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Author Topic: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A  (Read 4194 times)

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Offline 21incher

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Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« on: August 15, 2015, 07:10:09 PM »
Years ago I acquired a old Stanley dovetail jig that I have never tried to use. I have a project coming up that requires dovetails so I need to learn how to use it properly.
 

 
The instruction sheet that was with it called for some obsolete Stanley bit part numbers. One was a 9/16" 14 degree bit, one was a 17/32" 15 degree bit, and the last was a 9/32 bit for the small template. It came with a old 9/32" Bosch bit, and a 1/2" Craftsman bit that I used to try and figure out how to set it up.
 

 
After a couple of tries I was able to get some dovetails that fit together properly. But as you can see the smaller bit left a undercut that looks ugly and the bits were quite dull.
 

 
 

 
I want to order some bits and was wondering if the size and angle really maters when using a jig. Seeing how I was able to get a halfway good large joint using a undersized bit, would the proper larger bit make the joints any stronger? Also I cannot find any 9/32" carbide bits and am thinking of ordering a 5/16" which I am hoping will work as it is less then the width of the undercut. I am really hoping someone else has this jig and can point me in the right direction. After years of  looking at this jig with fear in my eyes I now realize it is pretty simple to use.  :)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline Andy White

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2015, 07:44:49 PM »
21incher,
I would think that any degree dovetail bit would work with that jig. All that would limit bits would be the guide bushing that fits between the fingers of the jig. I don't remember the max. diameter , but if it will fit thru the guide bushing, it will work. That jig looks to be in good condition, with all the parts. Is a user guide available for it, or will they even look for one? Try some other sizes, and degree bits, and post results.  :P :P 8)  Andy
Learning by day, aching by night, but loving every minute of it!! Running HM126 Woodland Mill, Stihl MS290, Homemade Log Arch, JD 5103/FEL and complete woodshop of American Delta tools.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2015, 08:30:31 PM »
Thanks Andy. I have a 4 page instruction manual that came with the jig. It only lists obsolete Stanley part numbers that are for steel bits. I think it is from the 60's so it may be before carbide was widely available. I will order a couple of different size low cost MLCS bits to play with before investing in Whiteside bits. You are right it looks like it will be possible to use different bits by just adjusting the depth of cut and each size should give a slightly different looking dovetail. The jig is in good condition and the guides only have some surface scratches. I love the feel of the cast aluminum knobs for securing the boards and think it will last another 50 years. I will post my results. :)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2015, 10:48:58 AM »
Well I ordered a batch of bits from MLCS & Grizzly. The first shipment of 4 dovetail bits arrived from grizzly this morning by UPS shurepost and the package was torn open and taped back up with no bits inside.
 

 
Contacted Grizzly customer service and was told they will handle the claim and send out 4 replacement bits in a box this time. So I am set back another week before I can get started tying these bits. Hopefully the MLCS bits will arrive soon. :)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 02:03:30 PM »
Grizzly's customer service is second to none. Less then 24 hours after contacting them about the torn open empty package, a UPS truck pulled in my driveway and delivered replacement bits. 8)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline lowpolyjoe

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 11:09:51 AM »
Great to hear.  So many great looking machines on their site - I'm always browsing and dreaming about a new table saw, band saw, planer....  :).  I didn't even realize they carried router bits.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 06:31:03 PM »
Great to hear.  So many great looking machines on their site - I'm always browsing and dreaming about a new table saw, band saw, planer....  :).  I didn't even realize they carried router bits.
They had a better selection of dovetail bits then MLCS and if you buy 3 or more there is a 20% discount. Looks like they are SY brand and I have hade great luck with a couple of them I bought 20 years ago.
 

 
Just waiting for 1 more bit that Grizzly had to ship from the west coast and I will start seeing which bits are use able with the jig. Had to make a new base for my router today so I can see what I am doing. :)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline Andy White

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2015, 07:03:22 PM »
21incher,
That is a good selection of bits you have. While looking at your jig again today, the one on the frame is a half blind jig. Do you have a template with tapered fingers that makes the other half of a thru dovetail? Don't know if one was or is available for this frame or not. As the fabricator that you are, you could make one to fit in no time! If you use different degree bits, you may have to make one for each degree bit. When you get set up and cut, show pictures of the results. Almost as good as being there!!    Andy
Learning by day, aching by night, but loving every minute of it!! Running HM126 Woodland Mill, Stihl MS290, Homemade Log Arch, JD 5103/FEL and complete woodshop of American Delta tools.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2015, 07:49:39 PM »
Andy, what you see is all I have. I only need it for the half blind joints. I have one of the original 12 inch Leigh jigs to do the through joints. That one is a monster to set up with all the paper shims to get tight joints. I'll post pics of what works. :)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline Tom King

