How to Make Dovetail Joints

How to Make Dovetail Joints

Step1: The first step is to mark a line at the end of the first piece of timber that is as wide as the thickness of your second piece of timber. Make sure to mark this line around all faces and sides of the timber.

making a dovetail joint picture 1

Step2: The next step is marking out the dovetails now there are a few ways of doing this but the easiest and most accurate would be to use a dovetail gauge.

Other methods use calculations and a sliding bevel to create the dovetails which allow you to create more or less of them but also requires greater accuracy or the joint will not work so a dovetail gauge will probably be more suitable.

making a dovetail joint picture 2                                                 making a dovetail joint picture 3

Step3: You must now run across each line with a marking knife to make the cut straight and neat.

Only cut the timber which is being removed or you will see deep scratches on the pins that are not being removed. To help you remember which to mark you can put an X on the pins which are going to be removed.

Step4: Now you must cut your dovetails and there are a few tools that can be used to do this but the two best are a band saw or dovetail saw. When using a band saw make sure to follow the lines and not cut too deep but remember this method requires much more skill and precision.

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