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 In Techniques

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Hand-cut appearance with half the fuss.

If you’ve labored over hand-cut through dovetails, you’ll be amazed how much faster they can be cut on the bandsaw. You get all the benefits, including strong joints, classic appearance, the ability to use boards of any thickness and the freedom to size and space the pins and tails however you want.

1. Outfit your bandsaw with a 1/8-in. blade with 14 teeth per inch (tpi). Bandsawn dovetails require making sharp turns in confined spaces. You’ll also have to replace your saw’s metal or ceramic guide blocks with Cool Blocks. Cool Blocks support the thin blade without damaging its teeth.

The only limiting factor is the your bandsaw’s throat capacity. My saw allows making joints up to 14-in. wide. That’s wide enough for any drawer, but not for a blanket chest.

2. An angled sled allows cutting the pins without tilting the bandsaw’s table. Sleds with different angles cut pins that slope differently. In this story, I’ll use the 10-degree sled.


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