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Making dovetails – type 6 – clamp fit

Dovetails can be made that just fit together. They are not designed to be accurately controllable but they can slide freely. When in the required position they are clamped together. The female part is is made of two parts that can be clamped together. There is no gib.

An example of this can just be seen in the photo of a boring head.

dovetail on a boring head - 481

dovetail on a boring head – 481

Though a leadscrew is used to adjust this, when it is in use the female part must be clamped tight to give the assembly the necessary rigidity.

In this particular case the part is made by cutting the angle surface on a rectangular block. A dummy boring head body is then used to hold this part. The dummy head is made so it can be held in a lathe. The outside is then turned to fit. But in many cases, these sorts of parts would usually be made by holding the parts in a vice.

Dovetails – adjustable female part

Where accuracy is not important but price is, one way of adjusting a dovetail is to partially split the female part. The female part is locked to the male part by means of a bolt that pulls the two sides of the female part together.

fig split female part

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