My very first dovetail - EVER

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Forum topic by jtm posted 05-30-2014 01:56 AM 1089 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jtm's profile


223 posts in 1474 days

05-30-2014 01:56 AM

So I watched a few videos on hand-cut dovetails and decided to give it a go for the heck of it.

Now before you laugh, please keep in mind that this is my very first dovetail – ever. That includes router jigs as well. Think of it more as a proof of concept.

I know it’s terrible, but I made it with two scraps of pine, an old coping saw with a lot of blade deflection, and two Harbor Freight butter knives (chisels). I also did it in less than a couple of minutes.

Once I get myself a pull-saw and some sharp chisels, I’ll be off to the races.

7 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3550 days

#1 posted 05-30-2014 02:01 AM

It would be kind of spooky if you banged out perfect dovetails on your very first go…these look like great dovetails, I think you are off to a great start! Welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View TiggerWood's profile


271 posts in 1444 days

#2 posted 05-30-2014 02:18 AM

My first one took three hours and didn’t look half as good as yours.

View bbrown's profile


199 posts in 3390 days

#3 posted 05-30-2014 01:21 PM

I’m definitely not laughing!

These are better than many of mine, and I’ve done thousands of dovetails.

Great job,


-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


14857 posts in 2456 days

#4 posted 05-30-2014 01:28 PM

Congrats, well done! And now the fun really begins!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4805 posts in 3798 days

#5 posted 05-30-2014 01:49 PM

“Butter knives”? Bwahahaha!
Sure looks better than my first ones.


View BinghamtonEd's profile


2286 posts in 2207 days

#6 posted 05-30-2014 01:51 PM

Those look way better than my first try, nice work! I have the Veritas dovetail saw and really like it, however when I started, I used the Harbor Freight small pull saw for about 6 months (the one with the short blade and wooden handle) and it worked well for me, as long as you let the saw do the work and don’t force it (in which case the blade deflected all over the place).

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View helluvawreck's profile


29174 posts in 2704 days

#7 posted 05-30-2014 03:21 PM

Well done and keep up the good work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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