which dovetail

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Forum topic by oldnovice posted 10-07-2010 06:29 AM 1163 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6899 posts in 3394 days

10-07-2010 06:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: breadboard edge dovetail router question

I want to put a breadboard edge on a Red Oak panel and whenever I do this I am always in a dilemma as which dovetail bit to use.

The material is 3/4” thick so it’s obvious that a 3/4” dovetail is out of the question. My rational is that the dovetail, for a breadboard edge, should not be greater than 1/2 of the material thickness. Which makes sense to me but may not be correct. But there are still questions that still need answers;

1. What depth of dovetail?
2. What angle dovetail bit?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

3 replies so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4151 days

#1 posted 10-07-2010 04:05 PM

I have trouble going thinner than ¼” on things like that, so I’d just go with a straight bit and a ¼” tenon and slot. If I were to go dovetail, I think I’d go 3/8” 8°, just to leave as much stock as possible.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3170 days

#2 posted 10-07-2010 04:11 PM

You’re right that you’re restricted to either 1/2” or 3/8” inch. I’d strongly advise for the 3/8” since the 1/2” only leaves 1/4 inch of material on either side of the tip of the tail. Angle doesn’t need to be agressive, 9-14 degrees is fine.

When milling the panel the trick is to sneak up on the cuts in multiple passes, assuming it is small enough to move across your router table in a vertical position.

Runing the breadboad groove has to be done in one pass, so exact position of the fence and oversizing the stock will also help.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4151 days

#3 posted 10-07-2010 04:28 PM

Ah, Nathan’s more nuanced and content-filled post makes me want to revise a few things:

By 3/8” I meant the diameter of the dovetail bit. Depth? I’d say as deep as you can go. Looks to me like you can get ½” out of a 3/8” 8° bit.

Is your end going to be thicker than ¾? If so, then Nathan’s advice applies.

On routing vertically, it can be quite handy to have a jig to mount a router on a table horizontally, though for the most part I just like a good high fence.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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