Keller dovetail jigs: Information, reviews & pricing on the Keller Dovetail System and a gallery of related woodworking projects. Keller Dovetail System
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Royal Typewriter Image > Reviews > Magazine Reviews > American Woodworker, 1996

Find the Keller dovetail jigs at these woodworking trade shows  

Find the Keller dovetail jigs at these woodworking trade shows  

American Woodworker ( reviewed the Keller 2401. This review is © 1996 American Woodworker.

EASE OF USE: * * * * *

The Keller jig is designed for making through dovetails only. But it makes them quickly and accurately with a minimal amount of setup. The jig produces comparatively large dovetails, making it a good choice for carcase joinery. (The 2401 makes 5/8-in.-wide pins spaced 1¾ in. on center.) And, of the jigs we looked at, it is the only one that will produce dovetails on stock of unlimited width.

The jig is simplicity itself. It consists of two aluminum templates – each mounted on a hardwood backing block that you supply. One template is used for cutting the dovetails and the other for cutting the pins. The two router bits supplied – a dovetail bit and a straight bit – have top-mounted bearing that follow the templates. There's no need for router guide bushings.

To assemble the Keller jig, you make the wooden backing blocks and align and fasten the templates to them. The initial alignment requires some fussing, but you only have to do it once.

To make dovetails, you clamp your tail board vertically in a vise with the tail template positioned over the end of the workpiece. You clamp the template's back block to the workpiece and rout the tails using the dovetail bit. You use the tails to scribe for the pins on the pin board – just as when making hand-cut dovetails. (For evenly spaced dovetails, you need only scribe for one pin; the template will register the rest. For variable spacing, however, you have to scribe for all the pins.) To make the pins, you align the pin template to your scribe marks, switch to the straight bit, and rout. You'll need a router with a ½-in. collet to accept the router bits supplied.

The Keller jig is a solid, nearly foolproof aid to the cabinetmaker who is primarily interested in dovetails for carcase joinery.