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If I start doing lots of dovetails, this jig is pretty slick. However, just using the hand plane is pretty slick too, and something I hadn't thought of.
My biggest problem to solve is a lack of space, and getting multpile uses out of tools, like using the plane helps solve it.
That video was scary, but informative. The only kickback I have experienced was on the router in high school woodshop, doing exactly what he did in the video. That little 1/4" router threw bit the piece out of the classroom and 50 feet into the playground.
I have always wondered how a kickback can draw your hand into the blade, as it throwing the wood away from it. This video shows how. When the kickback occurs at the end of the cut, your hand is in front of the blade. So when it happens, it draws it back through the blade.
15 years ago, I spent a minute making a push stick out of a 1 foot length of 2x4. I just used a bandsaw to rip it about 1/4" from the edge, then stopped an inch from the back to make a shoe. It was supposed to be sacrificial, but has outlasted almost all of the tools in that shop. I just used it today, but will probably retire it, at least from the tablesaw. I'll make a longer version (about 2 feet) with a 6 inch shoe. That way, when the cut is complete, my hand is still behind the blade.
I like that Pinnacle is made in the USA. Unfortunately, I can't find their smaller workbench anymore, and I don't have enough room for the big one. I guess I'll have to get one of those Swedish imports (or make my own)
I read the "Hand Tool Essentials" and there are some interesting points about jigs:
1. A hand plane is just a jig for a chisel.
2. You can make dove tails with out a jig of any kind, or even any real layout tools. Just use the tail board to mark the depth of the pin board. Mark the pins any way you like and cut them. Then use your pin board to mark the depth and lay out for your tails. So while you don't have a jig, you are effectively using the workpiece as one.
So this whole "cheating" argument is ridiculous. Use whatever works well. While I am mostly a power tool guy, the concept of using a router jig to cut dovetails is utterly baffling to me, while this "no jig" hand tool method seems simple.
Use whatever techniques, tools, and jigs work for you, and have fun. For a lot of us like me, who do their woodwork in a garage, basement, or shed, hand tools have one very big advantage: They take a lot less space, make less noise, and are a lot easier to cleanup.
Sometimes you don't even need a tablesaw or other power tool. I have been woodworking for 30 years and have had exactly one accident - at Home Depot. I was making new kitchen cabinets and went to get some more 3/4" 4x8 birch veneer plywood sheets for the cabinet carcasses. While trying to get one of the sheets, it slipped and all 50 pounds hit my big toe directly, breaking it. I was in a cast for 6 months and 14 years later still have a permanent limp from it.
For all of those worried about speling, they should check out Mad Magazine's "Back to Colege Isue".
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