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Dovetail corner key

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Forum topic by mdennisusa1 posted 763 days ago 1173 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mdennisusa1

29 posts in 780 days


763 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question cutting dovetail keys

I have a question I’m hoping someone can help with by explaining the process. I saw a pictures of a wooden box that had dovetail keys cut into the corners in the same way that flat mitered keys are cut into the corners. I understand how the dovetail slots are cut into the box using the same type of jig used for the flat keys. My question is…how does one cut the doetail keys for a precise fit?

-- A Laborer works with his hands. A Craftsman works with his hands and his head. An Artist works with his hands, his head and his heart.


5 replies so far

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BilltheDiver

228 posts in 1513 days


#1 posted 763 days ago

I recently made a Cuban mahogany box for my son with dovetail maple keys in the mitered corners. I did it by building a jig for the router table to hold the box while routing the female portions, then used the same bit on the table by burying part of the bit in a sacrificial fence and cutting the keys in 2 passes. A little playing with the adjustments brought the key material to the correct fit. I then cut a longer piece of key material and croos cut that into several smaller pieces. Each piece was glued in place and after drying was trimmed with a flush cut saw. It really turned out well.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

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nwbusa

1016 posts in 913 days


#2 posted 763 days ago

My way is probably not the most efficient… trial and error on the table saw. Last time I got it right on the third pass :)

-- John, BC, Canada

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gfadvm

10724 posts in 1317 days


#3 posted 762 days ago

I do it just like Bill above except that I use the same spline cutting jig on both my TS and router table. Cut the female slot and then “sneak up” on the dovetail spline. Cut 1 long one and then cut it to several sections.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1702 days


#4 posted 762 days ago

Probably the easiest way to do this (and other fancy dovetails) is with an Incra Precision router fence. They are a little pricey but I found a very good one on e-bay for a reasonable price.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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pintodeluxe

3322 posts in 1440 days


#5 posted 762 days ago

All you need is a jig that holds the router at 45 degrees as you make the cut. Woodsmith shop did a show on two different jigs – one for hand routing and one for the router table.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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