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Dremel Trio

2230 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  DesertRatTom
Has anyone have an idea on how I can build a dovetail jig to use with the Trio? I built a router table that is precise enough to make accurate cuts. Now I want to build small jewelry presentation boxes with dovetail joints using 1/4 hardwood.
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Andy (I assume that's your name...take a minute to fill in what you want to be called in your profile)...I did some searching and could not come up with a Trio-compatible/specific jig for dovetails. There are however, 1/8" shaft, 7deg, dovetail bits that would fit the Trio. (I assume the Trio has an 1/8" chuck?)

Chances are you might need to mount the Trio in a table of sorts. You'll need to satisfy some criteria...some mechanism for holding the piece on edge and be able to run the board perpendicular to the table through the bit. Sort of like a miter gauge but tall enough to hold your board. You will also need a track for it to ride on so that the bit will cut exactly straight through the edge of the board. You've seen tracks on router tables and table saws, I assume...?

If you can mount the Trio in a table, there are jigs available that you can buy or make to cut dovetail or box joints.

There are also jigs available for freehand routing dovetails and box joints but your bit and Trio will need some sort of guide...either an appropriate sized bushing or an appropriate sized bearing to ride along the template. If these are available to you, there are jigs available for standard routers.

Short answer...I didn't find anything specifically for the Trio but if you can make it look like a regular router then you can make dovetail or box joints...

Hope this is helpful or at least give you something to think about to see if it can apply to you...

I checked your profile but not lots of info in it regarding your experience or tools so I'm taking a shot in the dark here...

Your thoughts...?
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I'll take your advice and expand my bio.
I already built an accurate router table for my Tri
I have one dovetail bit that a ordered on-line. I also have a General Tools dovetail jig that I just bought. I forgot that I can buy guide bearings of the correct size as well as collars. I guess I can research the idea of building a set of quite plates and a way to hold the whole thing together, kind of like the jig I have. Dremel should have given a little more thought to this tool as I go to it quite often for small router work like small 1/4 round over and corner relieving. Much easier to handle than a regular router.
Thanks for your reply and stay safe and well.
If you have the General or the General Pro you will be able to cut will need to over-adjust the jig to cut through dovetails and only use one face. You could also hog some of the material with a smaller straight bit first to make it easier for the dovetail bit to do it's job.

I used the General for a while with my trim router. Works well but remember, dovetail cuts need to be cut in one pass so be careful with the push on the feed. You don't want to bend or break the bit. You will need the right size collar or bearing...see the manual for the required diameter.

With the General, be careful with the screws holding the piece...they have a tendency to get loose with the vibration...just keep an eye on it.

If you need to cut dovetails in thicker material, I would suggest investing in a trim router to take advantage of thicker shafts on the cutter.

Good luck...stay safe
Are you sure you want to cut dovetails? With quarter inch material, I think you will have an easier time cutting box joints. For cutting those, especially in thin material, I suggest you consider the Incra box joint jig on a table saw.

The jig adjusts to whatever size stack of blades you have, although I LOVE the freud Box Cutter Blade set that will cut precise 1/4 or 3/8 th joints. That would be the easiest way to do that.\\ Using the same jig and a full kerf blade, you can make 1/8th joints for shallow boxes, such as for neclaces, pearls or bracelets. That would be like the corners of an expensive wood cigar box.

Rockler makes a box joint jig for router tables that might also work for you.

One other option to consider is using the router with a lock miter bit. These take some careful setup, but they make an invisible joint box. Pix of bit and joint below: Easy to make elegant boxes and with fine hardwood, you could have grain wrap all the way around. Not sure how thin the stock may be, but I think it can go down to 3/8ths thick. The pix is of a 1/4 or metric shank. This is an elegant joint.

The bottom pix shows the bit, joint and a tiny magnetic jig that fits on the bit's cutting surface. You align it to the center of the wood you're cutting and it cuts both sides of the joint perfectly. You need something to hold the thin stock down because you're going to cut the edge. I use a square chunk of MDF behind the workpiece to hold it square to the fence, and to eliminate chipout. You should also mark the inside and outside of every piece so you don't get confused.

with wooden boxes you might like small brass hinges, and a brass latch on the front of the box. Here's a search for all kinds of small latches.

If you make boxes of thick material you can use a barrel (hidden) hinge.

Are you going to line these boxes? Are they for specific jewelry items? Your liner should have a small amount of foam inside so the item can be pinned in place. If it is for high end neclaces, especially pearls, make a raised oval to hold the item in place for best display. You can find a powdery material that you apply glue inside the box, then pour in the material and shake it til fully covered. But silk or some elegant fabric liner is top of the line.

If the boxes are made with lock miter joints, you can use MDF, which comes in a wide variety of thicknesses down to 1/8th inch. But if you use hardwoods, you will be doing some combination of resawing, jointing (which can be done on a router table with split fence), and planing to get exact thicknesses.

This interests me because I sold jewelry to pay my way through college. Hope this wasn't too much. I am not sure of your router has much of a bit selection from Dremmel.

If I were dong this, I'd pop for a Bosch 1617, for which you can find a thousand different bits. Its fixed base mounts nicely under a table, which only needs to be a very flat sheet of plywood with an appropriate size hole in it, and a very straight peice of lumber for the fence. Cut an opening in the fence the bit will fit through. You will probably only get 20-25 years service out of this setup. CPO tools has this router available as a refurbished unit. They are good as or better than new.

Are you making these for sale to a high end store? See if you can find a way to put their logo on the box, and put a line: Hand made in America for name Jewelers. And I'd make a lot at once and standardize sizes and thickness as much as possible. The store can also sell boxes, say with dividers, for pierced ear rings, which is my wife's favorite gold goodie.


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Thanks to everyone. I'll start experimenting with these ideas.
I already have a full size 1/4" shank router I use for larger cuts. Plus I built a table for it at the same time I built the one for the Trio.
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Thanks to everyone. I'll start experimenting with these ideas.
I already have a full size 1/4" shank router I use for larger cuts. Plus I built a table for it at the same time I built the one for the Trio.

Good luck...let us know what you wound up doing...
@RiovistaAndy I am also looking forward to seeing the results. I can just imagine some unusual wood boxes filled with glittering stuff.
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