Now anyone can do professional dovetails by hand

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Review by DKV posted 02-04-2014 05:47 AM 6207 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Now anyone can do professional dovetails by hand No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

My first attempt at using the Veritas guide. I could have filled in some of the chips with sawdust and glue but figured since I’m just practicing I’ll let it go. Here’s what I found/prefer. I like to use the guide to about 3/4 the cut, remove the guide and finish using the cut slot only. That way I can better see the line to stop at. Let the saw do the work and add no pressure. I only used sharp pencil marks, cut inside the line of the waste side and made sure the fit was tight. I pared accordingly.It took me awhile but these turned out better than previous free handing. I’ll get better and quicker each time. Bottom line, I like the guide and will use often.

Now my second attempt using the Veritas dovetail guide.

The second time I left the tails and pins a little proud and then planed them down using (of course) my Veritas bevel up smoothing plane. Also, I used my Veritas wheel marking gauge and Veritas dovetail saddle marker. I’m a Veritas kind of guy.

Anyway, I will also post my third and fourth attempts. Right now it’s looking like anyone can do professional dovetails with a little help from Veritas. I also suspect that over time I will automatically get the sawing down to natural ability and not have to use the guide. I can then use my Veritas dovetail saw. Only time will tell…

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 3425 days

14 comments so far

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3553 days

#1 posted 02-04-2014 12:39 PM

Make sure you’re wearing your Veritas T-shirt and are drinking from a Veritas coffee mug while using your Veritas DT guide and Veritas DT saw. I go a step further and wear my Veritas bikini briefs too.
J/K- Cool tool. If I ever get patient enough to cut dovetails, I’ll have to consider getting one of these.

View Woodtodust's profile


77 posts in 2758 days

#2 posted 02-04-2014 01:56 PM

They look good to me. I’ve never seen that guide before. I’ll have to look it up. I’m a verities guy, too. Great product and if you ever need customer service they are polite and prompt. Need to get a Veritas hat but I think I’ll pass on the bikini briefs. That would be ugly.

-- Bill...Richmond Hill, GA--"83% of all statistics are made up."

View brtech's profile


1068 posts in 3843 days

#3 posted 02-04-2014 03:12 PM

I have one, and while I’m not yet proficient with it, I like it a lot. One of the very cool things about this guide is that you mark the pins and tail boards at the same time by stacking them face to face and marking the edge points just where the pin board meets the tail board. The guide then lines up with these marks. It doesn’t require that you trace the edges of the pins or tails on the boards. It’s quite fast to change the guide from pins to tails, and because you can slide the thumbscrew anywhere on the support edge, it’s easy to get it to hold on the meat of the board even when cutting the end pins/tails.

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 4399 days

#4 posted 02-04-2014 04:24 PM

I went to the Lee Valley site to look at this. A video would be great but I could not find one.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 3425 days

#5 posted 02-04-2014 08:53 PM

Rocky, Youtube has a video of their right angle guide for finger joints. Same principle… I really like the dovetail guide. My third and fourth will be tomorrow. The more I use it the easier and quicker it becomes. Kind of pricey but if you like dovetails the way I do then it is an easy sell.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1419 posts in 2555 days

#6 posted 02-04-2014 09:15 PM

You’ve reversed the size of the pins and tails.
Your tails are not well supported or strong.

Your pins can be smaller and your tails should be larger.

-- Jeff NJ

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 3425 days

#7 posted 02-04-2014 09:43 PM

Woodchucker, thanks for the help.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View JayT's profile


6414 posts in 3132 days

#8 posted 02-04-2014 09:50 PM

Nice review DKV. I just got one of David Barron’s dovetail guides that works on the same principles and it has made a tremendous improvement in the quality of my joints.

RockyTop, with the similarities, you might watch David Barron’s video Hand Cut Dovetails Made Easy I’d think the same principles would apply for using the Veritas guide.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Kryptic's profile


294 posts in 2581 days

#9 posted 02-05-2014 12:22 AM

Nicely done.

and a good review too….. I’m awe struck at both.

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 4399 days

#10 posted 02-05-2014 01:30 AM

JayT. I watched the Barron video, thanks.

Even I might be able to handcut dovetails with this.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View waho6o9's profile


8955 posts in 3497 days

#11 posted 02-05-2014 02:38 AM

A video would be awesome for this great dovetail guide.

I opted for the dovetail saw for my guide and like the results.

Great review DKV, I like the contrast of lumber on your pics!

View DrDirt's profile


4615 posts in 4663 days

#12 posted 02-05-2014 05:04 PM

The saw David Barron uses is great – the Gyochucho 372

There are tons of Japanese saws – and they are all just a little different. The 372 really cuts well.

David does a comparison test of the saws – including using his guide for all of them.

The saw is cheaper at Hida Tool – 58 dollars, than on Davids site+uk shipping – -David sells for 49 Pounds – which is 79 dollars.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View a1Jim's profile


118145 posts in 4498 days

#13 posted 02-05-2014 11:14 PM

Looks like a useful guide,I’m guessing your using the whole guide to make your dovetails ? Usually you just slide the guide over to have an angle on each side to the size of the dovetails you want,other than being very large dovetails it looks like a good first and second attempt. Thanks for the review


View Kryptic's profile


294 posts in 2581 days

#14 posted 02-07-2014 02:03 AM


Freddy Flinstonish.

Barny Rubble

we all start somewhere ?

when cut steel strikes wood, it doesnt always go right, be it right handed or left handed pull stroke, or left and right push stroke, the said saw is owners hand, and the gift to cut and hold, takes time to master, the excuse is never in the tool, be it push or pull. Its like being a right handed golpher and left handed hockey player, its what works for you. Like telling some one what way to turn when they are driving the car ?

peculiar joinery at best, is a very big addiction enjoyed by billions

clearly, you have made progress and earned the ranks of kinder reviews


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