Pics of my hand-cut dovetails.

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Blog entry by itsme_timd posted 12-13-2007 09:56 PM 2482 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

WARNING! The following pictures may be considered offensive by some, viewer discretion is advised…

Here they are, by request, some pics of my first stab (as well as hack, saw, chop and sand) and hand-cutting dovetails.

For the record, I did not use any special effects in the photography. What you see is the actual result of me trying to hand cut dovetails with a coping saw, hobby knife, Dremel and dull chisel.

The picture quality is poor, that was intentional, the last thing I needed was a high res reminder of this. Just kidding – my camera was at the office so I had to use my phone.

I’ve asked for a proper saw for Christmas, I want it now but my wife told me to quit buying stuff so she’d have something to get me for Christmas!

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

16 comments so far

View Karson's profile


34985 posts in 3437 days

#1 posted 12-13-2007 10:03 PM

Terrible job, thanks for posting. You need all the tools you can get.

Just kidding. great trying. I’ve never tried it so I guess I’ll need to do that.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3073 days

#2 posted 12-13-2007 10:25 PM

You might have saved these with a sharp chisel. The wood fibers just crushed instead of being cut. Other than that, the tails look fine.
You’re right about the photography though…it took a lot less effort to make those tails than it did to record it with that ugly picture. LOL.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 2891 days

#3 posted 12-13-2007 10:38 PM

Braver than I. I wouldn’t have the guts to post some of my mistakes :)

-- Still learning everything

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 2911 days

#4 posted 12-13-2007 10:41 PM

They look like dovetails. That’s the key.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 3129 days

#5 posted 12-13-2007 10:43 PM

Perhaps a couple of wet stones should be on your list. A bit heavy but they’ll fit in your stocking perfectly (well, that’s if you’ve been a good boy this year ;-) and they’ll make using your chisel a lot more fun. Other than that, I agree with Tom that they look great.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View itsme_timd's profile


688 posts in 2867 days

#6 posted 12-13-2007 10:59 PM

I think I could use some better chisels and definitely sharper ones!

Rikkor – you are right, they do look like dovetails, I made that comment to myself! I guess that’s a start!

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3197 days

#7 posted 12-13-2007 10:59 PM

look like dovetails to me!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View robert hart's profile

robert hart

2 posts in 2863 days

#8 posted 12-13-2007 11:03 PM

Good, you will get it, keep dooing it. Save your first attempt for reference. Just think of the people who have never tried!

-- Robert Hart, Kansas City

View Buckskin's profile


486 posts in 3024 days

#9 posted 12-13-2007 11:40 PM

I have not tried hand cutting a dove tail since I was a kid. I need to pick up the practice again. I tried some finger joints on my table saw with out a dado blade and failed miserably.

Practice, Practice, Practice and when you think you have it… Practice, Practice, Practice!

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

350 posts in 2924 days

#10 posted 12-14-2007 03:00 AM


Here you can find the 23$ saw I use (used in my video as well):,42884

It is my best and cheapest (1/4 of the price of the Pax saw) dovetail saw. Also, as Tom mentioned you have to sharpen those chisels better.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4440 posts in 2999 days

#11 posted 12-14-2007 05:43 AM

Sharpen the chisel and learn to saw straight

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2534 posts in 2994 days

#12 posted 12-14-2007 05:53 AM

Nice try..but it looks like when you cut those you had that foam finger over your head like the dog in your avatar! I shouldn’t talk I have never tried to do it…Amusing post though…we all have to have a sense of humor about ourselves….


View Harold's profile


310 posts in 2884 days

#13 posted 12-14-2007 06:20 AM

Great! Now a sharp chisel is a must, but you will get there. so what are you going to make with these? Oh and be sure to tell your wife how we all envy you, for being married to such a warm and understanding woman.

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View tooldork's profile


4 posts in 2853 days

#14 posted 12-14-2007 06:32 PM

I recently gave a go at hand cutting dovetails and my results were quite similiar…..Can’t post pictures cuz I’ve already recycled as kindling.

View SteveV's profile


78 posts in 3135 days

#15 posted 12-14-2007 08:51 PM

My problem is cutting down straight lines. Even with a good saw, this takes practice!

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