If you'd like to see how to cut through-dovetails with a router or a table saw, check out those links below. The second reason has to do with the amount of work you have to go through to clean up the finished joint. If you are cutting half-blind dovetails, especially with the clamp-on jig we featured in the January 2018 issue of Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal, you must do things slightly differently. Although a dovetail is commonly considered a very strong joint, it is only strong in one direction. They must then be cut, filed or planed down flush. This will give you the offset needed to make it a half-blind dovetail. Once you've collected the tools to do the job, it's time to start laying out the cuts. If all of this is too much, the real point of Step 2 is to make sure the ends of all boards are square with the edges. . As a general rule I use a minimum 1:4 ratio for the relationship between the pins (1) and tails (4). Then move across the end of the workpiece, striking similar lines on the right side of each of the pairs of full-pin marks. In the case of through dovetails, it's generally accepted that it doesn't make much difference which is cut first. And mitered dovetails won't be covered at all because they have extremely limited application (and they're really kind of a waste of time). Use a knife or very sharp pencil to mark the thickness of the pins board on all four faces of the tails board. A through dovetail joint consists of two halves: the pins and the tails. Since this is all handwork, the size of the pins and tails will undoubtedly vary from board to board. Just be sure your pencil is nice and sharp, so your lines are accurate. (This method is discussed more in the section on cutting the tails.). Next, flip the gauge and work your way back in the other direction, drawing lines from the left side of each pin, angling to the left. Please support those who support us by visiting their websites and having a quick look around-, Blue Collar Woodworking, Stumpy Nubs, Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal and Mustache Mike are all trademarks of, Midwestern Trading Company, Michigan, USA - Copyright 2011-2018 MWTco, January issue of Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal, any of the easy to make jigs on our website, that's what the jig I like to use requires, separate video about cutting half-blind dovetails.

First, draw a line exactly 90° to a good clean edge. The pins are on the legs to keep them from splaying out, which wrorks out nicely because the tails must be on the top to support the wreight. After planing the sides a little bit, the plane gets down to the end grain on the pins, making it nice and smooth. The general rule is that a 1:5 angle is used on soft woods, and a 1:7 or 1:8 is used on hardwoods. How the base lines are marked is important for two reasons. The tails (the board on the left in the photo) look like a dove's tail (hence the name of the joint). However, the final length of each board depends in part on step three (which deals with marking the base line, or shoulders of the joint).

Without getting bogged down in too much detail, you have three choices. But this time I am putting one tail in the center, which I indicate with a pair of marks, about 1/8" apart on each side of where I want that center tail. Log dovetail diagram profile back Log dovetail diagram profile complete Enter inches as decimal or inch and fraction separated by spaces.

1 simply w rite in large letters "IN"' and "OUT' near the end of each board where the dovetail is to be cut. You may notice that I didn't divide the joint evenly. Now the question arises: Which board gets the pins, and which board gets the tails? the first three steps) have nothing to do with pins, tails, or angles. . CUT TO LENGTH. The ends of your pins will sit inside that rabbet, keeping everything aligned and preventing movement as you trace them. You can find more information about all these jigs in the back-issue archives, or at the links in the notes at the bottom of this page. Also, make sure the thickness (particularly at the ends of the boards) is equal from one edge to the other. There are three basic variations on the dovetail joint: through dovetail, half-blind, and mitered (or full-blind). These three full pins and two half pins are plenty for most workpieces. These are your half pins- We're going to ignore them for the moment and work on dividing the larger space in the middle. Stand your pins on the end with the face marked with a P facing you. Yes, I know the full pins are narrower than the half-pins on the corners. The direction of strength is toward the pins. strength of the joint may not be the primary consideration.

The worst part about laying out a dovetail is getting a clear picture in your mind of what these two halves look like and how they fit together. We'll try that with a half-blind joint layout shortly. The name "half-pin" refers to half the shape, not necessarily half the size. I think it's much less awkward to position and hold the boards if the pins are cut first and used to mark the lines for the tails. The tails, in this case must be wide enough to support the weight (downward pressure) on the face of the board, and positioned so they take the brunt of the weight. The difference has something to do with the strength of the wood. Make sure you mark them accurately; the success of your joint depends upon it!

