Dovetail paring jig

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Project by Jim Rowe posted 05-15-2012 02:51 PM 3817 views 11 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A couple of weeks ago I posted a project showing my version of a Mini Moxxon vise for making dovetails on boxes and also for holding small workpieces for planing.

As a continuation of this theme I thought that I would add this dovetail paring jig that goes with the Moxxon. There have been many of these jigs in the past, so mine isn’t anything revolutionary apart from the addition of an UHMW strip to the clamping bar to give a smooth ride for the chisel and also to help with the site location of the cutting line. I also included a piece from a self healing cutting mat to make life a little easier on the chisel edges.

The piece of wood to be pared for the tails is clamped under the cross bar in the usual way – Small pic 2.

My workspace is quite restricted so I was able to “nest” the paring jig with the I-beam feature of the Moxxon – small pic 3.

Both pieces then fit snuggly inside an open ended box for storage when not in use.

I made all of these pieces from scraps of MDF and plywood that were hanging around with nothing to do.

I hope this is of interest.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113013 posts in 2366 days

#1 posted 05-15-2012 03:03 PM

Unique tool ,good job.

-- Custom furniture

View RogerBean's profile


1325 posts in 1742 days

#2 posted 05-15-2012 05:38 PM

Nicely done.

I’ve learned, the hard way, that the use of jigs and fixtures for precise work are essential. I still usually think I can get by without one, but alas, truth comes home.

I first came across the truth when a fine finish carpenter finished my house. He used a lot of fixtures, for hinges, cabinet alignment, etc. This was reinforced with my visits to Andrew Crawford in Shropshire. I now “think” fixtures for any difficult and precise process. My work is better for it.

Thanks for the post.


-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 995 days

#3 posted 05-15-2012 06:09 PM

I really like your idea here! Perfect for working on dovetails. I love hand cut dovetails myself so I feel where you are going. I will have to set something up like this.

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View ruddy's profile


411 posts in 1728 days

#4 posted 05-15-2012 09:43 PM

Jim…that is very clever. I also like making hand cut dovetails and that is a very smart jig.
Thanks for posting

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View Martyroc's profile


2708 posts in 1094 days

#5 posted 05-16-2012 02:57 AM

Great jig.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

625 posts in 1101 days

#6 posted 05-16-2012 08:40 AM

Thanks for all of your comments. This jig and others are a boon for accuracy and repeatability. All I need to do now is work on the hand and eye co-ordination stuff!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View bluekingfisher's profile


1130 posts in 1768 days

#7 posted 05-16-2012 09:36 AM

Great jig and I like the storage, keeping it all safe and together

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View pitbull's profile


28 posts in 2730 days

#8 posted 05-17-2012 03:04 PM

Super looking jig Jim, I also love the idea of keeping all of
them together in the box. I’m adding this to my favourites
for definately.

View canoe911's profile


54 posts in 1006 days

#9 posted 05-20-2012 10:11 AM

nice tool

View StumpyNubs's profile


6321 posts in 1589 days

#10 posted 05-28-2012 12:43 PM

You should enter this into our jig contest! Email photos along with your LJ name to You might win!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

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