Anyone doing sliding dovetails on their D4R?

Hey D4R users, I wanted to know what your opinions are about routing sliding dovetails on your jig. I'm getting ready to do that for a three shelf unit. The shelves are 44 inches long and I will space them on 12 inch centers in 48 inch tall sides (all 7/8 inch oak). My concern is with my ability to cut the dovetail slots for the sides. I think I would have better success if I used a separate guide rail and just routed these slots while leaning on a table or the floor. I have no apprehension at all with regard to routing the tails on the shelves - this is where I think the jig will be perfect, but the slots concern me. I know I can support the ends of the side boards with stands so alignment won't be that much of an issue. I'm just looking for other user's feedback- both good and bad - before I begin this process. Thanks in advance for your responses. Marc
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I have done it successfully on a D4 several years ago but my project differed. I built an end table with a magazine rack on both sides. The end pieces that tilted out from the table had a sliding DT top to bottom outer side on both ends. Those ends support 4 or 5 horizontal and evenly spaced slats. The slats engaged the ends via sliding DT's.
My salts started out as a wider board with a DT grove on both ends and then I cut the piece into the smaller slats. The end pieces had the tail portion of the DT and that was done on the Leigh D4. The pin/female groves were done on the router table.
So, so far I have not helped you any. ;~) The tail piece is not tough to do on the Leigh but I advise you to cut the slots first so that you can sneak up/tweak the tail piece and or cutting dept on the jig for proper fit. I would also suggest cutting the slot with a narrower straight bit to remove a majority of the material before making the DT groove.
Lastly and for certain set this all up on same thickness scraps to insure a good fit before going near the actual project. '~)
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Hello Leon, Thank you for the reply, I appreciate the advice and I'll let you know when it's done. Marc
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On Thu, 20 Mar 2008 21:17:24 -0500, Leon wrote:

Good advice, but if the slots are very long I'd suggest making a tapered sliding dovetail instead of using the jig. Much easier to insert without excessive force.
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If you have two routers, set one up with a straight bit to pre-cut the dovetail slots. Then make a second pass using the other router with the dovetail bit. This reduces the chances of having the router pull away from the guide while making the cut and reduces the work that the dovetail bit will have to do. I have only done it this way once, but it worked very well.
Charley
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Hey Charlie, Larry, Thanks too for your replies. Since I don't need to make a stopped dovetail groove I thought I would score a 1/4 inch deep groove with the table saw and then run a straght bit follwed by the dovetail bit (obviously off the jig). Then I would involve the jig to cut the tails on the ends of the board. I think I'll feel more comfortable cutting those grooves in a position that I could get th leverage with the router. Marc
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