Author Topic: Cutting Dovetails  (Read 2588 times)

Offline raynerd

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2886
  • Country: gb
    • Raynerds Projects -
Cutting Dovetails
« on: September 05, 2009, 02:36:38 PM »
I`m looking to make a QCTP and I need to cut some dovetails for the toolpost and the main body. I have seen Darrens thread where he uses a shaping machine but converting and then learning how to use my shaping machine is going to take longer than I want to wait and so I`m going to attempt this on my mill. Is the only sensible option to purchase a dovetail cutter at the angle required and pass this through or are there other options?

Also, what is the correct proceedure for cutting a dovetail - do you take a few passes with a end mill to remove some bulk and then go in with the dovetail cutter? I`m just thinking that you obviously can`t "ease" the cutter into the cut or you`ll open up the top and remove the dovetail, I guess you need to take in one pass? I`ve tried searching the net for info on the process but haven`t found much!

I want to create a 60deg dove tail so any help appreciated


Offline Jonny

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 780
Re: Cutting Dovetails
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 02:58:31 PM »
Actually doing a few long ones now.

When cutting either the male or female part, mill out with a suitable end mill fairly close if not spot on. Change over to dovetail cutter, take a pass over the area you didnt last mill and take measurements from that. Great with a DRO.
Made a few toolposts tooled up with specific cutters but normally use the chinky QR toolpost. These are a decent fit piston type and sure are 45 degrees.
If you use 60 degrees you will have to be more critical with each pass of the dovetail cutter sizing the job. A decent fit can turn in to a sloppy fit within a few thou! If theres any play, it will pull in but what about the horizontal plane, will it be repeatably be the same!

Useless with CAD or drawing on pc, might be easier to explain.