Dovetail jig enhancement #1: PorterCable dovetail jig enhancement

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Blog entry by swandog posted 11-26-2016 05:27 PM 776 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I had a need to create a bunch of drawers. I wanted to use baltic birch plywood for the drawer boxes and I wanted to have them dovetailed. The problem I faced and maybe others too is tear out of the plywood. I was always fumbling with a way to clamp a backer board tight to prevent tear out. I came up with a solution to attach “clamps” to my porter cable 4210 jig and use it’s structure. Here is one of the clamps I made. If I remember correctly I think it’s 1 1/8” pipe with a piece of 3/8” rod welded at the 6 o’clock position for the stop. The angle iron is 1×1” angle maybe 3/16 thick. It is about 4 ” long and welded at the 3 o’clock position. Critical though is that it’s top points to the 11 o’clock position…as the jig tightens it tends to rotate clockwise a little and you don’t want it pointing too high up.

The clamps simply slide over the bar that rotates and can slide back and forth. They are out of the way of the router and no external clamps are needed.

The backboard can be whatever you want. I use the same baltic birch for the sacrifical backer board. The important thing here is that it is clamped in the same position every time. I do this by always sliding it to the left so that it bumps up against the large template adjustment screw. It sits above the metal bar clamp. I believe it’s width is about 3.5” wide and make it however long you need.

Here is another shot from a different angle

The handles are ash (so I guess that counts as woodworking) and the bolt is a carriage bolt with it’s head cut off epoxied in the handle.

I am lucky in that my father has a welding/machining business and as you can see from the welds I am way out of practice. It wouldn’t be that hard to have a shop make it for you.

Hope someone else finds this useful. When I’m making a bunch of drawers I’ve found it to be a good time saver and material saver.


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#1 posted 11-30-2016 05:43 PM

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#2 posted 12-01-2016 01:58 PM

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