View Full Version : Need Help with Dovetailing Jig
03-12-2001, 08:34 PM
I've recently purchased a Vermont American Dovetailing Kit and have a problem...the jig produces a male or extended part of the joint which is wider than the female or indented part of the jigint, and thus won't fit in. I've measured the jig and indeed the "fingers" are about .005" on average wider than the indented or recessed part of the jig. Is this the problem? Perhaps not surprising, but the kit provides another jig for deeper cuts, with longer "fingers"...on that jig, the situation is reversed...the "fingers" are about .005" thinner than the detented portion of the jig. Why the difference?
This is my first effort at dovetailing, and I've tried to think of everything else, but this discrepancy is the only thing that makes sense to me. To me, both parts should be the same width. The bit is centered in the guide bushing, and all else is per specs. What is the problem? Many thanks for your help.
03-12-2001, 09:17 PM
The fit is controlled by the height of the cutter, NOT by the width of the fingers.
Make some test cuts on scrap. Adjust the depth of cut until the fit is perfect. Start with the bit slightly over extended and reduce the depth until just right.
Several folx I know advocate dedicated routers for this. Pick up a used cheapie at a pawn shop and once you get it dialed in, LEAVE IT THERE.
This is the hardest part of the jigs and the part of the setup that they don't really stress.
03-14-2001, 09:11 PM
Mark, as usual, your advice is accurate and helpful...you know, I'm new at this and have posted three inquiries, and I believe that you've responded to each...what's your real job? Helping people like me? Well, I (we, I'm sure)appreciate your advice.
03-14-2001, 11:16 PM
Come over to my web site said the spider to the fly!
I've got projects, plans, reference tables, jigs, and even a discussion group going.
All are welcome.
03-15-2001, 11:06 AM
I have the same jig and the same problem. CAnt wait to try out what you day Mark.
03-16-2001, 01:45 PM
woody, i got it to work! the manual suggest setting the bit at .5inch above the router's base. To do this required me to ream out the inside radius of the guide bushing a little bit so that the bit wouldn't bite it, and, in fact I had to lower the bit a little more to get it just right..and it worked very well.
03-17-2001, 09:02 AM
Cool, and to think i was gonna put the thing in my skeet thrower and shoot the SOB!!! I am gonna try my again rat now!!!
03-17-2001, 10:56 PM
Mark is right the depth of the bit will make the tails tighter or loosen them. When you get the adjustment right take a piece of scrap and make a cut in it. Then whenever you have to set it up again just lower the bet into the piece until it bottoms and you will have it right again.