Leigh D1600 - Initial impression
At the Sydney Woodworking Show I invested in a D1600 dovetail Jig. It was delivered from Mik yesterday and assembled tonight. Here is my current impression.
The item comes in several main parts and quite a few plastic bags of fittings. The manual is very similar to the D4 one, and I believe is the best manual to come with any jig. Most others should not be called manuals.
Assembly is straight forward and can be done in about 30 minutes.
The first thing I noticed is how light it is compared to its big brother, the D4. The body is one piece of aluminium - very rigid, with the tail and pin end stops manufactured into the body. On the D4 these have to be set up with screw adjustments.
The guidefinger assembly is not as rigid as that provided with the D4. However, given that it is supposed to be supported by a piece of "scrap" board (same for D4), then this is not an issue. The fingers themselves are not quite as wide as those on the D4. The opening for the router guide is the same, just the overall width is narrower. This means more care has to be taken when moving between fingers if bridge material is not used in certain configurations.
My biggest disappointment is the provision of imperial measurements only on the finger assembly scale. I am imperial and metric literate, but 1mm increments offers, in my opinion, greater accuracy over 1/16".
Using a test board I had set up for blind dovetails created on the D4, I adjusted the fingers to cut new tails to go into the pins made on the D4. The Triton drill, fitted with a Triton guide, still had the 1/2" cutter fitted from use on the D4. First cut on the D1600 had the tails match the D4 pins spot on. The point here is, the accuracy of the D1600 appears to match that of the D4.
At this point in time I am happy with my new purchase. I don't believe I am going to miss the 8" difference in size. Now I can return the borrowed D4 .
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