Almost every drawer you’ll find on quality furniture is assembled using a dovetail joint, and if you’ve ever look at those drawers you’ve probably wondered, “How do they make those?” It’s actually a lot easier than you’d think: They use a jig which guides a router bit to cut out the interlocking grooves.
The Leigh D4R is one such jig, and a pretty decent one from what we can tell. It can handle up to 45″ wide stock, and is capable of jigging lots of different joints including finger, Isoloc hybrid, mortise and tenon, and jumbo half-blind dovetails.
As simple as it might appear to use one of these beasties, trust us: It’s not. There are quite a few pieces and adjustments, and if you don’t get them right you end up with joints that don’t fit or fit loosely.
As one who can just barely make my dovetail jig work for my own projects, I wouldn’t dare to try and explain it. So, I did a little poking around on the ‘net and found this demo from woodshopdemos.com with lots of pictures. Enjoy!
Street pricing for the Leigh starts just South of $500, which is pretty reasonable for a pro-model dovetail jig. There are cheap ones out there for $250 or less, but in this particular task accuracy and repeatability count. Be wary.
Leigh doesn’t list their full catalog online, but they do list quite a few accessories and such. It’s an interesting read, once you’re past the now-ubiquitous Flash intro. (Our link skips it. You’re welcome.)
Update: Frank indicates in comments that he uses a much simpler jig that’s cheaper, too.