handcutting dovetails

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Forum topic by pyromedic602 posted 04-05-2008 04:45 AM 1093 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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164 posts in 3718 days

04-05-2008 04:45 AM

Hello all. I need some help/advice on the best (maybe easiest) way to lay out dovetails and technigue to cut using hand tools. Have always used a router and jig. but wanted to try something new on an upcomming project. thank for any help and advice.

-- Pyromedic602, free wood is always good wood

5 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3791 days

#1 posted 04-05-2008 05:02 AM

Alin Dobra posted a pretty good video on this subject:

And Woodshopfreak posted another one as well:

There are others too. Just search on handcutting dovetails. The most important thing is to practice, practice, practice.

Good luck.

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

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3753 days

#2 posted 04-05-2008 05:18 AM

Scott’s right on. Alin’s tutorial is very good. But once you know what to do, just experiment. Pins first, tails first, etc.

-- Eric at

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 3858 days

#3 posted 04-07-2008 04:49 AM

I would beg to differ with Eric a little. Once you know what to do and you experiment a little, look back at the videos or read more stuff on the web. There are a lot of little things that you need to perfect to cut good dovetails. One thing to keep in mind is that dovetails are about achieving perfection with hand tools alone. This will take a lot of practice but, the good news, you will become a better woodworker.

Thanks Scott and Eric for pointing out my video.

Happy dovetailing,

-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3865 days

#4 posted 04-07-2008 03:01 PM

Pyro – check out the Finewoodworking site for some good videos and articles as well. They have a 14 day free trial and it may be worth your time. I’ve been struggling with dovetails myself and I’ve been cruising their site and have found some great tips that are helping me along.

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

View pyromedic602's profile


164 posts in 3718 days

#5 posted 04-08-2008 04:50 AM

Thanks for the advice everyone. Have checked out the videos and learned alot. will check out the other resources soon.

-- Pyromedic602, free wood is always good wood

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