Dovetail Splice

The dovetail-splice jig looks a lot like the box-jointing jig, and you make cuts in the same fashion. But the cuts only allow you to joint work-pieces end to end, as the samples show.

Dovetails joining two boards end to end arc pretty glitz)', but it turns out they're also pretty easy to make.

A version of the box-jointing jig is the router aid that produces these dovetail splices. The dovetail-splice jig is built just like the box-jointingjig, except that you use a dovetail bit to rout the cutting slot.

When making this jig, the first thing to do is cut a couple of dovetail slots with your dovetail bit in scrap stock. Because of the nature of the joint, the thickness of the stock has no particular bearing on the length of the tails (or depth of the slots). But remember that to function with the jig, the bit will have to be set V* inch higher than you set the bit for these test cuts (V* inch is the thickness of the jig's base). If you can come up with a way to get a piece of the base material under your scrap for the test cut, then you'll see exacdy what you'll get.

Use the test cuts to size the key, as well as the slot you'll cut for the key. The narrowest pan of the dovetail cut is the width of the key, and thus the width of the key slot. Use a straight bit—bit diameter to match key width—to cut this slot; that will ensure that the key won't wiggle.

Cut your key slot, make the key, then make and assemble the jig. To correcdy position the cutting slot, you have to carefully, accurately measure the widest pan of the dovetail slot. To close the splice, remember that the tails and the slots have to be the same size. Set the fence to position the cutting slot just that far from the key slot.

Adjust the bit height to align with the top of the key, then rout the cutting slot. Finally, to prove the accu-

d0veta1l-splice jig« tuese details make it work racy of your work, make test cuts on two pieces of scrap stock, and see if you can close the joint.

Using the dovetail-splice jig is like using the box-jointing jig. You make the first cut in the first piece with the edge against the key. Then lift the stock to fit the slot over the key, and cut the next slot.

The second piece begins with a slot, so you must align the edge of the stock with the edge of the cutting slot. Then just step and cut your way across the wood.

the bit. The height of the cut must match the height of the key.

Now remove the loose key. and rout the cutting slot through the base and into the jig's back. With the slot routed, you can trim the key so it doesn't extend beyond the base. And you probably should drive a small screw through the base into the key to keep it from working loose.

Your jig should be ready to use. To be sure, cut fingers on a couple of scraps of the working stock and see whether you can assemble the joint. If it turns out that you can't get the joint closed or if it is too loose, you've got the spacing wrong—the fingers are either too wide or too narrow.

All is not lost. You can easily fine-tune the fit. To loosen a tight fit, shift the jig so the bit is a hair closer to the key. To tighten a loose fit. shift the jig so the bit is a hair farther away from the key. Cut additional test pieces to check the new setup.

To make subsequent setups easier, write notes right on the jig. For example, mark one edge of the slot in the base, and note "Bit tight

To use the box-jointing jig, simply trap it between two Masonite or '/^-inch-plywood fences. This way you can be sure it won't drift to one side while you're concentrating on holding the workpicce and watchingyour fingers and the bit. If need be,you can work from front to back on the router table, as here, rather than side to side.

Box joints can be turned into wooden hinges. Round-over the ends of the workpiece before cutting the slots, and drive a nail into each end of the assembly to act as a hinge pin.

to this edge." You can even note the bit used, especially if you have more than one in a particular size.

Getting the depth of cut just right can be pretty tricky. If the slot is too shallow (bottom), you 7f have to either replane the stock or recut the slots, if the slot is too deep (next up), youll have a lot of extra sanding to do. The better alternative is to knowingly cut the slot a tad too deep (third From bottom), and plan to sand the projecting fingers (top).

USING THE JIG

Getting the depth of cut just right can be pretty tricky. If the slot is too shallow (bottom), you 7f have to either replane the stock or recut the slots, if the slot is too deep (next up), youll have a lot of extra sanding to do. The better alternative is to knowingly cut the slot a tad too deep (third From bottom), and plan to sand the projecting fingers (top).

the edges, use a square and a pencil to lay out the centerpoint for the hinge pin.

Chuck the bit and adjust its height. Set the fence so the bit is buried; if the bit has a pilot bearing, the face of the fence should be flush with it. After a test cut to confirm that the bit setting is correct, radius the good stuff.

Change over the router table, and cut the box joint. Assemble it, and bore the hole for a hinge pin. Insert the pin, and test the hinge's action.

To use the box-jointing jig, simply trap it between two Masonite or '/^-inch-plywood fences. This way you can be sure it won't drift to one side while you're concentrating on holding the workpicce and watchingyour fingers and the bit. If need be,you can work from front to back on the router table, as here, rather than side to side.

Box joints can be turned into wooden hinges. Round-over the ends of the workpiece before cutting the slots, and drive a nail into each end of the assembly to act as a hinge pin.

to this edge." You can even note the bit used, especially if you have more than one in a particular size.

To use the jig. you need to use a fence no higher (thicker) than the jig's base. This is so the workpieces can extend beyond the jig's edge. Use a strip of plywood or hardboard.

Stand the workpiece in the jig, its edge snug against the key. Cut a slot. Move the workpiece, fitting the slot ever the key. Cut another slot. Repeat the process until all the fingers are formed.

The mating workpiece must begin with a slot, rather than a finger. For the first cut, position this piece so it just covers the slot in the jig. (You can also drop a loose piece of the key between the fixed key and the cutting slot. Butt the edge of the work against this loose key for the first cut.) Otherwise the process is the same.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

Get My Free Ebook


Responses

  • Luwam
    How to use dovetails to splice boards?
    6 years ago

Post a comment