Pretty good, but now wish I'd bought the D4R

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Review by ic3ss posted 08-22-2020 01:53 AM 1522 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Pretty good, but now wish I'd bought the D4R Pretty good, but now wish I'd bought the D4R Pretty good, but now wish I'd bought the D4R Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’m building a desk, a really nice one for my wife and I needed to make four drawers. Dovedails were the only joint I was willing to make for them but I’m really not very good at hand cutting them so I picked this up from Woodcraft for the job. I knew the setup would take some time but it took me all damn day to get one good test cut out of this thing. By the time I had finished the drawers I had gotten pretty good at changing the setup and had developed a better understanding of how this thing works and am pretty happy with it.

There are really only two knocks I have against it. The first is the left side stop. On the D4R it is a tab that is machined into the billet aluminum base, fixed and split on the upper and the lower stop. On the super jigs it is a small piece of plastic that you screw into the base when you put it together. There’s an adjustment procedure you have to do to get the upper and lower stops aligned with each other. While it’s not terribly hard, I do have to keep this in mind to check it whenever I use it.

The second knock is that the base on the D4R is machined out of billet aluminum. The super jigs are made from a box aluminum extrusion. The end caps are plastic and the ends of the lockdown bars are plastic.

While it seems to work ok, I would rather have had the D4R overall.

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

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404 posts in 4019 days

2 comments so far

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


8097 posts in 2063 days

#1 posted 08-22-2020 10:02 AM

Surprised about your damn day ic3... Leigh are renowned for their great documentation.

When I bought mine here in Australia (many years ago) we only had 2 sizes available, the D4R (now the Pro) and whatever the unacceptable smaller size was.
Cost nearly double (so I’m assuming it was 12”) but I have not regretted the bump in size.

I love it and along with the Leight FMT, was what kept me away from my Domino purchase for nearly 12 years.

I’m guessing it’s much the same as the D4R, only smaller.

The only thing I don’t like about the Leigh jigs is that the fingers are not router bit friendly… correction, router bits are not Leigh finger friendly… if you get complacent. Fortunately you can get replacements.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View EarlS's profile


4754 posts in 3591 days

#2 posted 08-23-2020 12:47 PM

I started out with the 18” Superjig. There are a few drawbacks to it but it was a lot less expensive (and smaller) than the D4R. After using it for a couple of years, I started watching for used D4R’s on LJ. I was fortunate to find one for a good price and it was well taken care of. I’m certain that you should be able to sell your Superjig when the time comes to upgrade to the D4R

As you mentioned, the D4 is a step up in terms of the material of construction. It also has the split fingers which provides additional options for making different dovetail configurations. I’m glad I started with the Superjig, learned how to use it, then moved up to the D4R. As Duck mentioned, their user’s manuals are second to none. It does take some time to learn how to use something as versatile as the dovetail jig.

Leigh also has 2 options for their mortise and tenon jig. My experience with the Superjig made it an easy decision to go with the FMT Pro rather than the Super FMT.

I’ve also found that the LJ community is more than willing to provide their perspectives on tools like these. Post a forum question and ask for input. You will get a lot of straightforward, unbiased responses and commentary that generally gives a very good picture of the product you are interested in.

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

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