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Reply by jsheaney

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Posted on How do I make this cut?

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jsheaney

141 posts in 2616 days


#1 posted 1657 days ago

You’ve written some more while I was writing my response. Since you say you’re a newbie, I just want to add some pointers about making the dovetail groove in the posts. You aren’t going to be just running a dovetail bit down the center of a 4×4 post. I don’t know what you have for a dovetail bit, but my dovetail bit won’t give me a depth much more than 3/8”. Maybe you have a beefy dovetail bit. At any rate, you are probably making a dovetail much wider than your bit. You really need to hog out most of the waste with either a straight bit or with a dado set on the table saw. I would go with the table saw at the dimensions you’re talking about.

Once you have a groove, you need to route the edges of that groove with the dovetail bit, which will establish the cheeks and the depth. The groove, at this point will be wider than the bit. Assuming you are centering the groove, you will route the post once, flip the board and route it again; once for each cheek. Make sure that the side of the groove that you are routing is the side AWAY from the fence. You don’t want to pinch the board between the bit and the fence. You will crap your pants at the result. This is true regardless of whether you are using a router table (recommended) or taking the router to the workpiece.

Note that this is different than when you are routing both sides of the groove simultaneously (i.e. the initial groove is narrower than the bit).

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.


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