Dovetail Jig

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Project by SawdustTX posted 289 days ago 3355 views 37 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


112002 posts in 2183 days

#1 posted 289 days ago

What a fantastic Idea great jig.

-- Custom furniture

View DKV's profile


3059 posts in 1110 days

#2 posted 289 days ago

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

-- 2014 will be a different least for me it will.

View SawdustTX's profile


175 posts in 929 days

#3 posted 289 days ago

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

View KnotCurser's profile


1802 posts in 1674 days

#4 posted 289 days ago

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 560 days

#5 posted 289 days ago

Nice, I like the vintage pic!

View BTimmons's profile


2079 posts in 1091 days

#6 posted 289 days ago

Pretty clever design.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - -

View SawdustTX's profile


175 posts in 929 days

#7 posted 289 days ago

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

View stefang's profile


12611 posts in 1940 days

#8 posted 289 days ago

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

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


4387 posts in 898 days

#9 posted 289 days ago

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


230 posts in 1193 days

#10 posted 289 days ago

Nice. I like jigs such as this one.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View Woodwrecker's profile


3567 posts in 2181 days

#11 posted 289 days ago

That is a really cool idea !

-- Having fun...Eric

View OldBoatMan's profile


15 posts in 1036 days

#12 posted 289 days ago

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

View Oldtool's profile


1751 posts in 796 days

#13 posted 289 days ago

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


55 posts in 477 days

#14 posted 289 days ago

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

-- Mcgyver

View hoss12992's profile


2476 posts in 498 days

#15 posted 288 days ago

Wow, this is really cool. Thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

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