Tools For Better Dovetails

Even cabinetmaker I know strives to devise techniques and tricks to make cutting dovetails easier and more accurate. I'm no exception. To help me perfect my dovetailing skills. I've made or modified a few hand tools, including sheet metal templates, a spear-point chisel, a triangular cross-section chisel, and a "no-set' hacksaw with a custom-made handle.

Templates for Tails

To make dovetails on designs I produce frequently, or on pieces with multiple components, such as a chest of drawers. I use sheet metal templates to lay out the tails. (See bottom photo.) These take little time to cut out with a knife and small snips, and once done, thev reduce lav-out errors. Also, thev're mm '4

inexpensive. I make mine from aluminum Hashing, which is sold in rolls.

Making a template is simple. I just lay out the tails in pencil (I use a 15° angle on my tails), then scribe the tails and the baseline with a sharp knife. You can use tin snips to cut the shoulders down to the baseline, then just Ilex the waste piece back and forth until it snaps off.

A "No Set" Saw

I find the best wax to cut accurate

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