Dovetail sides/edges aren't aligning?

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Forum topic by Pacesetter posted 02-25-2017 03:25 PM 1964 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 1371 days

02-25-2017 03:25 PM

Hi everyone, I’ve read topics on this site over the years but just joined because I have a question that I’m hoping someone to help me answer.

I purchased a Leigh D4R Pro for our pro dovetail jig and I am having some difficulty getting the sides of the pieces to align correctly. I’ve made sure that the boards are set in the jig properly, all of the boards of the same with and square and I follow the instruction manual to a T.

I haven’t signed up with the photo service so I can’t post a photo at the moment but if you can imagine a box put together with dovetail joints and having two of the sides stand taller than the other two sides. It’s only up by about an eighth of an inch but I’ve tested it twice and am getting the same results.

- I’m using a Bosch router, same router for dovetail and straight bit, no changes to the guide bush
- outside faces stay out, away from the jig with each end routed
- stock is tight to edge guide extruded from jig and square to fingers on top each time
- stock is two sample pieces cut from same piece of wood
- I know the guide bush is somewhat elliptical so I’m routing with the router in the same orientation each time.
- Guide bush is set to 10 for through dovetails, as RXd in manual

In theory it should come out perfect but the only variables here are are in flipping the finger assembly and obviously the change from dovetail to straight bits.

Anyone ever experienced this and know what to do to fix it other than manually planing or sanding the excess?

Thanks in advance.

9 replies so far

View Pacesetter's profile


6 posts in 1371 days

#1 posted 02-25-2017 03:33 PM

I uploaded a picture here to give you a visual of the problem.

View Walker's profile


408 posts in 1388 days

#2 posted 02-25-2017 03:54 PM

It looks like your dovetails are tight, but the entire board is misaligned with the other one to begin with. Can you adjust the edge guide on that jig, so that the offset between the two boards is more accurate?

-- ~Walker

View xeddog's profile


323 posts in 3923 days

#3 posted 02-25-2017 05:50 PM

If you put both a pin board and a tail board in place, do the edges line up perfectly??


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6 posts in 1371 days

#4 posted 02-25-2017 06:00 PM

Thanks guys.

Walker, The edge guide is static, machined into the jig (see image below).

Sorry Wayne, what do you mean by ‘in place’?

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6 posts in 1371 days

#5 posted 02-25-2017 06:05 PM

Also, if you are unfamiliar with the d4r, it makes it impossible to misalign the pins after routing the tails because the entire pin/tail guide is on a static rail and you flip it and put directly back on consistent mount rails. Difficult to imagine by the photo but see below but it would be impossible to adjust left or right (which is by design)

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4146 days

#6 posted 02-25-2017 06:53 PM

I had the same problem with another jig. It took some tedious measuring but I finally got it close enough for some light sanding.

To save one drawer that was misaligned like yours, I ripped off the excess on the table saw. And who knows but me and you! :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1664 days

#7 posted 02-25-2017 09:59 PM

Not having that particular dovetail jig, I can’t comment on how it’s misaligned. Still, it does appear misaligned. Something is slightly out of whack. I’ve had the same type problem with my PC jig. I clean up the minor misalignments with the tablesaw or with a handplane, depending on the amount of ‘adjustment’ needed.

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6 posts in 1371 days

#8 posted 02-26-2017 04:53 PM

Thanks everyone. I don’t think it’s something I’m doing wrong in setup but I’m going to call Leigh on Monday to see if they have a solution. If not, I’ll just need to oversized my widths by 1/8+ and rip it down or plane it down until I can find a solution. I’ll let you all know what Leigh says on Monday.

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6 posts in 1371 days

#9 posted 03-02-2017 10:34 PM

Hi All – Thanks again for your input. I called Leigh on Monday, they were very helpful. He basically went though all of the things that could have been wrong and the one that stood out to me was to do an aligning process that you do when assembling the jig. It was one of those set of steps that you just ‘follow the instructions’ on when you get a new tool and later you realize the importance of the steps. It involved re-aligning the ruler gauges on either side to the finger assembly.

I think what was happening is I made the ruler gauges too tight the first time I calibrated it so when flipping the finger assembly back and forth between pins and tails mode I was ending up squeezing the mounting arms in slightly. Now the finger assembly slides on smooth both ways with no squeezing and the dovetails are coming out perfect, no sanding/trimming needed. I know this jig was crazy expensive but man, what an awesome piece of equipment. It works really really well now and I can’t wait to try some advanced dovetails.

Thanks again all!

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