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I'm writing a patent application and my device incorporates a similar design as what I've seen used on Dovetale plates. However, instead of a preset hole for positioning a bolt to mount to, a grooved slot is machined into the part so the bolt can be positioned at any point along the slide.

Is there a canonical technical name for this?

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    $\begingroup$ Is 'slotted hole' the term you're looking for? $\endgroup$ – Chris Mueller Jan 15 '16 at 13:49
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Simply describe its function. For example "plate A is fixed to plate B with a bolted connection....prior to tightening the fastener (x), a slotted hole (xx) in plate A allows for relative adjustment of the plates fig X. Your artwork will compliment your descriptions.

That's a rough draft, but just describe it's function.

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Generically it would just be called a 'slot' or formally a 'slotted hole.' Your specific example shows a bigger slot going part of the depth and a smaller slot machine all the way though. This would specifically be called a 'counterbore slot' and is a fairly common detail which allows a slotted hole that can be used with a socket head screw with a flush head-side surface. It's called a counterbore slot because a counterbored hole is a hole with a recess that allows the head of a screw (other than a flat head screw for which the term is a countersink) to sit flush or recessed inside the parent metal.

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A 'slot' is probably the most concise way to describe this type of hole.

To describe it precisely you could say 'a slot with ends radius R and distance x between centres'.

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In my design community, we call that a spotfaced slot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotface

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  • $\begingroup$ I think that would be applicable if the rest of the part is not machined (eg. cast or profile cut) but not if the part is fully machined. $\endgroup$ – Ethan48 Jan 16 '16 at 6:20

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