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I have a shop made version. The one thing to keep in your mind is that if you use a saw with any set to the teeth, they will chew up the sides of the block. At least, that is what I have found. I use a flush cut Japanese saw with mine.
 

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You can order it directly from his site. I have one on the way. I looked at the veritas one, but liked his better. I'll know in about a week. I'll post a review.
 

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I looked at the Veritas, as well. Didn't like the clamp (thought it was unnecessary after watching the Barron video) so ordered one from David Barron-great product and service. My review is here

I think you'll be happy with the jig, whichever you choose to get.
 

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I have the David Barron, ordered it directly from him as noted above, and I really like it. I chose it over the Veritas because I didn't want to fiddle with the clamp, and from my experience, the clamp isn't necessary.
 

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The David Barron one is great, works a treat but you do have to make sure your stock is properly square before starting or else when it comes time to cut the pins the angle won t be the same.

- AESamuel
I don't think that's unique to the block, if your stock isn't square, you're going to run into issues. Maybe not assembling the first joint, but by the time you start to put everything together, things probably won't turn out square and/or flat. I think you've pointed out a great tip that applies well to all types of joinery.
 

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I made my own because I didn't wan't to pay the $50.
By the time I ordered some magnets and some UHMW material I probably spent $25 plus a day of my time.
It works fine, but if I had it to do over would have just ordered the nice machined aluminum one from David.
 

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Don't start using any of that kind of stuff.

They are crutches and will keep you from developing the skills we all want as craftsman.

The only one I would even consider is the 45 but I would have to have a real good reason like 50 mitered dovetails or something.

......my 2 cts….
 

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There are multiple hand skills it takes to cut dovetails: good marking skills, straight accurate dovetail saw cut, coping saw for waste, precision chisel use. All the guide does is get the saw cut line straight and predictable. I don't consider that a crutch.
 

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Don t start using any of that kind of stuff.

They are crutches and will keep you from developing the skills we all want as craftsman.

- Robert Engel
I agree with Charles. I don't own a guide block and spent a lot of time getting my dovetails better (and they're far from what others here can do). I still wouldn't consider it a crutch, and more than a miter box is a crutch. Does a miter box mean the user is any less of a craftsman, or that he can't make a straight, repeatable cut to a line? Probably not. It probably just means that he's taking advantage of a tool that's designed to make the process quicker/easier/consistent.

Your statement makes two assumptions :
1.) That every person's definition of, or ultimate goal as, a craftsman is identical to yours.
2.) That people who use those guide blocks do not have the ability to produce quality dovetails without them.
 

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+2 to Charles and Ed.

The magnetic guide is a jig, no more or less than a miter box, shooting board, honing guide, etc.-the list is endless. Every woodworker I know uses jigs of some kind (heck, a hand plane is really just a jig to hold a chisel), so why is this one a "crutch" and others' use are accepted and even lauded? If you say to not use "any of that kind of stuff", what have you built using just a knife and a chisel? Because every other cutting tool is a jig of some kind.

I use this jig because it helps to quickly create quality, repeatable work. If I cut dovetails every day for years, maybe it wouldn't be needed, but since I don't get that kind of shop time, I'll use the tools available and recommend the good ones to others.
 

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The David Barron one is great, works a treat but you do have to make sure your stock is properly square before starting or else when it comes time to cut the pins the angle won t be the same.

- AESamuel

I don t think that s unique to the block, if your stock isn t square, you re going to run into issues. Maybe not assembling the first joint, but by the time you start to put everything together, things probably won t turn out square and/or flat. I think you ve pointed out a great tip that applies well to all types of joinery.

- BinghamtonEd
Yes of course! I just meant on an individual dovetail. Square stock is important no matter what you're doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys. I think you have all convinced me to order a Barron guide. As to the comment by Robert, if I had nothing but time on my hands I would probably cut all my joints by hand but I don't. This is a jig that hopefully will help me speed up the process. I get a little tired of you purists snubbing the rest of us. If you chose to do everything the hard way, be my guest but keep your comments about the rest of us to yourself.
 

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You can order it directly from his site. I have one on the way. I looked at the veritas one, but liked his better. I ll know in about a week. I ll post a review.

- bonesbr549
WOW got my order today and ordered on the 14th. Great well made solid product. I'll be using it this week-end.
 

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Does a miter box mean the user is any less of a craftsman, or that he can t make a straight, repeatable cut to a line? Probably not. It probably just means that he s taking advantage of a tool that s designed to make the process quicker/easier/consistent.
Apples and oranges. Dovetails don't need to be a precise angle.
When I say "crutch" I'm saying you won't develop the eye and muscle memory to be able to cut a perpendicular or square line freehand. Not to mention the satisfaction of knowing you have the craftsmanship ability to do it.

If someone wants to use these like training wheels, no problems.

Your statement makes two assumptions :
1.) That every person s definition of, or ultimate goal as, a craftsman is identical to yours.
2.) That people who use those guide blocks do not have the ability to produce quality dovetails without them.
Sorry if I have offended, see my answer above.
IMO if you never take the training wheels off a bike, you'll never learn how to ride.

You won't see any ww'ing masters using guide blocks to saw dovetails, OK?

Let me pose this question:

One make hand cut dovetails, another uses a jig and power tools.
Who is the craftsman and who is the wood machinist?
 

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I use this jig because it helps to quickly create quality, repeatable work. If I cut dovetails every day for years, maybe it wouldn t be needed, but since I don t get that kind of shop time, I ll use the tools available and recommend the good ones to others.

- JayT
Dovetails do not need to be that accurate, they just need to mate together with no gaps.

Watch people like Frank Klausz and others they will tell you the angle is not important.

You don't need to cut dovetails every day to get good, but if you take some time to simply practice your hand saw skills it will come easy. Like I already said, just learning to cut a perpendicular or square line you're already 3/4 they way there.

Put the block away the next time and just try it!
 

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I use this jig because it helps to quickly create quality, repeatable work. If I cut dovetails every day for years, maybe it wouldn t be needed, but since I don t get that kind of shop time, I ll use the tools available and recommend the good ones to others.

- JayT
Sawguides are not jigs. Jigs are designed to hold work for repeatable procedures.
I use 90 degree blocks quite often to pare a mortise not because I don't possess the skill, but because the grain catches the edge and interferes because its a cross grain cut.

Comparing dovetails to a miter box is wrong because dt's do not to be perfectly repeatable, just fit with no gaps.
The layout is where you're repeatability comes in.

I maintain all saw guides do is keep you from learning to cut to a line, which is a most basic ww'ing skill.

Watch people like Frank Klausz and others they will tell you the angle is not important. What is important are straight, square or perpendicular lines and excellent chiselling skills.

Guys, I'm just saying is don't sell yourself short.
Take some time to simply your hand saw skills it will come easy. You do it between projects when you have 5 or 10 minutes to tinker before supper.

Like I already said, just learning to cut a perpendicular or square line you re already 3/4 they way there.

Put the block and develop your skills!

- Robert Engel
[/QUOTE]
 
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