Gazette Archive 11/17/99
IT RIGHT' (MIR) Dovetail Jig Report
Available from: Stots
There are many dovetail jigs in the market; sophisticated ones, simple ones, some are designed to cut many different kinds of joints, some are able to cut just one or two types of joints. The Stots jig is very different than the rest. It allows the user to fully modify the structure and capabilities of the jig to suit any (board-end to board-end) dovetail joint. The Stots jig came with an instruction booklet I found to be clear and straight forward.
I think the best feature of this jig is the "special" or "custom" applications that are impossible to do with many other popular jigs, i.e. large carcase dovetailing. Stots' MIR (Make It Right) jig opens up many new possibilities for the craftsmen with creative minds who feel restricted by other dovetailing jigs' limited set-ups.
Another big advantage of the MIR jig is the user relies on "markings" instead of remote template set-up diagrams and/or measuring tape. One can make a few joints and always can come back to it and produce exactly the same joint parts. I really like to rely on my markings, instead of measurements.
Well, no beauty comes in perfect package...right? The jig's handicap is the closed slots. Although the spirit of the jig is to not use the "template" for actual dovetailing, but use it to manufacture other working custom templates. This is my understanding from this product. I've made MDF templates and opened up the ends by cutting it on the table saw. It works great! I don't think closed-slot fabricated templates are a "must", especially if you use a phenolic or some other durable plastic instead of MDF or other similar material.
In a nutshell, I love the freedom that Stot's MIR dovetailing jig provides. I can use it at any stage during the construction of a piece. In other words, I don't have to design my pieces to be compatible with a certain jig. This may not be a big deal to some but I'm thrilled with the flexibility of MIR jig. No matter how many jigs I have, I am and will be using the MIR very frequently. On top of all this, it's priced very reasonably for what it's capable of doing.
Hikmet C. Sakman - "Chico"