I feel this is the part of making a dovetail saw that holds people back. I first thought that it would require a machine shop or ordering a dovetail saw kit in order to get a good product to use for a sturdy spine. It took some trial and error (still making some errors) but this method is working for me. You will be able to tell by my setup that there is plenty of room for improvement and better jigs, I plan to upgrade my setup sometime soon but right now I am enjoying the build process too much.
Pictured above is the slot cutter, the arbor adapter, and the wooden jig I use to guide the backs past the cutter. It is a very simple design the I clamp to the drill press table and only takes a few minutes to throw together. I cut out a section of the “fence” to allow the cutter through.
The cutter is high speed steel and stays sharp while cutting the brass and copper, it is the carbon fiber that will causes it to dull quickly. It is very important to ensure that your drill press table to parallel to the cutter, mine was a bit off and gave me some trouble early on. I set the speed of the press to 620 rpm to cut the metal, I have found this to work well and the metal does not get hot at this speed. I am able to slide the brass past the cutter without noticing any major warming on the metal.
To avoid drift I only take between a 1/16” and 1/8” per pass. I shoot for a total depth of 3/8”. In order to adjust the cut depth I slide one edge of the jig closer to the blade.
To keep the sawback and the blade mated together I lightly sand the edge of the blade going into the back then epoxy it into the slot. It’s easy to cleanup after it dries and holds well.
As you can see, it’s a pretty easy station to setup. I think I included everything needed to do this, if I missed anything or you have questions leave a comment or send me a message.
-- Power to the people.