The history of dovetail joints can be tracked back to ancient egyptian era. I have long wanted to make dovetail jig right from the first time I saw it demonstrated in the USA. Carpenters combine multiple pieces of board together by using this technique. Many woodworkers think that, dovetail jigs are only for crafty workmen. Carpenters combine multiple pieces of board together by using this technique. Mark 1 ½” (38mm) from each end on the Face Mark face, square one of these lines all the way around, square the other across the Face Edge edge only. You may need to practice multiple times. The scrap pieces should have the same thickness and width as your drawer boards have. Go over the lines across the grain with a knife. Pins are cut and joined at the end of one board. In a thorough dovetail, joints are visible both outwardly and internally. The drawer front should be tight against the stop. People mostly use it as a joining technique. Select a router bit of ½ and 14°. This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. If the fitting of the joint is loose, increase the depth of the cut. Here you go; Set up the dovetail jig in the correct way. Mike from Staffordshire. Mark each piece indicating front, back, top and bottom. A 1:7 is all I have used throughout my work and I have never had an issue. Suppose, there are 4 boards. Write the number ‘2’ in the other corner of second board and follow the procedure for third and fourth board respectively. Now, secure it with clamp lock. Be sure not to go past your depth line, insert the saw into the step down and alongside the knifewall to help guide your saw. Create a step down using a chisel on the waste side of the line (see picture for detail), then use a dovetail saw to cut across the grain. We do acknowledge that, you need to be skillful to operate dovetail jigs. I will make a jig before doing the course. Many thanks Paul for showing step by step plans. Once you have made one, test it out by using our free, Square one of your marks all the way round, Square the other mark across the Face Edge, Mark the angle using the sliding bevel, flip the wood over to the opposite face and mark out the angle on this side, Square across the edge joining up the markings using a square, Run the router plane down the sides of your dovetail template, Run the router plane on the end grain of your dovetail template, The sharp edge of the router blade makes a definitive mark, Set the gauge to 1/4" and mark the cheek cut lines, Go over your gauge lines with a pencil to make them more visible, Create a step down on the waste side of the line, Place your hand on the bench for stability. How to do Woodworking Without a Workbench, Get Started in Woodworking for under £100 ($121), Sharpening Your Hand Tools: A Beginners Guide, Piece of wood- 1 ¼” (32mm) wide, ⅞” (22mm) thick, 4” (102mm) long (any straight grained, knot free, durable hardwood will work best). Flip the sliding bevel over and mark this out on the opposite face too. The board should be at the center of the template. In the end, fourth board’s furthest corner will be marked as number ‘4’ and it will join with the first board’s other corner, which will be marked as number ‘2’. Quick question. Or is it that I will just need this one until I get more advanced. 4. Use the holes to firmly attach the machine to a stable base or work table. Thus, the joining gets completed. The end part should be at 90° angle with the front of the jig. Carpenters use dovetail in making jwellery boxes, drawers, file cabinets etc. Generally today we compromise and use the 1:7 for everything as we generally use kiln dried woods. If needed, use a support piece to stop any fibres breaking off. In the same spirit of overthinking, this page describes using a card scraper on the cheek face, other descriptions of yours describe using a chisel. Use the vise for safety. Once you have cut the waste off, hold your wood in the vice horizontally. Does this gap allow opportunity for error in marking? There should not be any loose part. So, there won’t be any confusion or error during the process. Join up these lines by squaring across the other side. The last thing you want is to damage your dovetail jig during routing process. Dovetail Jigs also may vary based on the material used, connection system or adjustments. It is very popular among carpenters. The following blog and videos show the process in full: The following exercise shows you how to use it: When you see that the joints fit perfectly, your work is almost done. But, it is not the sole domain of experienced crafty carpenters. Paul, would you comment on the last step of breaking the edges of the template with a file: Doesn’t this introduce a gap between the edge of the template and the workpiece? Mark out the cheek cut lines on the edge of your dovetail template using one of the two methods below: Set up your router plane blade to a depth of about ¼” (5mm), this enables