Half blind dovetails in half the time!

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Blog entry by Manitario posted 05-20-2017 04:09 AM 2165 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There’s been a number of projects recently that I’ve used hand cut half blind dovetails. It’s hard to beat the strength and stability of a dovetail joint but I don’t like the look of the through dovetails, or the uniform sizing and spacing of router jig cut dovetails. That said, I find it really tedious to cut half blind dovetails in casework. Looking for an easier way, I found a Fine Woodworking article called “Half blind dovetails in half the time!” which showed a simple jig for cutting the waste between the pins. I was skeptical whether this would actually save me much time; usually by the time I set up a jig etc. it is almost the same time to just cut by hand. So, I decided to time it….here’s the vid with the results:

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

3 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1805 days

#1 posted 05-20-2017 11:35 AM

Great video, but I’m afraid I’ll have to stick with the hand tool method. I didn’t see you use a saw … I assume you used a saw for the side walls, right. So … how did you spend the 21 saved minutes?

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 4040 days

#2 posted 05-20-2017 02:57 PM

I didn’t include the sawing of the side walls b/c it was a common step to both the hand cut and the router cut. The good news is that I saved 21 minutes…the bad news is that I spent more than 21 minutes making the video.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4322 days

#3 posted 08-03-2017 03:30 PM

Late to this, toiling away at refinishing some cheap used chairs. They are destined for a rental, rented by an agency, that takes care of my handicapped stepdaughter. I am also just finishing a pine dining room table destined for the same place. It is built from off the shelf lumber and pre-turned legs from HD. My shop has less than half of your shop floor space. That table has been in the way for a month now. It will go out the door this weekend.

Thanks for the video. Gadzooks, either way, too much hand work for my tired old wrists. I have not done dovetails yet, partly for that reason. If I ever do, it will be with a router jig.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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