MatchFit Dovetail Clamps Jigs

I am going to make several MicroJig MatchFit jigs for my woodworking shop. The instructions tell to you to make relief cuts that are 1/4 inch wide by 5/16 inch deep. Then you cut over the relief cuts with a 1/2 inch 7degree dovetail at 3/8 inch deep.

My question is to make the dovetail bit cuts with the Shapeoko should I create a custom tool and set the depth to 3/8 depth so the dovetail grove is cut at full depth in a single pass.

For the tool path I suppose if my base is 12 inches by 12 inches I should make the project appear 13 by 13 so the dovetail bit will plunge to 3/8 outside the physical limit of the project, cut all the way across and retract again outside the physical limit of my jig. There will be a 4 inch grid of these dovetail groves cut so I will also need to plan clamps appropriately to avoid hitting them. Do you think I should make each line of the grid a separate tool path?

Please give me any feed back on how to cut these dovetail groves on the Shapeoko.

1 Like

Unfortunately, dovetail geometry is not supported in Carbide Create.

It is supported in Toolpath Language: https://tplang.org/ (enter as a stub endmill I think it is, and then set the upper and lower diameter appropriately)

I wrote a bit about using them at:

I’d just set them up to match the diameter you wish to cut at the surface and note the depth which they need to make a full-depth pass at in the description. Pair them with a toolpath from a smaller endmill which clears the central channel to allow the full-depth pass.

Could be interesting to have a toolpath language postprocessor for Carbide Create, might give it a practical application and a better chance of being exercised,even if another step to convert tpl to usable gcode is required. There’s been several attempts to replace gcode but they’re so unpopular/obscure that I can’t manage the fu to find any of them.

Sort of along the same line do you have any idea when user-editable postprocessors will be allowed?

Could you use advanced vcarve to create a wide upside-down through-dovetail (i.e. one that goes through the board entirely) and then invert and laminate the cut board onto a substrate to create the dovetail? I would imagine that would work.

EDIT: Like this:


Invert this onto a board, laminate it, then rip off the edges where the “Vees” terminate…you should have the equivalent of what you showed above…I think

I’m not aware of a V endmill which has the correct angle for the necessary cut — is there one?

Well…that’s a whole different can of worms. I don’t know what dovetail jigs use as their angle… I know my leigh jig bits are 8, 10, 12, 14, and 18 degrees…I don’t know how a 15 degree groove would do against a 14 degree dovetail

But…if you were to machine your own clamp bases… :slight_smile: ! Then the fit would be perfect :slight_smile:

2 Likes