The Dovetail Jig

By | April 8, 2019

So, started using the Porter Cable 4212 Dovetail jig. Has been an interesting process seeing how this works. Here is a link to the jig :

https://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-4212-12-Inch-Deluxe-Dovetail/dp/B0006AAS8S/ref=sr_1_2?crid=8RP46T3T3V7G&keywords=porter+cable+dovetail+jig&qid=1554781593

Here are a few pics of what it looked like on my first attempt… don’t judge too harshly… it got better lol.

Cutting half blind dovetail.
All half blind dovetail box sides cutout
Assembling the box
Clamping up the box.
This is the final product …. now, I know, it looks horrible… but keep in mind this was just me learning to use the jig and this was the very first attempt 🙂

Ok, so … that was the first box. A lot went wrong with it… figured out that the direction the wood is naturally “bending / warped” needs to be accounted for. In the photo above, you can see that it’s popped away from the sides at the top. This was due partly to the way the wood is warped, I should have turned it the other way, so it’s tight at top and loose in the middle, the joint would then pull it tight. Also, the jig wasn’t set quite right, the router bit wasn’t set deep enough, and this taught me a VERY good lesson. Take the time to setup the jig extremely precise, and you will be rewarded with better results.

My second attempt went much better, this was using the jig to cut through dovetails, and not half blinds. Below are some images…

Jig setup to cut through dovetails. Yes, that is the instruction book you see in the background !
Through dovetail box cutout ready to assemble.
2nd box in glue up, boards are 1×6’s , and size of box is approx 8×12.
This creates lots of sawdust !
2nd Box, as you can see the joints are ALOT tighter.
Box two is clamped up… those clamps on the left are for box 3. It’s true what they say, you can never have too many clamps lol.


Here is a great video on making half blind dovetails using the porter cable jig.

So, all in all, not horrible for the first hours of using the jig. I have to say after the third box, I am a fan of the Porter Cable jig. The third box built I will put into it’s own post… it’s actually going to be the box that holds the jig.

I’d suggest watching the video I linked above if you want a detailed overview of the jig in action. They also have a video for doing through dovetails as well, one of the better ones on youtube for the porter cable jig.

2 thoughts on “The Dovetail Jig

  1. crouse Post author

    Thanks, wish it was all finished lol. Lots of work still to be done, just sometimes I have to have some fun, and make something. I should really be painting the living room, or finishing the shop… ah well, there is always tomorrow, or so I tell the wife 🙂

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