Video: How To Hand Cut Precision Dovetails: The Pins

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Blog entry by Keith Cruickshank posted 10-14-2008 01:38 PM 3751 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Many of you probably cut dovetails with power tools & jigs —and so do I. But for some projects, I really prefer cutting them by hand and I never tire of learning how to do it better. That’s what took me on one of my recent video “treks” (journeys), where I filmed the segment I’ve posted here — this time to the shop of master cabinetmaker Craig Vandall Stevens.

In this two-part series, Craig (who studied under James Krenov) uses only a saw, chisel, and several shop made marking devices & guides to cut the most precise joints imaginable. That was impressive enough, but what really made it fun for me, was Craig’s fantastic ability to teach and make the skill accessible. (9.5 Minute Video – Part 1 of 2)

Direct Link to Part One: How to Hand Cut Precision Dovetails: The Pins (Part 1 of 2)

Watch Part Two: How To Hand Cut Precision Dovetails: The Tails (Part 2 of 2):

Other Videos In This Series:

Cut Better Dovetails Using A Chopping Block Guide

Accurately Make Rip Cuts Using a Handsaw

-- Keith Cruickshank, - on-demand woodworking videos

4 comments so far

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111 posts in 3772 days

#1 posted 10-14-2008 05:52 PM

Very interesting.

-- It’s not so much what we know that causes the trouble, it’s what we know that’s not so.

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3392 posts in 4136 days

#2 posted 10-15-2008 04:47 AM

Keith – thanks for the videos. Very informative. I’m looking forward to having some time to watch more off of your site.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4062 days

#3 posted 10-15-2008 12:21 PM

Keith, thanks for the video. It was both informative and well produced. I appreciate the time and effort you put into them. I have struggled with hand cut dovetails for some time now but these videos did provide me with some useful ideas that should improve my technique.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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Keith Cruickshank

41 posts in 3884 days

#4 posted 10-15-2008 09:23 PM

I’m glad you are enjoying. Handwork really appeals to me. I like the idea of getting close to the wood and cutting dovetails by hand does that. If I’ve got tons of drawers to make, I’ll go with a jib, but the hand work, that’s what really gets me going. And learning new things appeals to me too. It was fantastic to visit Craig and film him and I’m glad I get to share the experience with you all.

-- Keith Cruickshank, - on-demand woodworking videos

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