Dovetails

How to Cut Dovetails with a Keller Jig

There are numerous jigs for cutting dovetails with a router. My go-to is the Keller pro series model 1601. It’s simple to use, though unlike jigs that cut pins and tails in one fell swoop, it takes two operations (and two different cutters) — one for tails, another for pins. The resulting...

‘Houndstooth Dovetails’ – by Rob Cosman

I recently posted on our Instagram account and Twitter feed the opening image from Rob Cosman’s 2006 article “Houndstooth Dovetails,” and it proved remarkably popular – so I figured I might as well post the article. And while that “opener” certainly benefited from good lighting, and great camera and a skilled...

Dutch Tool Chest Dovetails

I’m pressing pause on my saw restoration for a bit because I realized that once it’s refurbished, I will have no place to put it. I have a few hand tools that I’ve accumulated over the years, but they’ve mostly been subjected to the lonely life of storage boxes…until now. I decided to...

Show Us Your Best Dovetail Tricks

The furniture record shows us that “perfect dovetails” is a modern mania. As the photos of antiques above prove, even some of the ugliest joints will stay together for a very long time indeed (perhaps with a nail or two for good measure). But James Krenov? He ruined us. Nowadays, we...

If You Haven’t Tried Full-blind Dovetails, It’s Time

  When beginning woodworkers rank the difficulty of the different dovetail joints, they usually think of the through-dovetail as the “bunny slope.” The half-blind dovetail is the “expert slope” – perhaps a blue or a black trail if you are a snow skier. So what’s the full-blind dovetail? Or the secret-mitered...

Read Your Own Blog, Dummy

The alway-eagle-eyed Jeff Burks pointed out that I had already found an earlier reference to using a bow saw to saw out dovetail waste to the one I posted this morning. Back in 2010, I mentioned that Charles Holtzapffel explains the technique in “Turning and Mechanical Manipulation…” (1856). Holtzapffel writes: The...

Sawing Out Dovetail Waste

When I teach dovetailing to a class, one of the common questions is why I saw out the majority of the waste between the tails and pins, instead of chopping with a chisel. The simple answer is: That’s how I learned to do it, I’m fast at it and coping saws...

Defective Dovetail Diagnosis

When I teach woodworking, most of my job is diagnosing defective dovetails. Tail walls that are not 90°. Floors of pin and tail boards that have lumps aplenty. My diagnosis tools are my sensitive fingers, a small square and my eyes. But in some situations, all of those tools fail. When...

Dovetails of 472 Flavors

If you think there are hard-and-fast rules about designing dovetails, don’t read any further. You’ll get an ulcer. North Carolina woodworker Mark Firley has collected a set of 472 photos of dovetails on antiques that he has collected in his travels all over the United States. Sift through this set, and...