Dovetails on cnc

Does anyone know how to use the vortex dovetail bit with vcarve pro? I saw a video with this bit on a shopsaber cnc machine. the cut the dovetail with the stock flat on deck.

any help would be great!

Check out this thread: One Bit Dovetails

You could use Jointcam. It’s awesome and specifically for this purpose

Those aren’t real dovetails in my book. Look at 13:31. You could cut those with an end mill and save yourself $700 on the bit. To me, that is more of a scarf joint.

I feel like you haven’t actually gone and looked at the profile of the bit… Maybe do that.


I looked at the profile of the cut in the video - best seen at 13:31 in the video. The interior “angles” of the “dovetail” are rounded (which means it isn’t a true dovetail) so could be cut with an end mill.

It is to bad they have the bit covered up by the dust shoe so it can’t be seen in operation. I have a clear dust shoe on my machine so I can see what I am cutting at all times.

Here is a photo of a dovetail: The angles are not rounded.

Here is a photo of a scarf joint in plywood which is what the joint in the video looks like with the rounded interior edges. These can be cut with an inexpensive end mill.

In the video it looks like there is a dado on one side of the bottom of the scarf, so it would be easy to flip over the wood and add the dado with an end mill. That is how I would cut the parts that I see in the video - but they are probably an industrial production company interested in high production so cost is not an issue.

The type of scarf in the above photo is commonly used in boat building if you have ever built a boat over eight feet long.

Show me what you make if you purchase one!!!


I’m aware of what a dovetail looks like. Did you go look up the product and look at the profile of the tool or are you still making assumptions based on what you can see in the video?

Look up the tool itself. It is extremely easy to find. You don’t have to rely on what you can see in that video.

Troy, I did look it up, that is why I knew it was $700 plus dollars. Lol! It is a nice bit, a really nice bit, especially with replaceable inserts, with multiple profiles. A little on the expensive side for me. I only saw the 3/4 inch shaft size, didn’t look to see if a 1/2 inch size is available which is max I can handle.

…So, how do you cut a profile that requires two separate custom profile bits with from one side with cheap endmills?

It has pockets that are wider at the bottom than the top (which is what makes it a dovetail.)

The point of this is that it allows you to cut dovetail joints on a cnc from one side. It is meant for cabinet shops that will make back the $700 quickly in productivity.

It has pockets that are wider on the left than on the right. It’s like a hidden dovetail or half dovetail.

Troy, here is what I saw on the video you posted.

That dove tail has rounded interior corners so could be cut with an end mill. Flip the board over and cut the dado on the bottom in the photo with the endmill.

Your post coincided with a project I am working on - the Impossible Dovetail. Have you seen this? Pretty cool!

Looks like the tail side is a rabbet the depth of the dovetail bit’s undercut plus a 2D contour of the tail profile, both with the straight bit. The pin side uses the specialty bit to cut slots between the pins plus the straight bit to cut the ends. The joinery fit will be sensitive to Z errors.

Those bits are geared toward production with pro cabinet software like Mozaik and KCD. I would guess very few people use them with Vectric software, though it doesn’t look too difficult to figure out. You could try asking over in the Vectric forum and maybe @ ping specific forum members from these two posts (which look a little sparse on details):

Have a look at the Easy Gadgets at there is a dovetail gadget.

The whole point of the tool is that you can do dovetails without flipping the workpiece… That’s why they can get $700+ for a set. You can’t do that with normal endmills.