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  • Model: Porter Cable 4212 Dovetail Jig

  • Where Purchased: Amazon

  • Price Paid: $110

  • Why Purchased: My Keller dovetail jig makes nice through dovetails, but I wanted to make half-blind dovetails when building drawers.

  • Impressions: This is a nicely designed, sturdy jig. Some people on Amazon have complained about the quality of the included router bits, but I haven't had any problems. I've basically dedicated my little DeWalt router to this jig.

    The only difference between the 4212 and 4210 jigs is that the 4212 can do both half-blind and through dovetails, while the 4210 can only do half-blinds. Even though I have another jig that can do through dovetails, I decided to spend a little extra to buy the 4212. I haven't tried this jig for through dovetails yet, but will when my Keller jig's router bits get too dull. If the 4212 makes through dovetails as well as the Keller, I'll probably use the 4212 for all of my dovetailing tasks, since replacement bits for the Keller are very expensive.

    The documentation that comes with this jig seems thick and complex at first, but if you take some time to actually read it, you'll find it very helpful and thorough. Not reading the manual will result in much frustration, confusion, wasted lumber, and possibly some ruined projects. Go to my Shaker Blanket Chest page to read about the dumb mistake I made using this jig because I didn't understand its operation as well as I thought I did. So take the time to read the manual—it will actually save you time and grief in the long run.

    TIP: Go to the Porter Cable support web site and download the Supplementary Instruction Manual for the 4212/4210 jigs. You'll find some interesting techniques that will allow you to perform useful and fancy tasks such as:

    • Make dovetails on boards that are wider than the jig

    • Skip pins when making dovetails

    • Make inlayed dovetails

    • And much more.

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