I've been looking for a jig to cut sliding tapered dovetails. What
I've found so far is that the Porter Cable Omnijig has an add-on
template and there is something called the Easy Sliding Dovetail. If
my understanding is correct from reading about these and
correspondence with their tech support that they are limited to
creating a tenon that is 1/2" thick at most. So if I"m building a
bookshelf with 3/4" think shelves and want to use sliding taperd
dovetails will still nly be 1/2" think i.e when you look at the
assembled product what you'd see is a shelf 3/4" think but the
dovetail that holds it in place is only 1/2" thick. To me it would
just look funny. Has anyone used ether of these machines? Is this
correct? Are there other jigs? I'd like to find something that is
adjustable for any stock thickness.
I'm not sure what you mean by "sliding tapered dovetail". I know what a
sliding dovetail is, but what is the "tapered" part referring to?
Anyway, I have the Leigh D4 dovetail jig, and it comes with a bar attachment
that allows you to do sliding dovetails. I've not had occassion to use this
at this point, but I've read the instructions and it seems straightforward.
Check it out here: http://www.leighjigs.com/d4.php# (there's a link at the
bottom: "how to cut sliding dovetails" which should explain things).
A sliding tapered dovetail tapers so that when yoiu first put it into
the slot it is very loose and then as you seat it it tightens up. Over
18" I'd expect that the back would be maybe 1/8" thinner than the front.
A tail that, once installed, looked from the outside to be 3/4 inch
thick would be 5/8" thick at the back. Makes for less binding when
fitting but would be as tight or thighter, due to ease of assembly, than
a non taperd SD.
Never made dovetails, so this is just theory. . .
But what if put two guides. At the rear of the shelf, they're set to
the width of your router base. At the front of the shelf, they're set
to slightly larger. As the dovey bit is a side cutter, and the
difference is small, you should get the desired taper.
I'd cut front and rear setup blocks with the correct size and taper in
the interest of repeatability.
Not sure what you'd do with the shelf, but there ya go.
Someone with more router experience than I most likely has a better
This is a pretty easy jig you can construct yourself out of some scrap 1/4
plywood and some hardwood runners. Charles was on the right track only
difference being I mounted my "guide rails" to a piece of 1/4 ply then
simply clamped it in place on the bookshelf side panels. I made a similar
jig with corresponding runners on top of the plywood and a fixed fence under
the plywood that is then clamped to the end of the shelves to make the cut.
A little fitting with a chisel was still required but Im talking very
minimal here. It worked great. I think a possible improvement would be to
just cut a slot in a piece of plywood with the desired taper in mind, then
use guide bushings instead of fences to guide the router. Use your
imagination, hard to tell what you might come up with!
Thanks, yea, I could invent something, been working on a design that
would be easy and automatically sized to the thickness of the workpiece
and allow for any depth. Jut didn't want to re-invent the wheel
Maybe you could cut the dovetail on the router table...with
the shelf standing upright. A 1/16" shim on the 'fat' end
(2 shims - one on each side) would result in a 1/8" taper?
disclaimer: I'm just theorizing here...never tried it.
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