Must Have Router Bits: Dovetail Bit the Best Bet for Machining Joinery
posted on December 1, 2010 by AJ Hamler
Dovetail router bit Use a dovetail bit in your router table or along with a dovetail cutting jig for the easiest way to cut dovetail joints.

For machining dovetails, there’s really only one choice, but it’s a perfect one. Dovetail bits make dead-on angled slots in a single pass, and they can be used with a number of jigs and templates. (For template use and for many commercial jigs, you’ll want a dovetail bit with a shank-mounted guide bearing.) These bits excel at making traditional dovetails, of course, but used in a router table with a fence, they’re also your best choice to create sliding dovetails useful for carcass joinery. These sliding dovetail joints are like dadoes on steroids: They have the strength of a regular dado, plus the locking power of a dovetail. Unlike traditional jig-made dovetail joints that are made with a combination of dovetail and straight bits, sliding dovetails use the same bit for both the angled groove and the tongue — a single pass is all you need for the groove; one pass on each side makes the tongue.

Dovetail bits are available in a variety of angles, from 7 to 18 degrees, with 14 degrees being the most commonly used. For sizing your dovetails, you’ll find bits in a range from about 1/4" to 1" in diameter.

All router bits should be kept sharp, but this is especially the case for dovetail bits — a dull bit makes for truly ugly dovetails with lots of “furry” tearout.

posted on December 1, 2010 by AJ Hamler
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What People are Saying:

I have been ordering from Rockler for almost 20 years and have found their products to be very inexpensive and of high quality. Shipping is fast even when an item is back ordered. The best prices I have found anywhere."

- Orval - 08/07/2012
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