Any tips on how to avoid chipping of hardwoods, w dovetail/jig/router

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Forum topic by patrick m posted 12-26-2007 05:23 PM 3296 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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patrick m

197 posts in 3775 days

12-26-2007 05:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig resource tip question trick

Has any one had this problem? and solved it? slower? sharper bits? oil? I don’t know… I’m going to try aging today. I have 3o tails running a length of 47 inches. It’s an un- orthodox project, working toward sculpture. The wood is Mohimbe’ and perduke’ I think that’s the spelling. The darker wood just chips easily cause it’s like stone.
Hope I solve this, with your help, As I have 90 more tails to cut.. 2 so far are chipped out of 30.. Going to try a new bit today The first one was new from grizzly.. Could it be the router speed? O i don’t know. Thanks guys. Patrick.

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

10 replies so far

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4023 posts in 4026 days

#1 posted 12-26-2007 05:35 PM

What jig are you using? Can you use a backing board? Another tip that should work across most jigs, use clear plastic tape on both faces of the board to reinforce the edges, and peel off the tape pulling it toward the board end so that it doesn’t peel up any loose fibers.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

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patrick m

197 posts in 3775 days

#2 posted 12-26-2007 06:05 PM

Douglas, Thanks for the tips about the clear tape I’m gonna try it by the way the jig is a woodstock intr. inc. dovetail jig. I’ve made alterations so I can run long stretches of dovetails. Have a project that requires four feet of strait dovetailing. Any jigs out there for no limitations like this. Or is it better to just make your own. As I am new to using joinery in projects other than cabinets or furniture..Heck just really new to joinery… Reading about it forever, but reading about it and doing it are two far different animals. I was doing them all by hand, but kept getting tired the time involved didn’t balance out. For what I have in mind, cutting 120. WILL let you know and post pictures when I figure this out and have the finished product. Thanks, patrick.

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4362 days

#3 posted 12-26-2007 06:41 PM

Woodnut. I saw one at a woodworking show. and what you did was make a spacing pattern on a piece of scrap wood. I believe with saw cuts and then you moved their dovetail jig down the spacing. The jig itself was maybe only 6-9” long you just cut a dovetail and moved it down.

Here it is It’s called Chestmate. Price is 99.00 on their web

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4030 days

#4 posted 12-26-2007 10:08 PM

Woodnut, take a look at these threads. There’s some info that might help.

What's your 2 bits on router bits?
dovetail joints
Porter Cable 4216 Dovetail jig

Summary of things to try –
- try cutting a small line with a marking knife at the cut line. This pre-cuts the fibers and helps avoid tear out at the surface
- masking tape / packing tape along the cuts. helps hold the fibers in place as the bit exits.
- use a spiral bit. The shearing action cuts along the fibers rather than just across the fibers, less tearing
- use backing boards. make the cuts out of the workpiece into a sacrificial backing board. The backing board holds the fibers in place as the bit exits. Use backing boards anywhere the bit exits as needed. You can use the same backing boards for multiple pieces.

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3998 days

#5 posted 12-26-2007 10:23 PM

I always use a backing board to support the fibers, and also, for the shoulder cuts on the tailboard, I always use a strip on both sides of the workpiece (has to be square of course) to keep the shoulders from tearing out. Another way to do it is to score your line with a marking gauge to give an interruption in the fibers. Just some things I’ve used. They all take a little time in the setup, but are worth it in the outcome. Blue take works sometimes too, but the backer board seems to be the most consistent.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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patrick m

197 posts in 3775 days

#6 posted 12-27-2007 05:14 AM

Awsome::::: You guys are great> The Backing board and tape worked out for me The marking cuts I think really saved the day!!! I always just thought marking knives where just for marking… and what a difference. I makes perfect sense now that you’ve all explained it . Just never really had any show me “any” woodworkin’ tricks like the stuff I’ve found here. Sure tricks w/ a circ saw, but this site is great ! I thank you all so so much and hope ya had a great christmas. And carson Thanks again I’m gonna check out that CHESSMATE”.. Looks pretty cool for future projects. THANKYOU!

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 3777 days

#7 posted 12-28-2007 01:16 AM

I use the leigh d4r, i always try to score a line and use tape. I also try to make a light pass down the entire length before going any deeper and then go all th way through into the backer board and make another light pass across the back. this usually works pretty well for me.
Take the extra time to make light passes, the wood will appreciate the extra tenderness

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3761 days

#8 posted 01-03-2008 07:00 PM

score a line, use a backer board, use a woodside bit, take your time…. I also prefer a leigh jig, but there are so many that work

-- making sawdust....

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3998 days

#9 posted 01-03-2008 08:00 PM

Wow, that thing from Prazi looks like a real Rube Goldberg device. I just watched their video. What a plow.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View altenewbie's profile


3 posts in 94 days

#10 posted 01-14-2018 09:19 PM

I’m just beginning to use a Leigh Super 18 dovetail jig. I’m having the same problems as others regarding tear out. I appreciate the suggestions of scoring the back sides of the boards as well as using some sort of tape. The backer board makes sense but, I don’t think I understand the use of a backer board completely.

First, there is a support board placed horizontally on the jig and this supports the fingers. Is this also the board that is used as a backer board? If so, the pass through cuts would be made into the side grain. If not, I would assume that a different board would be placed with the end grain backing up the tail or pin board. In either case, once the cut is made through to the backer board, that backer board can no longer literally back up the tail or pin board because it has already been cut into. I am a newbie at this so, please forgive what probably sounds like a dumb question.

Right now, I’m using pine to practice. Perhaps some of the tear out is due to the softness. I will appreciate any advice anyone has to offer. Thanks.

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