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.
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.
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.