Using Dovetail Template

A standard through dovetail is considered to be attractive, and the decorative qualities of the joint can be exploited still further by varying the size and spacing of the tails and pins. The example shown here has fine triangular pins and a central half-depth dovetail that interrupts the regular rhythm of the joint.

Machine Cut Dovetails

1 Scribing the shoulder line

Begin by marking out the tails, lightly scribing the shoulder line on all sides of the workpiece. Similarly mark the shoulder line for the half-depth dovetail.

1 Scribing the shoulder line

Begin by marking out the tails, lightly scribing the shoulder line on all sides of the workpiece. Similarly mark the shoulder line for the half-depth dovetail.

Shoulder Joint LinesDovetail Template

2 Marking the sloping sides

Use a dovetail template to draw the sloping sides of the tails. Group the tails closely together, with no more than the thickness of a saw cut between them.

2 Marking the sloping sides

Use a dovetail template to draw the sloping sides of the tails. Group the tails closely together, with no more than the thickness of a saw cut between them.

3 Squaring across the end grain

Using a try square, draw the tips of the tails on the end of the workpiece, then, with a dovetail saw and coping saw, remove the waste between them as described for a standard through dovetail joint. Trim the shoulder lines square with a narrow bevel-edge chisel.

Shoulder With Bevel

4 Scribing the pin shoulder line

Mark the shoulder line on all four sides of the pin member, then reset the gauge to score the length of the half-depth pins on the end grain. Rub chalk on the end of the workpiece.

4 Scribing the pin shoulder line

Mark the shoulder line on all four sides of the pin member, then reset the gauge to score the length of the half-depth pins on the end grain. Rub chalk on the end of the workpiece.

Standard Dovetail JointHorribly Sliced Hand Machine

Cut out the waste from between the pins, using a dovetail saw and coping saw, then pare down to the shoulder line with a chisel. To trim the half-depth pins to size, first make a cut across the grain close to the shoulder line, using a chisel and mallet.

Scribed Joint

7 Paring away the waste

Cutting towards the shoulder, pare the pins down to the line scribed on the end grain. Finally, cut across the grain once more to trim accurately to the shoulder line.

5 Marking the pins

With the tail member held down on the end of the pin member, score the shape of the pins in the chalk by drawing the tip of a dovetail saw between each pair of tails. Square the marks down to the shoulder line on both sides, and then hatch the waste, using a pencil.

Cut out the waste from between the pins, using a dovetail saw and coping saw, then pare down to the shoulder line with a chisel. To trim the half-depth pins to size, first make a cut across the grain close to the shoulder line, using a chisel and mallet.

7 Paring away the waste

Cutting towards the shoulder, pare the pins down to the line scribed on the end grain. Finally, cut across the grain once more to trim accurately to the shoulder line.

Hand Cut Dovetail JigDovetail Jig Kit Dwg File

ROUTING DECORATIVE DOVETAILS

Using a dovetail jig with adjustable fingers, it is possible to cut decorative joints with a power router You need two different dovetail cutters and a straight cutter, all with suitable guide bushes.

Cut Dovetail Half Lap Joint

ROUTING DECORATIVE DOVETAILS

Using a dovetail jig with adjustable fingers, it is possible to cut decorative joints with a power router You need two different dovetail cutters and a straight cutter, all with suitable guide bushes.

2 Making the pins

Since some of the pins are narrower than others, you must experiment with fore-and-aft adjustment of the finger assembly until you achieve the appropriate settings for cutting each size of pin. Make a careful note of these settings for reference. Cut all the sockets with the straight cutter, then adjust the finger assembly backwards so that you can shave the narrow pins down to size.

3 Shortening the pins

Turn the pin member to face inwards and rotate the finger assembly. Fit the jig's crossbar attachment to the fingers and adjust the assembly backwards, so that you can feed the router along the bar to shorten the narrow pins.

1 Making the tails

Set up the jig and adjust the fingers (see pages 84-5). Make trial cuts to ascertain the exact finger settings required for each dovetail cutter. Clamp the work in the jig, machine the larger pin sockets, then swap cutters and machine the smaller ones.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

Have you ever wanted to begin woodworking at home? Woodworking can be a fun, yet dangerous experience if not performed properly. In The Art of Woodworking Beginners Guide, we will show you how to choose everything from saws to hand tools and how to use them properly to avoid ending up in the ER.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment