Original INCRA Jig vs Woodstock dovetail jig

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Forum topic by dschlic1 posted 08-01-2014 05:23 PM 2210 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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516 posts in 3306 days

08-01-2014 05:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router joining

I am thinking about dipping my toe into the dovetail waters. This is just a hobby, and money is tight so I can’t afford a $300 jig. Both of the above jigs can be had for less than $100 retail or less used. My question is which do you prefer?

The Incra Jig is more versatile but is probably slower and can only handle short (8” max) parts. The template type dovetail jigs are more limited, but might be faster and can handle larger pieces. A third possibility, which I am not too much in favor of, is the Prazi Chestmate.

So Please give me you opinions.

6 replies so far

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 4472 days

#1 posted 08-01-2014 05:50 PM

Is this an urge to make dovetails or are you thinking of using dovetails for a particular type of project?

If money is tight I would suggest learning other joinery options. Finger joints or rabbit-dados. Personally I prefer through dovetails over half blind. There are certain situations where half blind are definitely the way to go, but those don’t come up in my projects.

I happen to own an original Incra Jig, a Porter Cable 4212, a Prazi Chestmate, and even a newer style Incra fence positioning system. I’ve only done dovetails a few times with the Porter Cable. At one time I thought I’d be using them, but in the projects I do they aren’t often an option and when they are I usually prefer some other joinery.

If you were willing to pay shipping I’d probably let you borrow the original Incra and/or the Prazi and see how you like them.

-- Greg D.

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 2761 days

#2 posted 08-01-2014 05:56 PM

I have a Hart Design jig just collecting dust in a drawer. Has a couple of templates to go with it. 12” capacity and a whole bunch of templates that you can buy as you do more creative joinery.

I have an Incra Ultra Jig\Fence System already so if you could make good use of this jig, it might be a cheap way to find out if this is what you want to do.

$50 plus shipping.

-- Brad, Texas,

View dschlic1's profile


516 posts in 3306 days

#3 posted 08-01-2014 07:08 PM

Thanks for the offers. At this point I am still sitting on the fence about pulling the trigger. I have made some projects which had false front drawers. For those I used mortise and loose tenon joints to construct the box. Going to dovetails is just an idea and maybe a step up.

View Brad-Scott's profile


11 posts in 3241 days

#4 posted 09-14-2014 04:57 AM

It’s now September. Did you ever take any Action on your dovetails? By now you could be real good at hand-cutting them. The Original Incra jig has been reissued and available for $55 on Amazon. I don’t think you can beat that. It moves from tool to tool. I’m a big fan of make your own if you can; once the Incra jig is in hand add Perry McDaniel’s “INCRA IJPT1 Projects and Techniques Book” and you should be on your way.

McDaniel’s is big on puzzle boxes so you might to a search to see his work on etc. He is one very talented craftsman and his book will light up any wood worker worth his shavings.

-- Brad~Scott

View dschlic1's profile


516 posts in 3306 days

#5 posted 09-14-2014 10:58 AM

Unfortunately no. I did purchase an Incra jig (new style) off of Craogslist. However several things have come up which has been occupying my free time. I did get the jig setup with a fence and and prts as you can see from this project

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 3798 days

#6 posted 09-14-2014 11:23 AM

As a hobbyist, why not learn to cut them by hand? Hobby is done for enjoyment, I would think you’d get more enjoyment out of some nice fitting hand cuts over a jig. To me, a jig is called for if you need to pop out tons of drawers for a project, but if you are making one offs for enjoyment, the ability to hand cut is the best!

I have never used a jig, my guess as with anything else in life, you get what you pay for. I’d venture that you already have chisels of various sizes, all you’d need is a dovetail saw, square, cutting gauge, t-bevel, coping saw and a very sharp pencil. I’d think you could get all this stuff for 100 or less if you really look around.

Good luck.

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