Reply by Rich

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Posted on Leigh D4R upgrade question

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5706 posts in 1396 days

#1 posted 02-17-2018 04:19 AM

I haven’t upgraded, but I probably will. I do half blind on my D4R regularly. The key to quick setup is to realize that the only variable is bit depth, and it only varies based on the bit. That is, for any given bit, the thickness of the material is immaterial. What I did was make a setting block that I routed with each bit once I had the joint just the way I wanted it. That way, when I switch back to that bit, I put the router on my setting block, and push down to get the depth. I still need to do a test cut, but it’s almost always perfect, or one tweak away from perfect.

Hint: I used mesquite for my block. Another super hard wood like ipe would be good too, but I figured those sharp points on the bits might sink into softer wood and throw off the setting.

Another tip is to support the fingers across the jig. I found when doing 3 or 4 inch drawers, that the finger plate would sag under the weight of the router. and I’d get imperfect dovetails. They fit perfectly, but there were occasional tiny gaps caused by the cutting in the pin and/or tail board going too deep in spots. I made blocks that support it without falling through when I release the tail board. PM for photo if you want.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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