Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 177, May 2020Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Tool Review: MicroJig MatchFit Dovetail Clamp Pro
and ZeroPlay 360 Sled Kit
By Jeff Fleisher

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I have been a fan of MicroJig products for a long time. My first introduction to them was their splitter retro-fit kit for table saws without a built in safety splitter. More recently I've done reviews here for their Grr-Ripper push block, the Grr-Rip Block and the Microdial Tapering Jig. I recently I had the opportunity to use their MatchFit Dovetail Clamp Pro and the ZeroPlay 360 Sled Kit. I wanted to try these because I often cut boards with angles that are not the standard 45 or 90 degrees. I also needed a sled that was smaller than my current 30" x 36" mammoth tablesaw sled.

These two products, used together, create an accurate sled with no movement within the miter slot and a surface with dovetail slots that use MicroJig's clamps and track hardware for fences and other custom hold-downs. The ZeroPlay miter bar will fit any standard (3/4" x 3/8") T-track miter slot and is adjustable to reduce any side to side movement. The 360 sled kit also comes with dovetail track screw hardware that will fit into the dovetail slots that you rout into the surface of the sled.

The Matchfit Dovetail Clamp Pro kit includes everything you need to make the sled plus clamps and hardware. I was very impressed that it came with both a setup guide and a 1/2" 14-degree dovetail bit. The setup guide made it very easy to set the height of the router bits to create the dovetail slots on the surface of the sled. There was no need to try and measure the height of the router bit with a ruler!

I was very impressed with the included directions. In fact, they're so detailed and complete that you're partially intimidated by them during the first read through. However, I found that they take you step by step and are very easy to follow. If you work through each step you can't go wrong! I did make a small modification to my sled that I'll explain further down and I included one procedure that I think makes the router setup a little easier. I'm not going to go through a detailed description of the building of my sled but I will highlight what I did differently.

First, the directions have you cut two boards, one for the sled itself and one for the fence.

Once you have these boards you will start to use the router to make the dovetail slots on the top of the board. They have you rout a slot positioned 4" in from each side and then 8" in from each side to form a grid. Below is what the final piece will look like.

I never like to move the fence once I get it setup for repeated cuts so instead of setting the fence at 4" and then again at 8" I used a spacer. I set the fence for the largest cut, 8", and then made a 4" spacer. With the spacer in place I could rout the 4" grooves and then I could remove the spacer and rout the 8" grooves. I did this first using a straight bit to get rid of most of the waste and then put the spacer back in place so I could then do the same cuts using a dovetail bit.

You use the setup block to set the heights of both the straight bit and the dovetail bit.

After making all the same cuts as before, I now had a sled with nice dovetail grooves. Using the spacer ensures that all the grooves are centered between the straight bit and the dovetail bit.

The miter slide is attached to the bottom of the sled per the instructions. They have you position the slide equal distance from two sides so that you can rotate the slide and change which side of the slide you are using. I made a slight change here as well. Given their measurements, they have you create a small gap between the sled and the tablesaw blade. I, however, wanted a zero clearance edge so that I can reference off the edge of the sled during setup.

The edge of the sled is directly against the blade:

With the sled made you can follow the directions to make the fence. Once made it is easy to align the fence to some standard angles such as 45 degrees.

However, I really wanted to use the sled for angles other than 45 or 90 degrees and that is where the zero clearance edge really helps. You can align any angle cut along the edge and use the included dovetail clamps to hold the board in place.

Just align the marks on your board with the edge of the sled and you are ready to make your cuts.

This is what I was looking for! The dovetail slots allow me to place the clamps anywhere on the sled surface so I can position the board wherever I want. This sled can be a very useful tool in your shop. The clamps and dovetail hardware, included in these kits, provide all the accessories you need to use the sled for a variety of projects.

Click here to find out more and purchase your own Micro Jig MatchFit Dovetail Clamp Pro and Micro Jig ZeroPlay 360 Sled Kit from Highland Woodworking.

Click here to view our Tool Review Archive.

Jeffrey Fleisher has been a woodworker for approximately 20 years and a professional woodworker for the past 6 years. He is the president of his local woodturning club, the Woodturners of the Virginias and past president of the Northern Virginia Carvers. You can see some of the furniture he has made at www.jeffswooddesigns.com. He can be reached by email at furnmkr@gmail.com

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