Dovetail Joints

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Forum topic by Woodshopfreak posted 02-27-2008 02:59 AM 1316 views 2 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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389 posts in 4008 days

02-27-2008 02:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question joining

If anyone could help me with makeing Dovetail joints with some very basic hand tools that woudl be great. Thank you.

-- Tyler, Illinois

8 replies so far

View lew's profile


12552 posts in 4021 days

#1 posted 02-27-2008 03:16 AM

Tyler, Here are 3 web sites that I found helpful:
Also, many of the woodworking magazines have articles from time to time. Try the websites for, and others have archives you can search for information. The best way to learn is to read and practice the author’s descriptions. Woodworkers often have differnet ways to accomplish the same results. As you try different techniques, find one you like and the practice it some more!
Hope this helps a little.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4154 days

#2 posted 02-27-2008 03:47 AM


some months back I posted a blog entry that contains a 37 minute video on how to cut dovetails by hand:

You might want to take a look.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 4049 days

#3 posted 02-27-2008 04:04 AM

Hi Tyler, I’d also recommend Alin’s videos. They’re very thorough and will give you a good idea of how to proceed. And if you post pictures and comments of your attempts, you will probably get good feedback from the community.

-- Eric at

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4343 days

#4 posted 02-27-2008 04:31 AM

I concur. Alin’s video set me on my way to hand-cut dovetails.

-- BLOG -

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4034 days

#5 posted 02-27-2008 04:35 AM

you can use a router to remove most of the material for the pins and then clean them up with a chisel. then just cut the tails with a hand saw and remove it with a chisel. it takes some time to learn though. i will probably have something on dovetails in one of my upcoming podcasts.

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4380 days

#6 posted 02-27-2008 04:47 AM

I have several of Rob Cosman's DVDs and really enjoy them. They are full of good information. Rob is also going to release a Shop Manual that you can take to the shop with you. If you do a little research, you quickly find that there are many techniques to cutting dovetails. You may need to try a couple, to find the one that works for you. Experiment and have fun with it. It will be frustrating at first, but hang in there. Cutting dovetails is a skill anyone can learn, but it does take a lot of practice.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4140 days

#7 posted 02-27-2008 01:57 PM

I would enthusiastically second watching Alin’s video. He really does an excellent job.

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4154 days

#8 posted 02-29-2008 05:40 AM


I would agree with you but I think using a coping saw is much faster and easier to control. A router without a guide on the edge and not going through the marking lines takes acrobatic abilities, not to mention that it is noisy and makes a lot of dust. If you opt for a router with a guide you might as well go with a dovetailing jig. Coping saws (Lowes and HD sell them for less than 10$) are very aggressive and relatively easy to use. The only problem is the rough cut but you are cleaning up with a chisel anyway.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

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