Laguna double-dovetail machine touts ease

Laguna Tool's latest addition to its Platinum Series of woodworking machines is an automatic double-dovetail machine

Laguna Tool's latest addition to its Platinum Series of woodworking machines is an automatic double-dovetail machine, manufactured for cabinet shop production runs. The machine is capable of cutting dovetail pins and tails separately or at the same time to speed up production.

"It's for high-end cabinet shops — that's it," says Torben Helshoj, president of Laguna Tools. "It's an easy way to make dovetail joints, and if you have that upper-end market, then it's like an edgebander. I don't really see how you can be in business without having it because the alternative is manual and requires quite a bit of skill and setup. So you will be doing the job faster with this machine.

The machine is capable of making regular dovetail joints, half-blind dovetails, through dovetails with curved pins, non-continuous dovetails (stopping the dovetailing partway through), dovetail joints with fixed spacing, and continuous half-blind dovetails with fixed spacing.

The machine is set up to cut dovetails on a work piece as large as 16" x 59". With smaller stock, the machine is capable of cutting multiples in one pass. Adjustments are read on individual scales for quick, repeatable set-ups, according to Laguna.

Operation of the machine is simple. Stock is inserted down to a stop, pushed against a fence and then clamped pneumatically by one of the unit's four clamps. The mate is then inserted through the back of the machine and, as with the first piece, is pushed against the fence, and a second clamp locks it in position. The operator pushes the start button on the control panel, and the cutting is automatic. The minimum air pressure required is 71 psi.

The 56" x 36" dovetail machine has a tenon depth range from 25/64" to 1-3/16" and comes with a 1/2" high-speed steel bit. It will accommodate bits that provide for a tenon thickness range of 1/8" to 2-23/64" and a width of tenon range of 15/64" to 23/32". Other dovetail bits are available from Laguna, and changing bits on the machine is easy, says Helshoj.

"It is much like on a machine tool. The chuck is set up with a certain shank size, and then you just use an Allen wrench and change it half a turn, and you're in business."

The main control unit of the machine has buttons on top for emergency stop, start and stop of the cutterhead, start and stop of the movement of the cutterhead, and engaging the motion down through the dovetails. When the user is done with the dovetail, there's a button to push that will retract the cutterhead back to the original start position.

The three-phase machine runs on a 2-hp, 220-volt motor with a spindle speed of 21,500 rpm, but Laguna has a phase converter for shops that prefer to operate the unit using single-phase power.

The Laguna automatic double-dovetail industrial machine weighs 1,320 lbs. and is priced at $14,000.

Contact: Laguna Tools, 17101 Murphy Ave., Irvine, CA 92614. Tel: 800-234-1776. www.lagunatools.com