Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: first dove tail joint test

  1. #1

    first dove tail joint test

    Ok so I ran my first joint and the pins and tails were a little short. Adjusted the bit depth and they were a little long so now I find the sweet point. progress.

    Brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,472
    Which jig are you using Brian?
    Someone with the same jig may be able to help you "tune it in".
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sterling, Virginia
    Posts
    521
    Your stock and any test pieces need to be milled to the same thickness at the same time or you will be chasing your "tails". Good luck.

  4. #4
    Contrary to popular assumptions, even machine/jig cut dovetails take practice, practice, practice. As was said, consistency of stock dimensions, router positioning, etc. makes all the difference. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    Contrary to popular assumptions, even machine/jig cut dovetails take practice, practice, practice. As was said, consistency of stock dimensions, router positioning, etc. makes all the difference. Good luck.
    WHAT HE SAID! Don't be afraid to practice a lot!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,472
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    Contrary to popular assumptions, even machine/jig cut dovetails take practice, practice, practice. As was said, consistency of stock dimensions, router positioning, etc. makes all the difference. Good luck.
    Definitely!!!!
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  7. #7
    I am using the Porter Cable jig. I did mill scrap to run a test on that is the same thickness as what I using for the drawers. Spent 4 hours playing with it yesterday. I have pins and tails just slightly long for sanding and think I am good with this.

    One problem though, I am winding up with one side a little higher/lower when I assemble the two sides. Is my tail piece not centered in the jig when I do my initial set up?

    Thanks.

    Brian

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    5,354
    These are the reasons I cut dovetails by hand or use a different joint using the RT or TS. That jig was too finicky for me.

  9. #9
    I use a Leigh jig, but I would imagine they are all similar. I know, I have to use a digital caliper to make adjustments in the thousandths to get good joints. If you're using two routers or if you're rotating one router while machining, that could shift things a bit, resulting what you're experiencing. IMG_2303.jpg
    By the way, I spent a week working with the jig, looking at it like another project. I was able to learn a lot, working out the kinks in my process. They're not hand cut, but they are close enough to satisfy me. Keep working on it.
    Last edited by Derek Arita; 07-18-2019 at 11:45 AM.

  10. #10
    I always run a test joint or two with scrap before I start cutting actual drawer parts to insure the bit height is correct. I also found on my Rockler jig which is very similar to your jig that the clamping cams would work better if I placed a scrap piece to opposite side of the part being cut directly under the cam on both the vertical and horizontal clamping bars. Otherwise the clamping bar tilts slightly and you end up with uneven cut depths. This was particularly true on narrower drawer sides.

    Pay particular attention to clearing out the sawdust from the jig when you change pieces. A tiny bit of sawdust can throw off the pin and tail alignment enough that the mating pieces don't align properly.

    I number pieces to insure that I put pieces that were cut at the same time end up going together.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  11. #11
    walked through the set up process and reset my left register and ran another test with the router bit depth set during my test. Everything is good. I get to run the boxes this weekend. yea!!! Brian

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,472
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Runau View Post
    I am using the Porter Cable jig. I did mill scrap to run a test on that is the same thickness as what I using for the drawers. Spent 4 hours playing with it yesterday. I have pins and tails just slightly long for sanding and think I am good with this.

    One problem though, I am winding up with one side a little higher/lower when I assemble the two sides. Is my tail piece not centered in the jig when I do my initial set up?

    Thanks.

    Brian
    Brian
    I have the Porter Cable jig also. It can be a finicky jig, but once you kinda play with it and see the "math" it becomes much much easier to use. It certainly won't keep taking you 4 hours of trial and error.
    There are a few tools you really should have to maximize this jig. None are expensive, but they will save you much time and aggravation.
    I use a dial caliper to set this machine. It really is a "game of thousandths with this jig as any error is compounded across the length of the joint. I measure the distance from the pins on the ends of the joint to the edge of the material, and adjust from there. This is assuming the pins and tails will cover the entire width.
    I also use the tail of a dial caliper to measure the distance of the edge of the jig template, to the face of the material, to ensure that the template is square and parallel to the face of the material. Any adjustments required to make the joint tighter or looser, I use the tail of the dial indicator to make sure the template is being moved equal amounts, in or out aross the face of the material.
    I have a 6" machinist's scale that I use to set the pin ends initially on half blinds. This scale is only 3/4" wide, and has a 1/2" scale on both ends that is graduated in 32nd's. I can slip this ruler in between the template fingers, on it's end, and measure the distance from the template to the edge, and be with a 32nd easily. The rest is done with the dial indicator, as described above. I also clamp this scale to the front of the jig to align the "V" notches. These "V" notches are really kind of crude in my opinion.
    When I do need the left and right stops adjusted, I use automotive feeler gauges, or motor shim stock to move the stop by the amount of error. Ordinarily I can be within a pencil line width to start with. To get closer than that requires finer adjustments.
    I know this sounds complicated, but it's not. It takes about 10 minutes to set it up.Generally I can be within a 32nd of an inch before the 1st test cut.
    One thing you need to do, if you haven't already, is to install a nut to back up the template adjusting knurled nuts on the front of the jig. That is actually a kind of coarse threaded rod,and that nut is very easy to have move out of position when making small adjustments to the template position, that you may not realize have happened.
    If you are cutting through dovetails with the provided template, I have not found that the template is as "reversible" as advertised. I always check it when flipping it from pins to tails, and it requires a very fine adjustment. That has been my experience though. Could just be the machining of my particular template.
    If I had to do a lot of dovetails, I can tell you that I would have a second jig set up so that I could just go back and forth without adjustments once they were both set. Same with the routers. I promise you that you will want two routers to use with this jig. One for tails, and one for pins. Swapping that bit back and forth is a pain, and just requires that more time is lost adjusting the bits, and test cuts. I know that You're supposed to cut all the pins first, and move to tails after they're done, but it rarely works out that way, especially since you need to know that the jig is setup correctly, prior to cutting the first run of pins.
    It's a good jig, it really is. It just takes a little bit of time to get the hang of it.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 07-19-2019 at 12:51 PM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  13. #13
    Thanks Mike.

  14. #14
    well they are complete. Something abut old dogs.... pins and tails just a little long and I should be able to clean that up with a hand plane after glue up. Thanks for them help. Brian

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •