Mid-week tool sneak peek no. 7

August 10, 2011

I’ve never owned a dovetailing jig I could brag about. In fact, the last one was my inspiration for learning to hand cut dovetails! But I’ll share a little secret with you (please don’t share it with anyone else), if I found a really good dovetailing jig that had flexibility and ease of use I’d be willing to set my saw and chisel aside on a project or two.

With that dirty little secret out there now (you and I both know you can’t keep a secret), I found a jig at Highland Woodworking that just might change my mind about how I dovetail my projects, it’s the Leigh Super 18 Dovetail Jig.

These dovetail jigs have all the great features associated with Leigh, but at a lower price. And as with other Leigh models, you can cut variably spaced through and half-blind dovetails in a variety of material sizes and thicknesses.

The Super Jigs also make sliding dovetails and 5/16″ and 5/8″ box joints right out of the package. There’s no additional template to buy. You can even fine-tune the fit of the fingers with Leigh’s new E-Bush template guide that adjusts in increments of .002.

* Redesigned speed clamps for a more powerful grip.
* Easier slide & read finger assemblies.
* Handy on-board reference card with set up information.
* Quick setup jig for box joints and half-blind dovetails that stores on the jig.
* Each Super Jig includes: 1/2″ 8° dovetail bit, 1/2″ 14° dovetail bit,
5/16″ straight bit, 1/2″ to 8mm collet reducer, 7/16″ template guide,
& a really first-class instruction manual and DVD.


Not all of us are so lucky as to have a hardwood supplier in our backyards, or even with a reasonable driving distance in some situations. Ordering lumber sight unseen or even from another state halfway across the country sounds crazy, but a lot of woodworkers are doing just that and so far it appears to be working for them.

One such online lumber supplier with a great reputation for not only amazing looking stock but also for equally amazing customer service is Bell Forest Products.

Bell Forest Products carries a wide-assortment of species, including some amazing exotics you never knew existed and perhaps even the most beautiful figured maple boards on the market. I have some birds-eye maple cut-offs they sent as packing material in an order I received that I can’t throw away, they’re just to pretty!

Besides carrying full size stock for your large projects, Bell Forest also has smaller pieces perfect for quick and easy weekend projects including project kits such as the “Wal-eye” paddle cutting board.

A great project for the beginner to the experienced woodworker! This cutting board can be assembled in a few hours using a few common tools and wood glue. Something you’ll see on the show in the very near future.

The kit includes everything you need to build the cutting board:
* Enough kiln-dried lumber to build one cutting board.
* 3 boards, surfaced (hit-and-miss planed) on both faces with one straight edge.
* Full-size, heavy-weight paper template.
* MDF blank for the pattern.
* Complete instructions on how to build the project.
* Overall dimensions: 9” x 22” – Cutting surface: 9” x 14”


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