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Now, rather than run the stock cross-slide and its single tool, I'd decided I'd make an all-new, extra-long slide
so that I would be able to use multiple mounted tools, known as "gang tooling". For this, I picked up a big block
of Dura-Bar cast iron from McMaster-Carr, about 4-1/2" x 1-1/4" x about 12" long.
That I squared up in the mill, as all edges were simply bandsaw cut. I took a little extra
care to make sure all the faces were pretty darn close to perfectly square to each other.
I then carefully faced one... er, face...
And started milling the dovetail by first removing the bulk of the metal with an indexible endmill.
Milled to depth, and given a rough width, ready to mill the 60-degree dovetail.
Thankfully the dovetail was indeed 60 degrees (some machines use 55 degrees) so an inexpensive
indexible cutter was able to hog out the grooves quite easily.
Thankfully, in this case, precision wasn't a terribly huge issue, since we'll be adding an adjustable gib anyway.
I simply snuck up on the dimension 'til the saddle slid into place, and then milled an additional 0.130".
I was not overly concerned with keeping the dovetail precisely centered, as there was no need.
And there it is. A nice large slide with almost three times the contact area to the dovetail as the
original cross slide, and plenty of meat for either T-slots, or, more likely, drilled and tapped holes.
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Information contained in
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