Dovetail paring jig

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Project by Jim Rowe posted 803 days ago 3395 views 10 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


112000 posts in 2178 days

#1 posted 803 days ago

Unique tool ,good job.

-- Custom furniture

View RogerBean's profile


1092 posts in 1554 days

#2 posted 803 days ago

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

1074 posts in 807 days

#3 posted 803 days ago

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


392 posts in 1540 days

#4 posted 803 days ago

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 907 days

#5 posted 803 days ago

Great jig.

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

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

540 posts in 913 days

#6 posted 802 days ago

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


992 posts in 1580 days

#7 posted 802 days ago

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 2542 days

#8 posted 801 days ago

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 818 days

#9 posted 798 days ago

nice tool

View StumpyNubs's profile


6116 posts in 1401 days

#10 posted 790 days ago

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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