View Full Version : Cutting a dovetail

05-01-2009, 10:04 AM
I wondered if anyone can post a description of how they cut their dovetails. Specifically, I wondered about using a dovetail template similar to the ones I've seen used on guitars. A friend of mine built a pantograph to do it but that seems like over kill. Pictures or video would be great.

05-01-2009, 11:55 AM
I used to do the male part in the Lathe with a Jig I designed... it worked ok but I kept having to dismantle the setup to do other work and every time I reset..It took a lot of time to get it back where it was...Now I do it with a Router set up I'll post pic's tomorrow....The Female end in the Neck block I do in the "milling machine" and I have no problems with that one...I find that the dovetail has to be cut first before any other shaping of the neck, and it has to be spot on square and on the centre line.....Not many builders do the dovetail these days..I only do it because I do replicas and without it..? it wouldn't be a replica would it?..Here's a slideshow of how I used to do it...Just click on the pic.
http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/th_PICT0577.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/?action=view&current=8022b0c4.pbw)

05-01-2009, 01:02 PM
Further to my last post ..I remembered that i already did take a couple of pic's of the new set up.. Note the adjustable tongue on the jig so that the dovetail can be fine tuned to expand or retract so that a good fit can be obtained...I hope this helps in some way.
Shot showing the router in position.
And a view from underside showing the double action clamp holding a test workpiece in place ready for machining.
And finaly the business end of the router.

05-04-2009, 11:01 AM
Thanks. That has given me some ideas.

05-18-2009, 02:21 AM
This morning, I made some neck blocks for my next batch of ukes..It gave me an opportunity to photograph and show how I cut the female dovetails...It's done in my milling machine, with a "cross vise" and and a jig I designed a year ago it works very well and it is accurate and fast I cut out a dozen dove tails in about 20 mins including set up time...The block in the jig is a completed one I put in for the pic

Cutting down the right side.
Then the left side.
All done.