Help with Tearout on a Dovetail Jig

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Forum topic by FaTToaD posted 02-03-2012 08:50 PM 4998 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 4380 days

02-03-2012 08:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dove tail dovetail jig rockler tearout tear out cedar bit tip trick question

I recently purchased a Rockler Complete Dovetail Jig and though the jig itself is awesome, I’m having some issues with tearout. The tearout is on both the sides and bottom of the pins and tails.

Now, I’m using cedar, which I’m sure is part of the problem since it’s so soft, however I’ve had some tearout on harder woods as well.

I’ve tried back routing and though it helps especially with the bottom tearout I’m still getting way too much elsewhere. The bits themselves are the ones that come with the jig and they are brand new.

I’ve tried slowing my pace and adjusting the speed of the router between 16k – 23k rpm. Nothing seems to help.

Does anyone have any tips, tricks, or advise to help prevent tearout on a dovetail jig?


A very frustrated David

-- David

5 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


118250 posts in 4816 days

#1 posted 02-03-2012 08:54 PM

Hi David
Depending on your jig many times it’s best to have a backer board behind the board your dovetailing ,this supports the back side of your wood preventing it from tearing out.
here’s one of the manufacturers tips.


View woodjunkie's profile


35 posts in 3907 days

#2 posted 02-03-2012 08:55 PM

I have used blue painters tape on some 1/2 pine plywood that I am using. Works well for me although have to clean the bit often to get the goo off!

-- He: Can I get the plans for that? Me: Plans???

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4509 days

#3 posted 02-03-2012 08:57 PM

A little trick I use is to sandwich the board with some 1/4 in hardboard or what ever else is cheaper where you are….and then place this “sandwich” in the jig. You still use the same depth of cut you would use with the original size of material (i.e. if your wood is 3/4” then use that depth…do not add the width of the sandwich boards). The hardboard takes the entry and exit of the cutters while the real project wood is protected. This has worked wonders for me on my PC Omnijig…. oh, you can use a two sided tape or other temp adhesive if your jig does not clamp the pieces together firmly enough.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4043 days

#4 posted 02-04-2012 12:25 AM

very interesting answers. I agree with a backer-board of some sort. also, maybe your feed is too fast? I don’t know

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 4380 days

#5 posted 02-07-2012 02:33 AM

Thanks for the suggestions! I don’t know why I didn’t think of using a backer boards sooner. That combined with a piece of 1/4” MDF on the front side as suggested by reggiek sure did the trick.

Adding the MDF to just the front didn’t require me to change my setup, a bonus for sure. Thanks again.

-- David

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