While Popular Woodworking may be known by many readers for its tremendous expertise in hand-tool craftsmanship, it should not be forgotten that we have some serious power-tool experts on staff, and always have. That was the inspiration for creating the latest edition in our free woodworking downloads series. Have you downloaded the free PDF on using a router dovetail jig to go beyond joinery basics and into sliding dovetails? If not, do so now – and then check out these additional ideas and resources I’ve pulled together for your experimentation in router techniques.
1. Lately I’ve been using a router for straightening and squaring edges of all lengths. This is by necessity, because I’m working in an apartment without a table saw, and have not yet invested in high-quality hand planes or a large workbench. But it has reminded me that the router is quite a versatile tool, and it’s very efficient for this particular task. Glen Huey wrote a detailed blog entry called “Dirt-Simple Router Jigs” that covers straight cuts and the jigs he keeps handy for that work. Give the router a try, and then see if you still go to your table saw every time you want to trim an edge.
2. Within the same article, Glen discusses using the square platform jig for dados. This section will help you if you’re starting to create housed dovetails with your router. The housed dovetail socket is a natural extension of Glen’s dado technique.
3. The only hang-up you may discover in this work is the way sliding dovetails have a tendency to bind when you are working in widths of several inches or more. Matthew Teague created a nice video slideshow that details his technique for tapering a sliding dovetail. He uses a shim to create an equivalent taper in both halves of the joint, all with the router.
If you have found your way onto the “Woodworking Daily” blog list, it may have been via our free woodworking downloads page, of which the router jig PDF is the latest edition. If you don’t yet have the complete set of free PDF’s, be sure to visit the page and download a few more.
Also, please forward these links to your friends who may be interested in woodworking so they can get started efficiently and without breaking the bank!