If needed, use a support piece to stop any fibres breaking off. But if your workpieces are really wide, like over 10-inches, you may want to divide them even further by splitting each of those four sections into eight, and so on. In this case a knife, or even a chisel would be a better tool. Once it's glued up it's nearly impossible to get apart in any direction.).

Second, whichever half is marked first (the pins in my case) is used to mark the lines for the second cuts (the tails). (The edges can be smoothed on a jointer or with a hand plane, but I usually wait until after the dovetails are cut for the final smoothing.). However, I mark and cut the pins first for three reasons. Lay the log on a side and mark a line down the center using a chalkline. Half blind dovetails (which are used mainly in drawer construction) will be covered in the next issue. Just to keep you on your toes, when viewed from the ends of the boards the pins look like tails, and the tails look like pins.

One way to lay out the cuts for a dovetail is to use a ruler to divide the board for the pins into equal spaces. But I would like to make a few-more general comments concerning layout. The boards are true, the ends are cut off square. blocklayer.com Directory ? Inch or Metric. But for now, let's assume the boards are cut to length for a box. You should mark out all the details of the size and placement — and feel comfortable with them — before taking saw in hand. It's a matter of individual preference, but I prefer the pins to be quite narrow-compared to the tails. Next, both faces of the boards should be planed or sanded to remove any defects (such as 'ripples' left by a surface planer), or to remove any 'cup' or twist in the boards. It's easy to get your pencil between them to trace their shapes onto the tails board than it is to do it the other way around. Dovetails are normally used to join four boards at right angles to form a box. . Here you can see why I like to cut the pins first. Along this line mark a point 5" (or 8", or whatever you want) from the edge. Then swap the boards, this time marking the thickness of the tails board on the front and back face of the pins board. At this point I'm supposed to launch into a discussion about pins and tails, and angles, and such. Most of the time you'll be cutting dovetails on several boards to form a box or drawer. All four corners are joined with through dovetails. 2. If this joint were on a drawer, for example, the pins would be cut on the drawer front where the mechanical strength of the joint holds the drawer together as it's pulled open.

Then the pins and the spaces between the pins (which will be the tails) are laid out at equal widths. What's the first step in laying out a dovetail? Finally, draw an “X” or scribble out the waste areas between each pin so you don't cut in the wrong place. You can read and subscribe for free at stumpynubs.com. A 1:5 angle translates to 78V^°, while a 1:8 angle is about 83°. Today I'll show you a fast and easy way to lay out both traditional through-dovetails, and half-blind dovetails for drawers. Visit one of our sponsor's websites today! All of this can be done by eye.

The narrower center tail adds visual interest and lends to the hand cut look of the joint. Some of the expensive jigs on the market allow you more freedom, but with careful layout and a cheap, homemade jig, you can make a machined joint look like it was cut by hand, with very little skill or practice. I'm going to show you how to do a pins-first layout for through-dovetails, and then a tails-first layout for half-blind dovetails. When viewed from the face sides of the boards, the pins of the dovetail (the board on the right in the photo) look just like the rectangular pins of a box joint. First, I think the pins are easier to cut and I like to get started with the easy part. Believe me, it happens!

Which do you cut first, the pins or the tails? Now place marks about 1/8" from each of the three new dividing lines. 3. mark the shoulders. (Here I mean the mechanical or interlocking strength of the joint.

Let's say, for example, that you're going to build a drawer. example, if the narrow est part of the pins (the outside face) is V«" wide, then the tails should be at least 1" wide. To set the sliding bevel at the proper angle, I use a small piece of plywood. Today we'll address a skill you'll need, no matter which of the jigs you use.


But really, it's a matter of taste. Be sure to check out the latest issue of Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal, it's always filled with great tips, tricks and tutorials designed to make you a better woodworker.