integral thumbscrews. Fingers on the right half of the jig guide half-blind pincutting with an included, piloted dovetail bit. You rout the corresponding tails on the jig’s left side with the same bit. The Dovetailer will make half-blinds on stock up to about 1" thick or even a modified version of a through dovetail on 1/2" or thinner stock.

Using Dovetailer as a guide to line up tail cuts The teeth on the Dovetailer's adjuster plate register the tailboard for routing using the pinboard as its guide, ensuring the edges will line up on the final joint.

Aside from its almost pocket-change price ($54.96 in 2009), there are several more things I really like about this jig. Since it doesn’t capture stock left to right, it will accept workpieces of any width, from drawers to big chests. A little aligning tool clips into the fingers to reset it for each series of cuts.

Cutting long lines of dovetails with the Dovetailer Using the aligning tool to move the jig from cut to cut will allow you to cut long lines of dovetails, perfect for long drawers and chests.

The Dovetailer is outfitted with a plastic, adjustable depth-of-cut scale, and the bottom of the scale doubles as a toothed adjuster plate. It enables you to register the tail board correctly on the jig’s tail fingers using the pin board as a reference. Quite slick.

General suggests that this jig can be used inverted on a router table, but I have concerns with how closely it places your left fingers to the bit. I used it instead with a handheld router at the bench. I found the jig’s platform to be large enough for stable routing, and after a few bit-depth adjustments, my joints snugged up nicely. Bit depth is the only variable you’ll need to fuss with. The router bit could really use a stop collar below the bearings to keep them from migrating on the shaft and possibly slipping off the guide fingers. Otherwise, here’s a well-designed, affordable jig. If you rout dovetails often or just now and then, the Dovetailer will be easy on your patience as well as your wallet.

posted on December 1, 2009 by Chris Marshall
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