Hand Cutting Dovetails

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Blog entry by teenagewoodworker posted 03-25-2008 11:11 PM 2295 reads 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey everyone, This podcast is on hand cutting dovetails. I’ve had a few problems with some things in my printer table so it will take longer than i expected to get the third episode out. I figured i would add this one so i am not podcast less for another week or two. I think that everyone will like it. I had originally planned on having this and other videos on the same podcast for like a library of different joints but those are not filmed yet. So i hope that you like it and i hope that this helps people who are apprehensive to get into dovetails take that first leap into this great form of joinery!

Just a little heads up. to mark part i use an utility knife but a marking gauge is recommended. i just don’t have one, and this is all stuff that i have seen done by other people. if any one has a safety hazard or better way of doing things please leave it below and when/if i get a website i am going to like start the series from scratch with a camcorder and a microphone so i can get better images and make the videos better. so i hope that you enjoy!

Well i hope that everyone enjoyed this episode. remember to read through the comments to see any saftey concerns that people have just like as i said this is just what i have seen people so and there probably are better/ safer ways to do some of it. I am hoping to have the last printer table episode finished within the next week and a half. So thank you for watching, i hope that you enjoyed it, and i hope to see you again next week!

20 comments so far

View pat's profile


123 posts in 3683 days

#1 posted 03-25-2008 11:31 PM

DENNY…...........................................................................................your awesome

-- check out my amazing woodburning , Pat

View Justin's profile


36 posts in 3724 days

#2 posted 03-25-2008 11:38 PM

Good Job Dennis, In time you will have it down pat and be doing it with your eyes closed. I would have to say there is only a select few teenagers your age out there even trying to cut them. Your still to young to understand this (heck I am) but time is definitely on your side as a woodworker.


View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4128 days

#3 posted 03-25-2008 11:42 PM

you made it look pretty easy – except for the chiseling part.. I’d be counting my fingers before and after :)

Another great job. Thanks

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View FritzM's profile


106 posts in 3780 days

#4 posted 03-26-2008 12:28 AM

Helped me quite a bit! I’ve certainly got handcutdovetailphobia and your demonstration might just have pushed me over the tipping point. Thanks!

-- Fritz Oakland, Ca (dedicated to my other hobby)

View grovemadman's profile


556 posts in 3739 days

#5 posted 03-26-2008 01:22 AM

Excellent Dennis, keep up the good work Lad and you may find yourself some partime work at a cab shop or as an apprentice for some guy who can teach you a lot of new tricks and stuff… And maybe make a few bucks at it!

-- --Chuck

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3789 days

#6 posted 03-26-2008 04:24 AM


This is a very informative post. It certainly helped me to move further down the road of hand cutting dovetails. But please be careful with the chisels. Those things are sharp (as I guess you found out). Clamping the drawer parts to be pared onto a scrap board and using gravity to help with the paring works better (and saves fingers as well).

thanks for the post.

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

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3863 days

#7 posted 03-26-2008 04:40 AM

I was honored to have a preview of this episode. I was very impressed and learned a trick or two that I’m going to try.

Thanks Dennis – you’re doing great.

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

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3842 days

#8 posted 03-26-2008 12:52 PM

Can’t see it here from work, I’ll check it out tonight.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4128 days

#9 posted 03-26-2008 12:59 PM

grovemadman – that sounds like a great summer job! Show a local cabinet maker the videos to show the skill and interest and I bet (s)he’d be thrilled to have TTWW as an apprentice for the summer!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View TheCaver's profile


288 posts in 3807 days

#10 posted 03-27-2008 02:06 AM

Bro, thanks for taking the time to post these, but you really have to reconsider your safety aspects. I cringed throughout this entire video. Hope thats not too ‘reprimandy’, but I have seen too many accidents from such situations and would hate to see it happen to you…..



-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3736 days

#11 posted 03-27-2008 02:17 AM

in response to the carver. thanks for the concern. i figured out after filming that you should pare down witht the board lying flat, but the camera angle makes it look like my hands are closer and some other things but a lot of it is just the angle. thanks again for the concern.

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4162 days

#12 posted 03-27-2008 04:47 AM

That was a great video. I’ve tried and made an awful dovetail or two, but you’ve given me hope. Thanks. I’m going to get back at it and master it. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Mike Shea's profile

Mike Shea

152 posts in 3961 days

#13 posted 03-28-2008 02:17 AM

loved the video man. its great to see that you have such an interest in woodworking. i did notice something. as you were cutting and pairing at the pin board your hand was holding on to the workpiece verry close to the blade and chisel. just as i was thinking that you cut the video and it went to you marking out your tail board. i looked and i noticed you had a bandaid on you finger. was that from the chisel? lol. i cant tell you how many damn times that has happend to me. i have a tendency to hold on to my workpiece as well when im cutting. especially since my workbench is so light it rocks back and forth. i know that they teach you to hold your oposite hand behind your back but that never worked for me niether. haha. anyways do you like mark aka the wood whisperer. when i first started woodworking just a short time ago i did all of my learning from podcasts just like yours. it great to know that you are helping someone else learn on thiere journey in woodworking. keep it up.

-- i can do all things through christ who strengthens me

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3736 days

#14 posted 03-28-2008 03:57 AM

no it wasn’t from the chisel. i had a wood chip in the tail board so i went out to do some yard work while the glue was drying and i got it out there. i have done things like that with chisels before though. another thing with i think i mentioned above was the camera angle makes my hand look closer though but like you the workmate is light so you kind of need to hold it. thanks for the interest.

View Mike Shea's profile

Mike Shea

152 posts in 3961 days

#15 posted 03-31-2008 12:37 AM

well it was a great video and i hope to see more in the near future. keep at it

-- i can do all things through christ who strengthens me

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