you to use the sole up against your stock and the corner of the blade acts like a marking gauge. In half blind dovetail, only the outside joints are invisible. Make sure the pins and tails in your jig are of the same amount. It does not need any mechanical fastener. The tails may look like the tails of fowl. Now check if the cut of the joint is accurate or not. 5. Concurrently Tighten up the clamp lock. The joints are very firm and well known for tensile strength. If it does not fit, you should seek help from the bushing guide or from experts. Thus, by following these steps, you can cut a half blind dovetail joint. The joints are very firm and well known for tensile strength. Set up the half inch dovetail template and tightly fit it in by adjusting the nuts. Follow the user manual for minor adjustments. Paul Sellers & Company Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales with the company number 10347569. The boards need to be square and flat. As always, many more thanks than I can say. The pins fill in the gaps of tails and locks in. Carpenters use dovetail in making jwellery boxes, drawers, file cabinets etc. You can use chisel to join the wood pieces together. You will need a free membership to view this). Yes i think it is marketing these days, but in times past the variance between a 1:6 and a 1:8 was necessary because wood was air dried and inconsistent in levels of moisture content. 2. A dovetail joint is  is basically a joinery method. Details of the cookies we use and what you can do to switch them off are are in our Privacy Policy. 1. Turn your wood long ways and cut along the grain using a tenon saw, cut on the waste side of your knifewall. The following blog and videos show the process in full: Making the Paul Sellers dovetail template. The bushing usually fits most of the router. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This guide will show you how to make the handy, reusable template which will help in dovetail layout to save time and ensure accuracy. Set the router plane blade to ¼” (5mm) Run the router plane down the sides of your dovetail template. If you don’t have a router plane you can use a gauge. Use the knife to run along each of the cut edges to sever the internal corner fibres, 8. Set the depth of cut. Run the router plane on the end grain of your dovetail template. Use a file to remove the harsh edges which also helps strengthen the corners. 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To read more on this we recommend the following from Paul’s blog: Why I posted on Making the Paul Sellers’ Dovetail Template, Making the Paul Sellers Dovetail Template. Go over the router line with a knife, this makes the lines even more definitive. I plan on making this soon to do the dovetail course. Use a chisel to pare cut and tidy up the shoulders, be sure not to pare cut too much as you don’t want to change the angle. Join the second board through this corner. The sharp edge of the router blade makes a definitive mark. With proper guideline, anybody can easily use the dovetail jigs. Tails are joined with another board. Use the router to mark out the cheek cut lines, you don’t need to mark this out in pencil first as they will all be the same depth. Luckily, there is also a credible video on YouTube by WOOD magazine’s courtesy. So, there will be same gap on each side. In modern days, dovetail jigs are used to make dovetail joints. Use a card scraper to remove any undulations in the sawn surfaces. Note: For safety, Paul suggests anchoring your wood in the vise when using the router plane. Using the router in this way creates a cutting edge, deeper than the gauge would. Nevertheless, the tenchniques that are used to make dovetail joints are almost the same. How do I make a dovetail template? It should be 9/16 Remember, the depth is from the router base. 6. Follow the user manual. Make sure that the left side drawer is facing the front template inside out. But, the joints are visible from the side. People mostly use it as a joining technique. Not really, if you don’t do it it’s going to break anyway. When you have cut about half way, flip the wood around and cut in from the other corner. Paul says: It should stay below the top side of the clamp. Paul says: Many thanks again. 7. Reason I ask is it looks like it would make sense to make the 2 or 3 at the same time while everything is out. I find I have more control with the scraper and it does even out any surface texture. Use the sliding bevel on a scrap of wood to get the dovetail angle, which is a ratio of 1:7 (to see how to do this, visit the 'find the angles' step in our dovetail course, click here. There are holes in the front and back side of the jig. In this way, multiple boards are interlocked with the help of edge tool. If you want to remove the router, turn the switch off first. 9. I have seen for sale various ratios, 1:6, 1:7, 1:8 some say one is for hardwood one for softwood etc.