Popular Woodworking 2008-08 № 170, страница 20

Popular Woodworking 2008-08 № 170, страница 20

Tool Test

BY THE POPULAR WOODWORKING STAFF

24" Omnijig Joinery System

Porter-Cable's solution to jig-cut joinery does the job, but it requires an additional outlay of funds to become a fully functioning system.

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V hen I opened the box the first object in sight was the manual. Is Porter-Cable making a point by placing the manual at the top of the box? After a good look at the Omnij igjoinery system (#77240), you might think so.

I looked through the manual - which has very clearinstructions-pulledthejig from the box and was all-but-ready to make dovetails. There's nearly no setup with the Omnijig; just position the stops, then attach the router-bit depth pod.

At first look, this tool appears complicated and quite different from other available dovetail jigs. Stops are used to locate the finger template, one on each end of the jig. But otherwise, the Omnijig operates like other well-known dovetail jig designs.

Creative slops. Omnijig stops, used to position the templates, were calibrated correctly for straight-from-the-box use, but can be fine-tuned.

The fingers are adjustable to determine pin width as well as spacing along the width of your project. Loosen a square-drive screw, gently rock the finger to release its grip on the template, then position each half-finger to your desired location. Make sure to snug the screws when positioned. It's possible for the fingers to move while routing if they're not firmly tightened.

As with most jigs, there are pros and cons. Single-lever clamping is a very nice feature - once the clamping bar is set, it's a simple flip to hold the workpiece in position. This also allows you to have one hand on the board as you release the jig's hold. I'm impressed with how the stops work and with the factory setting being exact, although you can tweak the stops if need be. In addition, the router-bit pod is a great idea. Set a router with the proper bit installed onto the pod to accurately adjust the depth of cut.

Evaluation of the opposite side of the equation starts with what's not included with the jig system. You'll pay extra to cut through-dovetails in thicknesses other than 3A" (only one dovetail router bit is included with the j ig), or produce box joints, sliding dovetails and thinner pins (down to V4" in width). There's

Porter Cable ■ 866-375-6287

or deltaportercable.com Street price - $600

an additional charge for jig-designed dust collection and of course, you're limited to a 1:8 dovetail slope.

I took a test drive straight out of the box, creating both through-dovetails using V-t"-thickmaterial and half-blind dovetails, joining V2" drawer sides to a 3A" drawer front. The fit of the through-dovetails was snug and exact. The half-blind, variable-spaced dovetails fit perfect. No tweaking was required, but fine adjustments are easy to make.

The Omnijig is not a magic bullet for making dovetails and other joinery. Your cuts need to be square just as with other dovetail jigs. You have to prepare your parts to the proper thickness and you have to select the right bits, bushings and settings to make good-fitting dovetails. Ifusingajig is your path to dovetails, the Omnijig will do the work. But, you'll shell out more than just the initial cost to gain a full repertoire for woodworking.

There is also a 16" Omnijigjoinery system that features different accessories. See the company's web site for details.

—GlenD.Huey

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