A few years ago, I wrote a review of the Kehoe jig on my website. It was an interesting and very decorative way of making ‘dovetails’ (actually dovetail splines) for boxes, chests and other 90 degree corners. Since then, I have used it on more than a few projects – each one coming out looking good with very tight joinery.
In fact, on more than one occasion, I thought I was doing something wrong because the process went so smoothly.
Here I was thinking that I would use that jig time and time again for years to come.
But, boy, was I wrong. That’s because the folks at Kehoe have recently made some significant improvements to the jig, and are offering more options.
I got a call from Kevin Jaynes who said that the company was going from the old vinyl extrusion for their jig to all aluminum models. The new material – 1/8″ thick aluminum – allows a significant improvement in accuracy – and they just look so much better.
A great deal of care was also given to the selection of materials and manufacturing process during the redesign process. “Everything about these jigs is American – from the ore to milling. We went out of our way to make sure that everything was from the States.”
Instead of the former one-size fits all approach, Kehoe now offers three models to choose from. The smallest of them is the K-8, which works best for humidors, memory boxes and other small-scale projects. “This is the only jig that doesn’t offer the ‘standard’ size slots for routing. This one works well with almost any size router bit and a 1/2” outside diameter router bushing. This is best with 1/4” collet dovetail bits.” Kehoe also sells a smaller bit with a 1/2″ bearing that rides on the smaller K-8 jig.
The K-12 is a direct replacement for the old vinyl model. The slots fit the bits that the company provides in their kits; two 1/2” dovetail bits. One comes with a 1/2” bearing and one with a 5/8” bearing. “The 5/8″ bearing bit is the same one we sold with the original vinyl jig. So, if you have a setup for the older jig, you are good to go with the new model.”
The big surprise is the K-24 jig. It has the same groove size as the K-12, however, it is twice as long and is ideal for larger chests and other pieces of large-scale furniture. “While it’s easy to use the K-12 for larger projects, the K-24 gives you the opportunity to cut joinery without having to move the jig. It’s a great way to save time during the building process.”
While the jigs are new, the other components of the jig package, including the spline maker, haven’t changed and are as still as simple as ever to use. Kevin also wants us to know he sells quite a few miter saw spline makers especially to European customers. A surprising number of woodworkers do not have a table saw – he says around 7% of his sales are to customers who do not have one. If this describes your set up, you can still use this jig by requesting the miter saw spline-maker free of charge.
While the new jigs do allow a lot of creativity in your projects, the same level of imagination wasn’t used in naming the product. “Sure, all of the names of the new models may sound like former Soviet Navy submarines, but the results are something to behold!”
Tom’s Workbench Readers: Kehoe is offering a special deal on their new jigs for you. Click here for the details. Funny, I always thought the first special named after me would be a pizza with the works on it…