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  • Leigh R9 Plus

Leigh R9 Plus

The template is machined from anodised aircraft grade aluminium, the whole kit is beautifully presented in the way of all Leigh products.

Flush sides and firm joints are essential with dovetail and finger joints, Leigh has achieved this with all of their other jigs and the R9 Plus is no exception. I own a D1600 and have used other jigs where the template is flipped or rotated between dovetails and pins and ends of finger joints, so this system is very familiar to me. The timber is positioned against an adjustable stop giving you perfect alignment.

Previously, Leigh has made jigs where the tails are fixed and the adjustment of the fit comes from the pin side of the template. With the use of the E-Bush, the template guide that comes with the jig, both the tails and pins are adjustable. The E-Bush is elliptical, each of the 10 marks around the outside is equivalent to 0.025mm which was enough during my test to achieve nice firm fitting dovetails and finger joints. The use of a Vernier Gauge was helpful while doing both Dovetails and Finger Joints.

The manual that accompanies the R9 Plus has diagrams provided for the user to record the ideal settings for future use. As with all Leigh products, these are high quality instructions that take you through the assembly and usage of the jig.

You will need to make your own beam to mount the template, but if you follow the directions step by step, it all falls fairly easily into place. Cut the extra sacrificial face plates as recommended and flip it end for end giving the best support for both tails and pins. Don’t be put off by the need to cut this beam, it wasn’t difficult and all the information you need is there.

The template itself allows for timber at 9” or 229 mm (6 dovetails), this doesn’t sound very much and it’s not. However, you can increase the width of the beam to allow you to cut dovetails in material of unlimited width. There are three pin plates mounted to the beam that make positioning the template along the width of the workpiece flawless.

The standard kit allows you to do through dovetails. It comes with an 80-8 Leigh dovetail cutter and a 1/2“ straight cutter as well as an 8mm collet, Leigh bits have 8mm shanks. There is an accessories kit that can be purchased to produce other joint sizes.

The instruction booklet is in two parts: the first is for bench operation mode and the other is for router table operation mode. To use the jig in this mode, the router will need to be mounted right underneath the top of the table itself or by using a table with an insert capable of taking the E-Bush.