Part of wanting to work with hand tools is learning to cut dovetails. Sure, there are other joint techniques that are strong once glued, but the hand cut dovetail is both a classic tradition and a mechanically strong, beautiful joint that doesn’t rely on glue.
I had started practicing with marking and cutting freehand but was frustrated with the lack of accuracy—mainly due to my poor sawing technique. I finally broke down and bought a magnetic saw guide from David Barron.
I need to make a adjunct to my plane till to house the #45 and #78, so wanted to make what is basically an open dovetailed box. Cut up some 1×10 pine and then marked and started cutting with the guide. The tail boards were stacked and cut together to save a bit of time.
Cut and chopped all the tails and got a couple of the pins done before calling it a night. A few hand tools got used
I have to say, however, that the guide makes a huge difference in accuracy. Here is one of the joints right off the saw, the only paring was to clean up the depth.
The guide has a very short learning curve and impressive results. I’ve used it with both a dozuki pull saw and the re-handled gent’s saw seen here and it works great either way. I think I actually prefer the western style saw. The key is having a saw with minimal set so that the plate rides on the slick tape over the magnet, but doesn’t rub on the aluminum body.
Sometimes you just have to ask for assistance, even if you are going galoot.
-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835