To create interesting joints, previously we covered Isoloc joint templates for Leigh dovetail jigs, but the templates were expensive — plus, you need to already own an expensive Leigh dovetail jig. MLCS now sells the less-expensive Fast Joint system that you can use with a router table to make similar fancy-looking joints.
Using the system is pretty straightforward. Fit the male and female templates in the Fast Joint jig, install the correct bushing in your router table, chuck the bit into your router, and lock the work piece into the jig. Then just start routing. After you finish the first piece, flip the jig over to use the complementary template and lock in the mating work piece.
In their video they share some techniques on using the system effectively. The most important thing to remember is to remove material slowly, not all at once, then make a finishing pass to ensure a perfect fit. You also want to make sure you move the wood in the direction opposite the way the bit is turning — don’t climb cut — but if you use a router regularly you should already know these tips.
Some of the more interesting templates available are:
- Key (more like a rounded dovetail)
- Arrow head
- Teddy bear
- Dog bone
- Top Hat
- Bird’s eye
- Butterfly wings
With the system you get the Fast Joint jig platform with hardware, three toggle clamps, two spring clamps, a 3/16″ high-speed steel spiral upcut bit, 14º CT dovetail bit, .308″ OD bushing, .311″ OD bushing, dovetail 7/16″ OD bushing, brass centering pin, and a 3/8″ by 3/8″ brass setup bar.
You can purchase the Fast Joint system plus four templates for $170, spend an extra $100 to get the system plus 11 templates for $270, or go hog wild and get the whole kit and caboodle including 20 templates for $420. If you want to buy a single template it’ll run you $18. MLCS also sells replacement bushings and spiral bits on their website.