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 In Tricks of the Trade

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My task: 28 kitchen drawers of different sizes, all with hand-cut dovetails. The thought of laying these out was overwhelming, so I designed a jig to simplify the process. To make the jig, carefully lay out and cut a piece of 1/4” hardboard as if it were the pin board for the tallest drawer. Glue and nail the hardboard to a 3/4” plywood backer. Fasten a stop on each side.

Place an actual pin board into the jig with the outside face against the backer board and one side against either stop. Clamp the whole thing into a vise and use a chisel to mark the end grain, defining the pins. Scribe a depth line, and use a square to mark saw lines and cut the dovetails as usual. Since my drawer heights and my dovetail spacing were in 1/2” increments, the jig worked for all the drawers. —Bob Edenhofer

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