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Circular dovetails

All of the dovetails so far have been straight. It is quite possible to use circular dovetails for exactly the same reason as we need to make straight ones. The need is to produce circular motion that follows a circular path without any lateral motion. In some cases only part of a circle is required. Where a dovetail is needed for a whole circle there is clearly a possible problem about fitting the parts together.

Even if it is made in parts it is difficult to make it so it can be adjusted.

Since I have covered circular T-slots elsewhere one might ask what the point of a circular dovetail? The point is that a circular T-slot will only be in the required position when the two parts are bolted together because when they are not bolted together they can move apart. If a part of a circle is made there is no problem.

All the parts are cut with a dovetail cutter. Each of the parts is made in turn by mounting them on a rotary table

Fig making the female part

Fig making the male part

The gib is more of a problem. One way of holding it is to hold it by some sacrificial end pieces. Notice that though one side can be cut using a conventional dovetail cutter, the other side is cut with an inverted dovetail cutter.

Fig making the gib

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