"JBL" wrote in message
I am attempting to make a few "dovetails" which are brackets used to
attach a telescope to a telescope mount. If purchased outright, for the
kind of dovetails I need, the expense is beyond my budget. I recently
acquired some 1/2" aluminum sheet/ bar. The dovetail needs to be 1.75"
wide at the base, with the sides cut at a 15 degree angle. Length can
vary a bit, but usually about 12-14". My plan was to make at least 3
for the various telescopes I have.
I thought I'd be able to get away with an old circular table saw I had.
Last week, I made some 1/4" thick dovetails of a slightly different
design using my table saw fitted with a plywood blade. This went well,
but when I tried to make these thicker 1/2" dovetails today, I ended up
burning out my saw.
Ideas for a cheap way to make these dovetails would be welcome. I've
been watching Craigslist for another circular to replace the burned out
one, but I don't think it's the best tool for this job without a $30
plus blade made to cut metal and even then I'm not sure it will do it.
Thanks in advance for your help,
While not ideal for it I have severed a lot of 1/2 aluminum flat bar (and
thicker) with a 10" table saw. With plenty of lubrication it does ok
actually. I wouldn't saw any old carbide blade would do, because I had a
couple cheap ones that ripped off all the teeth in one pass, but most name
brands do ok for atleast a few cuts. Now I wouldn't put this on an elcheapo
table saw, but my Ridgid contractor saw Is only middle of the pack as saws
go. I've used it for 13-14 years or so for all kinds of projects. For a
couple years it was my dedicated aluminum hacker. Now it only gets used for
wood since I bought a horizontal bandsaw for the metal shop.
I don't know if I would venture to cut dovetails with it, but I suppose it
might be possible some care and proper feeding. (pun intended) The problem
is going to be keeping the blade lubricated Maybe if you could figure out
how to make multiple passes you could fill the slot with cutting oil
I think a variable speed router and a router table Might be the next totally
wrong for it option to consider. I used router as spindles on my early CNC
machines. They didn't last long, but one would probably last long enough
for the job your describe. Be pretty dangerous too.
The right tool of course is a milling machine and a dovetail cutter. Could
probably still use a carbide router bit if you plan lubrication and chip