Power-tool Joinery: Half-Blind Dovetails by Jig

Not everyone’s ready to tackle hand-cut dovetails. Here’s how to get the most from your router and jig.
By Bill Hylton
Pages: 92-94

From the  February 2006 issue #153
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Dovetails are prime joints. Long history, great appearance and cachet. Used in boxes, drawers and carcases. But for many woodworkers, cutting dovetails the traditional way – with saw and chisels – is an insurmountable challenge.

If you aren’t ready to tackle hand-cut dovetails, there are plenty of router accessories on the market to help. There are so many in fact, and they have so many variations in setup and operation, that I’m going to narrow my focus to the most common: the half-blind dovetail jig.

The typical half-blind dovetail jig consists of a metal base with two clamping bars to hold the workpieces. A comb-like template rests on the top to guide the router in cutting both pieces at once. The appropriate bit and bushing are packaged with the jig. Usually you use a 1/2″, 14° dovetail bit and a 7/16″ guide bushing to make the cuts.

From the  February 2006 issue #153
Buy this issue now