Leigh has introduced a new dovetail and box-joint making jig, the R9Plus, that has some cool new features, not the least of which is the ability to make precision joints on wide stock. The competitively priced jig uses a compact-sized template that can be shifted to extend its effective length. The template shifts then rests on sets of indexing pins to hold tight tolerances when it is moved. The indexing pin plates are mounted on a beam you make in your shop. The template is held securely to the beam with latching knobs you simply turn to clamp to the pin plates. The jig can be used by either clamping the beam to your bench or you can use the jig on a router table.
Leigh has also borrowed concepts from its other jigs to achieve tight joint tolerances without a lot of fussy adjustments. Both features worth mentioning here use the concept of a cam to dial-in adjustments. One of these new features is used to position the alignment of the pin and tail boards. Simply turn the side-stop adjustment knob to center the pin or tail board to the template. When set, no further side-stop adjustments are made which switching from routing tails to pins. The second cam-type adjustment is used to precisely fit the joint by adjusting the guide bushing to effectively increase or decrease the opening of the socket.
The R9Plus comes with an aluminum template for routing either through-dovetails or box joints, a dovetail router bit and straight bit, three pin plates, two F-style clamps for holding the work to the beam, the side-stop adjuster, the adjustable guide bushing and all the hardware needed for use with the shop made beam. The jig sells for about $160.
You can read a more detailed review of the R9 Plus in the December 2011 issue Popular Woodworking Magazine.
• Want to learn more about making dovetail joints using both power and hand tools? You can preview and buy the hour-long video “Cheating at Hand-cut Dovetails” by Glen D. Huey in the Popular Woodworking Magazine online store ShopWoodworking.com, home to hundreds of woodworking books and videos and articles on many woodworking topics.