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2015, 07:34:46 PM »
get a Whiteside bit of an angle that suits you.  Make as many test cuts in scrap pieces as it takes to adjust the bit height perfectly to get them to fit tightly.  I keep a dedicated router set up for a jig like that for 1/2" material, and two for the Leigh for 3/4" material.  I can pull either out of the box and make dovetailed chicken nesting boxes if I want to with no fiddling.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2015, 08:33:09 AM »
get a Whiteside bit of an angle that suits you.  Make as many test cuts in scrap pieces as it takes to adjust the bit height perfectly to get them to fit tightly.  I keep a dedicated router set up for a jig like that for 1/2" material, and two for the Leigh for 3/4" material.  I can pull either out of the box and make dovetailed chicken nesting boxes if I want to with no fiddling.

That is a great idea, but I only have 2 routers, so I plan on just using a height jig to set the bits once I see which ones work. Yes I will buy some Whiteside bits when I narrow it down to what bits actually work with the jig. The Grizzly bits only were about 5 dollars each for testing. :)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2015, 03:15:23 PM »
Got a chance to try some bits today. I started with the Grizzly 1/4"-7 degree bit.
 

 
 

 

it looks like it will work for 3/8" down to 3/16 wood with the small template. I only had 3/16 plywood so there was some tear out, but I was able to get tight fitting joints.
Next I tried the MLCS 5/16"-8 degree bit and the tip broke off within 3 inches of cutting.
 

 
It seems like it was a defective bit so I contacted MLCS and they told me all their bits come with a 3 year warranty and they are sending me a replacement. It is starting to look like any bit will work with the jig once the depth is properly set. :)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 04:50:30 PM »
Looking good except for that bit. :snowball:
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline lowpolyjoe

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2015, 12:21:43 PM »
yikes  :o.   hope that broken router bit didn't catch you. 

joints look great

Offline 21incher

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2015, 02:24:00 PM »
Tried out a couple of more bits. One thing that I found out is the 3/8" bit will not work with either of the templates. It looks like the 1/2" 14 deg bit will work good for 3/8" - 9/16" stock. Got the replacement 5/16 bit so I will try that one next. :)
 

 
 

 
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2015, 08:20:18 AM »
Finally finished trying all the bits that I ordered. A couple of more sample pics.
 

 
 

 

Final results:

9/32"-8 Deg bit, 1/4"-7 Deg bit, 1/2"-14 Deg bit, 17/32"-14 Deg bit, & 9/16"-14 Deg bit all can be adjusted to work with the jig.

5/16"-14 Deg bit & 3/8"-14 Deg bit will not work with the jig no matter how you adjust them.

Have to order some Whiteside bits now to see if I can reduce the tear out on my joints.
This is probably worthless info to most people, but I just wanted to make it available if anyone else runs into this jig in the future . :)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline Andy White

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2015, 09:14:25 AM »
21,
Looks like you really got that thing dialed in!! I really like the detailed measurements. These will work for all my jig work . When the fine cutters arrive, we will need to see some finished projects!! Keep up the good work, and stay safe!!    8) 8)    Andy
Learning by day, aching by night, but loving every minute of it!! Running HM126 Woodland Mill, Stihl MS290, Homemade Log Arch, JD 5103/FEL and complete woodshop of American Delta tools.

Offline Larry

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2015, 12:14:29 PM »
Have to order some Whiteside bits now to see if I can reduce the tear out on my joints.

Sometimes a shallow climb (right to left) cut will reduce or eliminate tear out on plywood.  Maybe you are already doing that.

I think it is just pretty cool putting an old tool back to use in a productive manner.  Good on you. :)  Even get bonus points for made in the USA. :)
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

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Offline 21incher

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Re: Need help ordering bits for a old Stanley dovetail jig H61-A
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2015, 07:52:41 AM »
Larry, I seem to be having the tearout issues on the backside of the vertical piece. The little RH corners up against the horizontal piece tear off. This is when the bushing is totally engaged in the slot so there is no way to do a climb cut. I think it has something to do with the grinding of the bits and may take a diamond stone to them first to see if it makes a difference.  :)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.


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