Dovetail marking jig

  • Advertise with us
Project by russv posted 10-20-2009 01:42 AM 5168 views 8 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to try my hand at handcut dovetails. This marking jig has a 1:7 ration. I made it out of 1/4” hardboard that is smooth on both sids. I cut 2 pieces into 2.5” squares. I then cut my angles on one piece and cut a dadao in the other. Then I glued together making sure they were at 90 degrees. If you look at the youtube of Rob Cosman’s version ($24.95 on his web sight) you can see how to use it. Laying out for the cuts is sooooo easy with this jig.

-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

6 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4912 days

#1 posted 10-20-2009 01:43 AM

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4810 days

#2 posted 10-20-2009 02:15 AM

I have a similar hand made jig for marking dovetails… made by LJ Ed… He made up a bunch for our hand cut dovetail workshop in 6, 7, 8 ratios. You’re right, they make quick accurate work of it.

Nice work on yours… good job… simple yet very useful.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View James's profile


3 posts in 4414 days

#3 posted 12-24-2009 06:33 AM

Ok guys. What does the 6,7,8 ratios mean ?

View russv's profile


262 posts in 4504 days

#4 posted 12-26-2009 10:34 PM

that is the angle of the dovetail. 1:6 ratio means over 1” and up 6 ” to determine your angle. to calculate an angle, from the corner of the board measure up 6”, and make a mark on the edge. from the same corner, measure over 1” and make another mark. draw a line between these two marks and you have an angle. most dovetails use a angle based on a 6,7, or 8 to 1 ratio. softwoods should be a 1:6 and hard woods can be 1:8 ratio.


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

View James's profile


3 posts in 4414 days

#5 posted 01-11-2010 06:03 AM

Ok. Thanks. Now I know.

View skone's profile


147 posts in 4141 days

#6 posted 10-02-2010 03:56 AM

the explanation for calculating the ratios is much appreciated. thank you! i’m just starting on my hand cut dovetail journey and am about to make a couple jigs.

-- "Take extra care not to lose what you feel" (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood)

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics