Author Topic: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R  (Read 9723 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1130
VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« on: January 24, 2007, 12:03 PM »
I'm looking into getting started on some dovetails for some cabinets I need to build pretty soon and ran across the VS600.  Anyone own one and how does it compare the to gold standard - Leigh D4r?  The unit itself isn't all that much but I presume getting all the accessories will drive the price up to the Leigh price point.  I saw one review and it said it was pretty good overall but difficult to set up and not the easiest to figure out.  I like Leigh, have a FMT thus far, but if Festool is as innovative on this jig as they are on everything else, it may be worth looking at.
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, Trion, MFT/3, T15, OF 1400, RO150FEQ, TS55, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, CSX, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1842
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2007, 12:58 PM »
Check out Jerry Work's "How to get the most out of" article on the Festool website. I believe he has both units and might comment here when time permits.

Greg
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2007, 01:53 PM »
There are entries at the old FOG site that discuss this topic.  Not all users have been happy with Festool's jig.  I don't own either since I have a knock-off of a PC style jig and recently purchased a JointTech Cabinet Maker system.  My personnal leaning is heavily slanted towards the Leigh jig.  Fewer templates to buy, and a versatile, proven product.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1130
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2007, 05:07 PM »
I like the jointech system as well.  I went to their factory in San Antonio and the units are pretty impressive.  I have seen a new prototype that is coming out this spring for a table saw fence where the lead screw is located in the rail, not the middle of the table.  The bar is going away.  Same accuracy, etc. but a much more conventional look.  No pricing on it yet but the owner told me that he thinks it should be a bit cheaper than the existing unit.  I really like the center finder feature.  It's a pretty cool deal.  I use their Smart Miter now and have found it to be very accurate and well built.
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, Trion, MFT/3, T15, OF 1400, RO150FEQ, TS55, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, CSX, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE

Offline bill-e

  • Posts: 504
  • Rindge, New Hampshire, USA
    • New Hampshire Woodworker
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2007, 03:23 PM »
Pretty hard to top the D4 for versatility IMO.

Offline woodshopdemos

  • Inactive Member
  • *
  • Posts: 759
    • Woodshop Demos - 1400 pages of how-to
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2007, 04:51 PM »
Howard,
   I have both (or all, I guess). The D4 is the epitome I guess and it is variable but it is not the easiest if you are only going to use it occasionally. Do not compare prices with "all the accessories." You dont need all the accessories for any of the units. If your purpose is to make cabinet drawers mostly, get a much simpler jig...like the CMT, The PC4200, The Rockler. They are not variable spacing but let me tell you, you do not need variable spacing if you are designing your own stuff. Make the drawers in increments that will use the spacing of any of these jogs...much easier that way.
   I think the Festool 600 has a lot going for it...but like the others, select the one template that will do most of your work and the one router bit that goes with it...then practise making corners...it may take an hour or two but once you get it, it is really pretty easy.
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2007, 05:05 PM »
Howard,
   I have both (or all, I guess). ... You dont need all the accessories for any of the units. If your purpose is to make cabinet drawers mostly, get a much simpler jig... let me tell you, you do not need variable spacing if you are designing your own stuff. Make the drawers in increments that will use the spacing of any of these jogs...much easier that way.
 

Excellent advice, as always, John.  What do you do with all of the items such as these jigs after you are done testing them?  If your out of storage room, others on this forum might be interested in many items.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Overtime

  • Posts: 265
  • Eastern Iowa USA
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2007, 02:00 AM »
The VS600 is a large investment to make just for dovetails. So consider the box joint templates as well when thinking of jumping in. It's use requires the 1010 router , which by the way is a pleasure to use. I have the set up with most of the templates and the more I use it the more I like it. It seems there are very few owners of this system compared to other makers. I can't compare to others as it is the only one I have ever used. So far I have used the half blind set up for only drawer construction.  Other than the fixed spacing the only limit ........ 9/16" is the minimum stock thickness for half blind joints.
   Pulling out and setting up the system is quick and easy even for one drawer or project. Adjustments and template changes are also fast and eazy to change. The best part is the consistancy and accuracy of the cuts. Time after time - perfect.
   With my most recent project I used the 6mm box joint template. Set up was fast and the first cuts were right on the first time. I made some tissue box gifts. It turns out they are more popular than I would have ever thought. So now I am in the middle of a production run of 30 boxes of various sizes and wood types. And that is what I like about this system , it is simple enough to pull out and make one box or drawer and consistant and solid to crank out 30.



