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Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery? (Read 1,015 times)
 
Mike Turner
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Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Nov 5th, 2015 at 9:48am
 
I am a flutemaker..I start with blanks 1 1/2" square by 36 or so inches long.Anyhow I want to attach an endcap of a contrasting wood to the ends.I have end the past just squared the ends and gluted the endcap to the flute blank or body.(The blank is a length of 1 1/2" wood 26" or so long...the endcap could be 2" long...one for each end.) I had thought about using a dovetail joint to attach the endcap and have the tools to do it on the router table and a good dovetail saw but havent taken the time to practice to do it...Any help or tips are appreciated.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #1 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 10:14am
 
Sounds like you want to do something like what is sometimes called end-on-end dovetails. ( see photo
Regardless of what size or how many tails you cut, here's a couple of things to remember
Make a relief cut (usually on the table saw) so when the router bit starts to remove material it has somewhere to go. This makes it easier on the router and bit while also reducing the tendency to burn.
Use a backing board on your cuts to avoid blow-outs or splitting.
Set the height and leave it alone, make size adjustments to the width of the tails by moving (or shimming) the fence.
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robo_hippy
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #2 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 12:30pm
 
I am not sure how you could do a dove tail joint on 1 1/2 inch diameter stock, maybe cut it before you turn it. Gluing end grain to end grain is weak. It might be easier to cut a half lap joint, like what you make when you fit a box lid, and for this you would want that suction fit.

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Ed Weber
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #3 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 12:59pm
 
robo_hippy wrote on Nov 5th, 2015 at 12:30pm:
I am not sure how you could do a dove tail joint on 1 1/2 inch diameter stock,


Explain the issue with the size, I don't see the problem.
The joint would not actually be a true dovetail joint with tails and pins but a end-to-end dovetail joint with interlocking tails only. Much more glue surface and mechanically stronger than a half-lap. Also has the added benefit of the aesthetics, which I believe  is what Mike is looking for.
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« Last Edit: Nov 5th, 2015 at 1:04pm by Ed Weber »  
 
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #4 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 1:27pm
 
I think the issue here is visualizing what the final product would look like.

I'm thinking that the way to do this would be to do the end-on-end dovetails on the raw billet, before drilling and turning it into a flute. Like Reed, I would think that it would be very difficult to do dovetails after the blank had been turned.

On the other hand, if the dovetails are done on the raw stock (with a rectangular or square cross section), the question is what would they look like after the blank is turned to a cylinder? There would be something that looks like a distorted dovetail when viewed from one side, but when the finished flute is rotated 90 degrees it will look very different. And I also wonder about how that would affect the physical strength. Part of the problem here is that the size of the dove tails is not greatly different from the finished diameter of the flute.

So I think my preference would be to use mortise and tenon joint (which would become a half-lap joint after the flute has been finished. Probably put some kind of surface decoration to disguise the actual seam between woods.

In any event, the objective is the same - create a joint that allows a cap to be added to the ends of the flute such that the joint between the cap and the flute body provides a face-grain joint for strength.

What about a thin finger joint?
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« Last Edit: Nov 5th, 2015 at 1:29pm by Louie Powell »  

Louie
 
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Don Bunce
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #5 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 2:06pm
 
A double dovetail like this would look cool. Not sure if turning it round would destroy the effect, but might be worth a try.

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Mike Turner
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #6 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 2:10pm
 
It was 1 1/2" square stock before turning.What I have in the shop has already had a 7/8" hole bored through it from end to end.I was just going to do one dovetail and try to center it .I had seen it done by another guy once. using 2 constasting woods had a neat look.I may do something simpler...hate to mess up some wood..May experiment on something though
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Richard Pyle
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #7 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 2:13pm
 
What about an x shaped tenon? Might be difficult to cut the x but would give a more symmetrical look when turned.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #8 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 3:44pm
 
Louie Powell wrote on Nov 5th, 2015 at 1:27pm:
I'm thinking that the way to do this would be to do the end-on-end dovetails on the raw billet, before drilling and turning it into a flute.


I thought that was understood that you do this before you turn it, my apologies


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Mike Turner
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #9 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 5:19pm
 
Ed that would be the way to go..Do it before boring the bore .I have just about all my blanks already bored.When i do that I try to get as many done as possible...They are still rectangular though...It should all be really done before the boring.The piece of ebony I want to use as an endcap isnt bored.This is all just an idea that I was sort of tossing around.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #10 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 6:02pm
 
Mike Turner wrote on Nov 5th, 2015 at 5:19pm:
It should all be really done before the boring.


correct

Even if you already have some main portions (the longer part of the body) drilled out, you can always glue in a dowel to support the cutting of the dovetail, then re-bore.

If you size the dovetail and turning properly, the joint should look even from all four angles (if that's what you want)
Some visualization only
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Larry Matchett
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #11 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 7:35pm
 
Seems to me you could drill out about an inch of flute body to 1".  Put the end piece on with wood glue and then redrill to 7/8.  You would have a side grain glue joint along with the end grain and unless you use your flutes for a tire iron it should be fine.  Actually the joint will be stronger then the wood.  I have done this with tool handles and they are still going strong.  Maybe Len will jump in as he is a very accomplished flute maker.
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Mike Turner
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Re: Dovetail Joint in Flutemaking Wood Joinery?
Reply #12 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 7:42pm
 
Ed that is the exact look I am wanting..

Larry that would work great too!!!
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