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Thread: Sliding Dovetail Joint At An Angle...

  1. #1
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    Sliding Dovetail Joint At An Angle...

    Hi

    I am doing a project where i would need to make a sliding dovetail joint into a peice of wood at an angle. How would I go about doing this with easy? I'm sure there is a way to do it with a router or something similiar. Any info would be helpful.

    Thanks
    Steve Luttrell

  2. #2
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    RE: Sliding Dovetail Joint At An Angle...

    Hi, Steve.

    You any relation to Dave? Just wondering.

    When you say "at an angle", do you mean not directly across the grain or with the grain but instead cutting diagonally across the grain, or do you mean a sliding dovetail that rises out of the wood, or do you mean the sliding dovetail is shallower on one side than on the other as in a sliding dovetail carrying a platform between tilted uprights?

    The first two could be done easily with a router and dovetail bit, while the third would be a challenge with that same router.

    In the first case, you could very easily clamp a temporary straightedge to the workpiece and follow it with a handheld router. In the second case, you might cut a wedge-shaped platform on which to slide the router so as to lift the bit gradually out of the wood as you slide the router (still guided by a straightedge) in the intended direction. Its the third case that's likely to challenge your imagination and skill.

    Have I caught the gist of your question? Have I answered it? Is this, perhaps, for a mount of some kind to hold a drum?

    -- Tim --

    Argue for your limitations,
    and sure enough - they're yours.
    - Richard Bach -

  3. #3
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    RE: Sliding Dovetail Joint At An Angle...

    Thanks a lot for your responce-

    I am actually building a drum shell with this technique. What I am doing is joining two staves of 3/4" x 6" x 2" walnut on edge. Most drum builders use the technique of using a spline to join the wood. What I am trying to accomplish is joining the 2 peices of wood on edge with a tight sliding dovetail joint without glue (glue deadens the natural wood sound of the drum). My problem is that I have to make a 5 degree joint between each stave to accomplish 13" circular drum shell. In other words, I am joining together 36 staves which are 6" high, .75" thick, and approximatly 1.137" wide. I need to run a dovetail joint the full 6 inches on edge at a 5 degree angle.

    P.S. Is there another joint you can think of that I could accomplish this task without using glue?

    P.P.S - No relation to Dave, that I know of.

    Thanks again
    Steve Luttrell

  4. #4
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    RE: Sliding Dovetail Joint At An Angle...

    That's going to be almost impossible to cut.

    You might be able to do it by building a pair of jigs (one for the slot, one for the dovetail.)

    The problem comes in when you try and angle the cuts. The bit is square to the table and you can't easily tilt the bit.

    If you bevel the edges and then run it thru the bit (with perhaps a slanted fence) you'll run into the difficulty of one side will be much closer to the surface than the other. This means that you may split the joint when you assemble.

    Cutting the pins 2x as tough as you have to have different depths for both sides.

    No. Dovetails are NOT the joint to use here.

    Now what might work is crossed bowties. Instead of running a dovetail along the length of the edge, you cross joint it at well separated distances with matching cuts on both pieces. Then you mill a bowtie profile on a piece of stock (think shallow V on both faces) and insert it into the cross joint holes. (this is tough to describe, but I can easily visualize it)

    There'a a reason that drums are made the way they are.

    Have you considered just banding the drum? Barrels are made without glue, the tension of the banding keeps them together. However normally the lid acts as a counter tension element to keep the staves from collapsing inward under the tension of the band. In a drum this would seal the drumhead and base and probably wouldn't give you the effect you need.

    While you feel that the glue deadens the sound (How do you know? Have you seen an unglued drum? If so, how was IT made?) I would be worried about the pieces "buzzing" as the drum is played without glue to rigidify the structure.

    You/ve certainly chosen a challenging effort.

  5. #5
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    RE: Sliding Dovetail Joint At An Angle...

    I disagree with Mark, what else is new here. A 5 degree bevel is not that much. What I would do is try a joint or two with stock that is beveled to 5 degrees on the edge. Then set up an aux fence on the router table at the same 5 degrees. You can adjust the fence to cut the socket on one edge and cut the mail with two passes on edge for the male.

    make lots of test scraps to adjust the male cuts. One of the major issues with sliding dovetails is getting the fit right. To tight and you can't drive it home all the way, too loose and it is not a joint you will be able to use for sound applications

    If you were talking a 30 degree angle then I think that another approach would be called for.

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    RE: Sliding Dovetail Joint At An Angle...

    Thank you all for your input. If anyone has anything to add, I'll be listening.

    Thanks a lot...
    Steve Luttrell

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