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I have had some trouble determining the best way to measure a dovetail slot and it's mating component. The parts have some difficulty mating occasionally, and our QC department is having trouble getting accurate measurements of the angles using a CMM and other basic measuring devices. I was thinking we might be able to make a go/no-go gauges, but I'm not convinced this is the best route. And ideas would be helpful. Thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ are you looking for the angles or for the distances in the corners? couldnt you use angle gauges (cut a part of if need be)? $\endgroup$
    – mart
    Apr 19 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ Better quality CMM? $\endgroup$ Apr 20 at 12:33
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You could take an over or between pins measurements if it's the male or female part. Take 2 measurements using 2 different diameter pair of pins. Assuming the edges are fairly straight you should be able to deduce the dovetail angle.

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I assume measuring the depth of the dovetail is not an issue.

The classic manual technique is what jko describes, using two pairs of gage pins (or just one pair if the angle is known to be good a-priori). When doing this, you should also account for any difference in depth on the two sides, by the way.

If the CMM machine has some kind of spherical probe you might be able to use that in an equivalent way to get angles and widths.

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