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Frustrating morning and two useful lessons for Woodratters.

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Chris Knight

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I have spent all morning and until now to try and set up my Rat to do simple dovetailing job. I wanted to do through dovetails in ash 5/8 inch thick (I'm making a simple toolbox for more carving tools - no secret mitres this time!)

Try as I might, I could not get the beast set up. I was using a familiar 8mm dovetail bit (An old DC3 for Ratters who have had their Rat a long time) and a half inch KWO replaceable insert bit. It is a combination I have used many times and I know the button/spiral settings by heart. But this time I was getting gaps where there shouldn't be gaps. So I played with the button/spiral settings getting increasingly frustrated and angry. Not least because I had to keep changing bits to test each set-up.

To cut a long story short, I have discovered the problem. My old dovetail bit has been sharpened so many times (and evidently not too accurately), to the extent that there is actually a waisting in the central part of the cutting edges. This created a belly on the sides of the tails so that whatever part of the pin/tail combination fitted, there was always a gap somewhere else,

Plainly no amount of adjustment will fix this so I am now going to cut the joints by hand (I should be able to rescue the tails with a bit of paring).


Apart from checking your bits, here is another valuable lesson I learnt. The Xtreme Xtension works brilliantly with the Rat. It does away with all that wretched fiddling to change the bit - which is normally the worst thing about the Woodrat in my book.
 

Alf

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Up the proverbial creek
Chris,

Commiserations. :( Nothing worse than feeling like you're going round in circles. At least you discovered the problem in the end, and a good tip about checking the cutters. I'll have to remember that.

Cheers, Alf
 

Aragorn

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And I thought you were going to say you switched to the Leigh and had the DTs cut in 10 minutes :wink: :wink: :wink:
 
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