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Leigh RTJ 400

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Review by jbmaine posted 11-17-2019 10:36 PM 818 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Leigh RTJ 400 No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I recently got one of these, and as the last review on this was 2016, I thought I’d throw my two cents in. I had always heard that with Leigh jigs you need to read, read, read, the instructions and life will be good. I could not agree more. There are more than a couple of settings to do for each joint, but as I discovered, if you read and follow the instructions ( the manual is great) your half blind, through, dovetail joints, and finger joints will come out good. This jig can only be used on the router table ( which is what I was looking for) and I found it very stable and easy to use, However I kind of went my own way on this. Instead of holding the jig away from me I reversed my router table fence and held the jig towards me. The fence gave me a great place to rest my forearms, which gave me more control on feeding the wood into the cutter, and the dust control in the fence took care of most of the chips. Heres a couple of pics explaining what I did.


It was great to actually see what I was doing. All told I tried all three joints ( this jig will do several variations of each joint) and within two tries all came out fitting quite well. This is a drawer I did, half blind dovetails.
There is one caution! the instructions say the router bits should be centered in the E bushing. Turns out my router was not centered in the lift ( was never a problem before) so I had to shim it centered ( what a fun job) It helped that I’m a retired tool & die maker and had the kit to check for concentricity. Once I had that dialed in it was off to the races. This is how I did that.

So all in all I’m glad I got this. No more fighting with my old cheap jig I used before. And many thanks to my wife. Maybe she was just tired of hearing me complain about my old jig, or knew she had projects on my to do list that included more drawers to build, but we went to the local woodcraft to pick up a bottle of glue, and this followed us out.




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jbmaine

72 posts in 32 days



7 comments so far

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Redoak49

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#1 posted 11-18-2019 12:47 AM

Nice review..

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EarlS

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#2 posted 11-18-2019 12:42 PM

I have the Leigh M&T jig and the D4R dovetail jig. Both pieces of equipment are superbly made. As you mention, their instructions are well written by someone that understands how to present complicated situations in a well thought out and concise manner.

JessEm, another Canadian woodworking company, has the same high standards for their equipment and the manuals that come with them.

Plenty of other companies making woodworking tools and equipment could learn a thing or two from Leigh and JessEm.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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jbmaine

72 posts in 32 days


#3 posted 11-18-2019 01:17 PM



I have the Leigh M&T jig and the D4R dovetail jig. Both pieces of equipment are superbly made. As you mention, their instructions are well written by someone that understands how to present complicated situations in a well thought out and concise manner.

JessEm, another Canadian woodworking company, has the same high standards for their equipment and the manuals that come with them.

Plenty of other companies making woodworking tools and equipment could learn a thing or two from Leigh and JessEm.

- EarlS


I couldn’t agree more. I picked up a FMT pro this summer off of craigslist ( my first Leigh product) and am very happy with it. That’s why I looked to Leigh for a dovetail jig.

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ocean

192 posts in 1395 days


#4 posted 11-18-2019 03:39 PM

I have the D4R, reading and a little practice will get you the out come you would expect from Leigh. Great tool and I’ve come to appreciate more each time I use it.

-- Bob, FL Keys

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EvilSpammerLocked

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#5 posted 11-26-2019 06:50 AM

Dear Woodworker, do you want to learn woodworking? or gain additional experience?

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-- Teds Scammer: Do not click or interact.

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therealSteveN

4318 posts in 1136 days


#6 posted 12-05-2019 11:17 PM

I’ve been looking at this jig, and am thankful for your review. I only saw one star on the face page, and thought you really didn’t like it. Sounds like a winner. That concentric ring was one of my cautions. My router is centered pretty well, so I don’t think that will be a problem.

You ought to email Matt Grisley a link, he may gift you some merch for the favorable review. :-)

I went back out and it appears I was seeing the rating system here bass ackwards. I’m used to it being white/pale and when you fill in a spot it darkens them. I guess here is goes dark to light, Well Duh on me…

-- Think safe, be safe

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mbg

11 posts in 3939 days


#7 posted 12-06-2019 08:14 PM

Nice review JBMain!

I think I was the first to buy this jig several years ago (2014?). I wanted something with a small footprint and easy to use since I don’t make DT’s all of the time. This is still fulfilling my goals.

When I built my RT I made it tall which is great for most of my work but not this. My solution was to attach a 3×5 camping mirror to my fence so I could see the jig/bit. But, this means everything is backwards! So next time I will have to try your “working from the back side of the fence” method.

Thanks for sharing,

Mike

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