 
Patrick

Offline woodshopdemos

  • Inactive Member
  • *
  • Posts: 759
    • Woodshop Demos - 1400 pages of how-to
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2007, 03:22 AM »
That is some impressive work, OT and good advise.
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline Bob Marino

  • Festool Dealer
  • *
  • Posts: 3059
    • bobmarinosbesttools.com
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2007, 10:44 AM »
  Very nice work. BTW, what's your finish for the boxes?

 Bob
Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!
            http://bobmarinosbesttools.com
                   Service As It Should Be

Offline Overtime

  • Posts: 265
  • Eastern Iowa USA
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2007, 12:09 PM »
 Thanks John. Also your write up on the VS600 on your site is what shed the light on the product for me in the first place. You have great reviews that take the mystery out of the product use. Festool sure could do a better job at presenting this product , it's features and uses. Alot of the router stuff (guides ,bits , ect ) is confusing :-\ since they are listed as "accessories" to one item or another. They should present them in groupings that explain the use along with the fact that they have overlapping functions. Anyway its a good thing we have woodshopdemos and Jerry Work to figure all this stuff out including the metric system. No Fear !
  Thanks Bob, the finish is Target Coatings, I used the 8800 clear sealer. Then 5 coats of USL clear satin ( sprayed using a Fuji Q 4 ) quick , clean and eazy.
 
Patrick

Offline Jerry Work

  • Posts: 307
    • The Dovetail Joint
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2007, 11:19 PM »
HI all,

There are six different types of dovetail jigs sold by a couple of dozen different manufacturers.  They basically are fixed template router above the template, fixed template router below the template, variable space router above the template, router fixed with a moving fence and router moves with a fixed fence.  Some use guide bushings while others use bearing guided bits.  The more flexiblity and options are presented the longer the set up time usually.  The narrower the dovetail angle (ie 7 degrees instead of 15 degrees) the thicker the range of stock can be used with a given set up but the more critical the fit becomes.  Some require only two stock set ups per drawer while others take four set ups.  Virtually every jig ever manufactured is capable of cutting great, tight fitting dovetails if you are careful enough and take enough care in the set up and adjustments required.  So, what your are buying with one over another is how fast and easy is it to set up and actually use day in and day out.  The fussier ones gather dust in most shops because it is too much hassle to grab and use.  The ones that only need to be adjusted once and cut good, tight dovetails from then on get used the most from my experience.  When I teach classes on dovetailing the students usually walk in thinking they want complete adjustment flexibility so want to start with either the Leight or the Jointech/Incra.  They usually walk out thinking they want the one they can grab and use well right off the shelf without resorting to rereading the manual every time.  In the end most favor the VS-600 or the Gifkin jig.  The best one to buy, and by far the most cost effective, is the one you will use day in and day out.  They all are expensive sitting on a shelf gathering dust and they are all "cheap" if employed a good part of the time.  The 1010 and 1400 Festool routers both work very well with all the moving router, fixed or variable spacing type jigs.  Hope this helps.

Jerry
The Dovetail Joint
Fine furniture designed and hand crafted by Jerry Work
in the 1907 former Masonic Temple building
in historic Kerby, OR. 
26 mi SW of Grants Pass on US 199, The Redwood Highway
Visitors always welcome!
http://jerrywork.com
glwork@mac.com

Offline woodshopdemos

  • Inactive Member
  • *
  • Posts: 759
    • Woodshop Demos - 1400 pages of how-to
Re: VS600 vs. Leigh D4R
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2007, 05:59 AM »
There is one small detail that sets the VS600 apart from all other template systems: the guide bushing. It is important because the Festool guidie bushing is made with an extra shoulder which has to be slid onto the template. What this does is prevent the operator (you) from tilting the router or removing it prematurely. When the router is on the template, it is captive by this special collar and you cant ruin the DT, the template or the bit. It is in this picture if you look very closely.


This may give you a better looksee:


This is the SOP summary:  http://www.woodshopdemos.com/fes-38.htm
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 06:05 AM by woodshopdemos »
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)