Wood slot widths

Question for all the pro’s, when you are designing pieces that join together through a slot (2 pieces slid together, if that’s the right term?) how wide do you typically make the channel?

I made my first major project (a snake) as I figured it’d be easy to draw out with many similar pieces but when going to join things together they are very loose and will require glue. Was hoping that since the distance between the 2 sides was equal on all pieces they would be snug but definitely not the case.

Should the width between 1 & 2 (attached image) always be at least = > width of the material (or z axis, not necessarily width)? Or is there a general rule to follow so things fit snugly? I’d rather sand things down slightly to make a tight glue free fit as opposed to needing to glue the hell out of something.

Hope that question makes sense and thank you kindly for your guidance!

Have you tried the app in Easel to do the slot?

If you send me the file I’ll return it in a second as you want the slots is my specialty?

It may not be the width of the slot that is your problem. are you cutting inside, on, or outside the line?

You may simply need to account for the width (thickness) of the bit you are using to compensate for the cut.

On the line I believe for those, I didn’t think about compensating for the bit as well.

Since I tried to nest as many things as possible into one sheet I try to avoid the outside option unless it’s just making a border.

If I’m using 0.25" material and an 1/8th straight cut bit, would I need to add the full 1/8th to each side or just total (1/16th on each)? Also didn’t know Easel had an option to do that.

Yeah with this hobby you’ll quickly learn that cutting corners is always going to bite you in the bottom. :sunglasses:

You need to cut outside the line. Also, measure your stock. Just because the store lists it as 1/8" doesn’t mean it is exactly that. Furthermore, it will probably not be 100% consistent in thickness over the whole sheet size. I’d make my slits about a tenth of a millimeter smaller than the measured stock thickness and see where that gets you.

You also need to take into account the actual bit diameter and spindle runout. Cut a straight slot into the wood of choice and measure the slot width with calipers. Use that measurement as the diameter of your bit.