Leigh D4R Pro 24 inch Dovetail Jig
Leigh dovetail jigs set a standard that no other jig can match. The adjustable guide fingers on the D4R Dovetail Jig offer variable spacing of both pins & tails,as
close as 1" apart on center on stock up to 24" wide. With a Leigh Jig, you design a piece of furniture and then fit the jig to the design, rather than being
constrained to the limited number of stock widths that suit conventional fixed templates. The actual cutting of perfect dovetails quickly becomes routine, freeing you
to focus on designing creative, aesthetically appealing layouts.
In through dovetail mode, D4R jigs are designed to cut dovetails at 8° (about a 1:7 pitch), creating a sleek, custom look which is especially attractive in thick stock.
Another advantage of Leigh's slim angle is unusually great depth of cut, allowing delicate dovetailing in stock far thicker than ordinary bits can handle. A 13/16", 8°
dovetail bit, for instance, can cut through dovetails in stock up to 1-1/4" thick. Hand-cut dovetails would look very much like Leigh production - if you cut them perfectly
every time. Operation is surprisingly simple.
Once you've settled on a joint design, set up pairs of guide fingers accordingly and lock them in place. If you're working in 3/4" stock, here's how: Mount the e7
template guide in your router base, install the standard 1/2" dovetail bit and set its depth of cut to match the thickness of your pin stock. Mill out as many tail pieces
as needed. Next, switch to a 5/16" straight bit with the same e7 template guide, and set depth to match the tail piece thickness. Flip the finger assembly over to
"TD Pins" mode and make a test cut to check the fit with a tail piece. Moving the assembly forward on the jig lets the wedge-shaped pairs of fingers to cover more wood,
leaving thicker pins for a tighter fit; moving the assembly backward leaves thinner pins and eases the fit. After a couple of test runs, you're ready to crank out all the pin pieces,
with identical perfect fit in every one. Includes 3 bits: 1/2", 8° dovetail, 1/2", 14° dovetail & 5/16" straight bit.
For half-blind dovetails, a dovetail bit cuts both halves of the joint, with tail pieces (drawer sides) standing vertically just like through dovetail mode, but with pin pieces
(drawer fronts) clamped horizontally. Producing a good fit is a simple matter of raising or lowering the bit. To get started, set your depth as suggested in the manual, make a test
cut and adjust as needed until the fit is as close to perfect as you please.
It's worth noting that the 1/2" 8° bit supplied with the jig has to cut quite deeply
to make a good half-blind fit, so its minimum pin piece (drawer front) thickness is 7/8". For half-blind dovetailing in 3/4" stock, you'll need to use the 1/2",
14° bit listed separately (Item #105317).
Hybrids & Slides
The Leigh D4R can do half the work for you in hybrid hand/machine joints. When your design calls for extremely narrow pins for genuine hand-cut impact, you'll have to cut the
tails by hand, since no dovetail bit can taper to much less than a 1/4" minimum width. But pins that taper to almost nothing can be cut on the jig just as easily as any others,
automating half the work and providing sharp, clean patterns from which to lay out the matching tails.
The D4R jig does a fine job on through or stopped sliding dovetails, providing convenient holding mechanisms for both horizontal and vertical stock control, and a precisely adjustable
router guide system as well. Both depth and thickness of the tail piece are entirely up to you, so you can make the joint as strong as possible in any stock thickness.
Leigh's manual successfully conveys not only the operational details but also the essential simplicity of the jig, so you always know not only what to do but why you're doing it.
Single Pass Half-Blind Dovetails
Single pass dovetail routing requires precise finger spacing and tail board offset. The horizontal travel of the router must also be limited for accurate tail socket depth.
Two design features from Leigh Super Dovetail Jigs make this joint possible:
- a dual function plastic spacer to space the fingers on the finger bar and position the tail board with the correct offset
- a "stop rod" inserted in the tail end of fingers to limit router travel
Box joint routing has similar requirements: correct finger spacing and tail (socket) board offset. A similar dual function spacer is used for routing 3/8" and 3/4" box joints
on the standard dovetail fingers. Box joint fit can be problematic but the patented Leigh eBush template guidebush makes precise fit adjustments easy and fast. The box joint spacer,
single pass dovetail spacer, nylon stop rod and e7 guidebush are included with all D4R Pro jigs.
- 1/2", 8° dovetail bit (Leigh # 80-8)
- 1/2", 14° dovetail bit (Leigh # 120-8)
- 5/16" straight bit (Leigh # 140-8)
- 1/2" to 8mm collet reducer (Leigh # 172-8)
- e7 template guide
- Cam-action speed clamps
- Sliding dovetail fence
- Square drive screwdriver
- 5/64" hex key
- Fully illustrated user guide
- Half-blind bridge piece material
- Leigh Wrench
- Single pass spacer
- Box joint spacere
- Nylon Stop Rod
Jig Versions and Packages
The Leigh D4R Pro is available in both inch and metric versions. Both versions use the same template guides and routers bits and come with the same standard equipment. The only
difference is that the Metric jig has guide scales graduated in millimieters.
The D4R jig can be purchased by itself or packaged with accessories at a savings. You can add the Vacuum & Router Support(VRS) or the Accessory Kit, which includes the VRS and
Highland's 13-piece bit set.
Click here for the Leigh Template Guide System Selection Chart