Dovetail Jig

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Project by SawdustTX posted 10-16-2013 06:08 PM 4766 views 38 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a really basic dovetail jig I came up with to build a bunch of drawers for a dresser project. At the time I couldn’t afford a proper dovetail jig, and this did just fine. 20 years later, and I’m finally trolling the lists for a used Leigh D4Pro to replace this jig!

  • The jig only accommodates one size dovetail and one set spacing.
  • The grooved base rides along the router table fence (in my case the router is hung in my table saw extension).
  • The carrier rides in the grooves in the base and carries the drawer side workpiece for the cuts.
  • To cut tails (picture 2) I clamp the workpiece on the carrier vertically, and make a pass over the dovetail bit with the carrier in each groove. I used a piece of 1/8” masonite backer behind the workpiece to prevent tear out.
  • To cut the pins (picture 3), I just hold the workpiece against the end of the carrier, and make a pass over the dovetail bit with the carrier in each groove. Picture 3.

18 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115172 posts in 2997 days

#1 posted 10-16-2013 06:13 PM

What a fantastic Idea great jig.

-- Custom furniture

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 1924 days

#2 posted 10-16-2013 06:35 PM

It would be cool to see a video of you using it.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View SawdustTX's profile


239 posts in 1744 days

#3 posted 10-16-2013 06:53 PM

@dkv, I don’t have video, but did add a picture of it in use.

View KnotCurser's profile


1995 posts in 2488 days

#4 posted 10-16-2013 06:57 PM

Very ingenious – I haven’t seen any others that use this setup.

While it IS only for a certain size, it would be spot-on accurate!

Thanks for sharing this.


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View ElliottH's profile


51 posts in 1375 days

#5 posted 10-16-2013 07:01 PM

Nice, I like the vintage pic!

View BTimmons's profile


2298 posts in 1905 days

#6 posted 10-16-2013 07:07 PM

Pretty clever design.

-- Brian Timmons -

View SawdustTX's profile


239 posts in 1744 days

#7 posted 10-16-2013 07:35 PM

@ElliottH, yea, how about that Izod shirt! I was a lot skinnier back then….

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2754 days

#8 posted 10-16-2013 08:35 PM

Simple is always good. A nice idea for indexing the cuts.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 1712 days

#9 posted 10-16-2013 08:48 PM

Very clever—necessity (or need or just plan desire) is the Mother of invention proved again!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View SteveGaskins's profile


621 posts in 2007 days

#10 posted 10-16-2013 11:09 PM

Nice. I like jigs such as this one.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View Woodwrecker's profile


3910 posts in 2996 days

#11 posted 10-16-2013 11:42 PM

That is a really cool idea !

-- Eric, central Florida

View OldBoatMan's profile


23 posts in 1851 days

#12 posted 10-17-2013 12:09 AM

A simple and elegant tool. Congratulations on a masterful design.

View Oldtool's profile


2362 posts in 1611 days

#13 posted 10-17-2013 01:12 AM

Real nice jig, great idea.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View mcgyver's profile


56 posts in 1291 days

#14 posted 10-17-2013 03:18 AM

i like the jig havent graduated to dovetails yet but whant to try them now.

-- Mcgyver

View hoss12992's profile


3810 posts in 1313 days

#15 posted 10-17-2013 05:35 AM

Wow, this is really cool. Thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

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