using dovetail machine - Page 3 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #41 of 49 Old 05-30-2017, 09:33 PM
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OK. I'm hoping one of you guys with a Dovetail Machine can help me with my setup. I have the setup damn close but I keep getting an anomaly.

Let me tell you about how I set it up:

I set the bottom (of the drawer) dovetail so that I could align my slot so the bottom of the slot is 1/2" up from the bottom of the drawer. This setup is for Blum undermount hardware. The two horizontal (fronts & Backs) fences are set farther out than the vertical (sides) fences by 1/2". Both horizontal fences are set so the dovetail corner is .400" from the bottom of the drawer. I put the slot against the fence so that becomes my constant. I don't care if the top aligns or not, the bottom is critical for me so the slot is aligned all the way around so the bottom of the drawer box slips in nice.

So when I make a drawer I'll take the sides and put them on the vertical fence with the slot towards the outside of the machine against the fence and the slot is facing out. Then I put the fronts on the horizontal fence, again the slots towards the outside of the machine but they are facing down, towards the table.

When I cut them I climb cut. I start from the left and go right. This is what the manual says to do and I get much better cuts doing this when I use Baltic Birch plywood for my boxes. So I make the dovetail cuts on both sets. Then I take the right board and flip it and put it in the left side and the left board and flip it and put it on the right side. I do the same for the horizontal (fronts) boards. The slots again, are still outboard against the fences.

When I go to put the drawer together I always seem to have 3 good corners and one that is slightly misaligned. I'm not sure I understand how this can happen. I figured it'd have to be two misaligned. How can I just have the one. I made about 6 drawers and it was pretty consistent. Always with the one that was misaligned.

Any wisdom?

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #42 of 49 Old 05-31-2017, 08:28 AM
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I run into that problem myself from time to time...ticks me off....three things, the stop on the right is sometimes off by 1/32 or boards arent flush with each other. Thats especially true with hard wood since it seems to have a slight bow in them once in a while. What causes them to not to be flush is debris. Little piece of wood. And third, one of the cuts are out of square a slight bit. So when you butt them up & see it may not be perfectly square, flush them face to edge and if its off the side fence some, you'll see it.
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post #43 of 49 Old 05-31-2017, 12:30 PM
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The only thing it could be out of your suggestions is out of square. I do my cuts on a tablesaw sled so it's pretty accurate. All this is during the setup of the machine and I am very wary of debis and other things that would cause the board to be away from the fence. I just don't understand how it can just be one side. It really sounds like misplacing or debris doesn't it. I thought I was being very careful.

I know if I do them individually like you would in a router jig they come out perfect. So the offsets are good. What I didn't expect is when you are doing the flipping thing the only joint that is matched is the first joint. The rest are dependent on the accuracy of the other side being identically opposite of the 1st side.

So I've changed my tactics for now until I can figure it out. I'm running 2 drawers at the same time and setting it up so each corner is matched to the other. So drawer A corner set goes on the left. And drawer B corner set goes on the right. When you finish the operation 2 drawers have been completed and all the corners are matched sets.

Until I have time to blow on figuring this out, that's the way I'm going to handle it.


So I assume you agree that the way I proceeded to set up the machine is correct. And theoretically it should work, correct? Or did I miss something?

BTW Thanks.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #44 of 49 Old 07-01-2017, 12:39 AM
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I realized I didn't have the machine setup as mirror image from left to right. So I corrected that and redid the setup once again. That was a while back and I had only done drawers that were larger than 8" tall, so I could only do one set at a time. Well today I finally got the chance to do a 4" drawer and after going through the procedure the setup seems good. All 4 corners were flush and everything lined up properly. So I think the setup drama is finally over and I can just get down to producing drawers when I need them instead of the constant fine tuning the setup. Feels good.

I've noticed now that I can produce a tall drawer without the overheating and breaking of the dovetail bit of my older setup, I seem to be doing a lot more tall drawers. I'm thinking of making a hope chest now. 16" bottom with a 4 or 5" lid so I get a 20" tall line of dovetails. Put a base on it and get it up to 24" tall or so. Put the dovetails on the front of the chest to show them off.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #45 of 49 Old 02-05-2018, 08:59 AM
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Hello , I am new here and just purchased this machine , I found this thread in a google search .
I am having an issue with getting the tails to space evenly as per the instructions .

The manual says to rip drawer stock in widths divisible by template bar being used ex: 2 template = 4, 6, 8,10 ect; drawer widths.

I ripped pine to 4 inches and went through set up as per instructions multiple times and it is not even close .

I have managed to get the joints space correctly on a test box setting fences by eye .

I am not new to woodworking and have used Omni jig long ago and are very proficient at hand cutting dovetails.

If any could chime in and set me straight I would much appreciate it .

Thanks Tom .
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post #46 of 49 Old 02-05-2018, 09:32 AM
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Which machine? There are more than one listed.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #47 of 49 Old 02-05-2018, 09:48 AM
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Grizzly G0611X
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post #48 of 49 Old 02-05-2018, 10:54 AM
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Ya, don't set the machine up like in the instructions. They suck. I'm sure it'll work, but you can only use those part dimensions and if you are off a bit it screws the setup.

You need to go to a referenced edge platform. In my case I use the bottom as the reference because that is where the slot is going and they need to line up properly because I do tight tolerances.

So setup the outside stops so you will have a consistent distance between the bottom dovetail mortise on both sides of the machine. Making sure that your bottom will fit within the confines of the dovetail so you don't get any peek a boo holes from the slot that holds the bottom into your drawer.

Then you need to work on the upper stops they need to be inside the lower stops by exactly 1/2". I used a piece of wood sized to a half inch thick using calipers. Then used my finger to determine that the stops were flush.

All of these measurements really need to be done with calipers, and it is still a pain to get things perfect. If you need to move something over a smidge, use a piece of tape or paper as a shim when you adjust the stops.

My setup is nearly perfect. I say nearly because it still has brain farts every once in a while where I get parts that don't line up for whatever reason. Do 10 drawers and have all but one set of sides align properly.

It is going to take you 1/2 day to tune this in.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #49 of 49 Old 02-05-2018, 12:16 PM
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I didn't use calipers on a DODDS. Within an hr it was set.. Unless Grizzly is that difficult to set up, I would call Grizzly..

I've had more trouble setting up a Leigh and PC than the DODDS,....
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