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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    New Zealand

    Default Dovetails on a toy chest

    I'm soon to be a dad for the first time and I'd like to build a toy chest for my son/daughter. Approx measuments H500, W400, L800. To cut the dovetails for this I'm thinking of using a Leigh r9 plus jig. I'm a carpenter and have a trusty makita 1/4 inch router which I use at work however for the jig I believe I need a 1/2 inch router. .I want to use this new router free hand to start but in time I plan to put it into a router table, so I was thinking I should look for something with above table height adjustment. My favored option was a Bosch1617 but you can't get them here but they do seam to be available on line. So a few questions:
    1) has anybody any experience with the Leigh r9 plus? Especially the beam setup?
    2) has anybody any experience with the Bosch1617?
    3)what to people think about Triton or are they too unreliable?
    4)any other suggestions for router or jig?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Leopold, Victoria


    First of all congratulations on the pending birth and welcome to the forum. We seem to have a bit of an influx of New Zealanders lately which is great.
    I only have some input in one of your questions and that is the Triton. I use a Triton MOF001 in my table and find it very user friendly. Having the ability to raise and lower it using the handle and fine adjustment screw makes life very easy. Being able to change the bit from above the table with one spanner is also a plus. It has the above table height adjustment but I rarely use that as I don't run the router without the lock on and you need to release that before you can adjust it so I just use the fine adjuster from under the table.
    Yes they have had a bad reputation in regard to reliability and I did have problems with mine. Just after it ran out of warranty the speed controller started playing up and at that time had only been used a very small amount so it wasn't due to hard use, obviously just an inherent fault. About 12 months ago I bit the bullet and purchased a new speed controller and it has been fine since then with a fair amount of use.
    There have been stories about other mechanical components failing but I haven't encountered any of those.
    I don't know anything about the build quality now.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011


    I also can't help with all your questions. The recent history of problems with Triton routers would be a deal breaker for me. Although the Bosch 1617 would appear to be a very competent router I'd personally be looking for something that is available locally and has some after sales service. You already have a Makita maybe you should consider a variable speed 1/2" model of the same brand?

    I guess the point of the Leigh R9 is so you can cut dovetails and pins in the hand held mode because you don't have a router table? Had you thought about the possibility of cutting the tails with your router simply by marking out the positions on the board and then cutting the pins by hand? This method provides a huge variability in the layout and costs next to nothing to setup. All you need is a spoil board either side of your stock to prevent chip out and act as a solid base for the router to ride on and a guide clamped across the stock to run the router against. If you want to use a template guide there are much cheaper options than the Leigh available, although I acknowledge the quality and reputation of the brand. Here's a couple you might like to consider:

    This type of template jig is also available from China through eBay and Aliexpress.
    Forum members PM me for a discount on all my products -

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014


    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Brooks View Post
    3)what to people think about Triton or are they too unreliable?
    4)any other suggestions for router or jig?
    I've got a very old TRA001 that I got second hand. It's ok for the price I paid, it has a few issues but is old and I got it cheap so I can't complain too much. From what I've read the newer Tritons can suffer from reliability issues. Which is a real shame because they have a lot of nice features. From the routers I've had a hands on play with, the Makita RP2301FC seems to be a winner, ultra smooth plunge action, above table height adjustment, soft start. It's only downside is that it is one of the more expensive 1/2" collet router outside of Festool.

    What are you making the chest out of? If it's solid wood, have you considered using a dovetail guide and hand saw for hand cut dovetails? I'm far from an expert, but 'standard' dovetails for the carcass of the chest just take some practice and a guide jig makes it easier yet. Just a thought for an alternative method.

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