Reply To: Purpose of pencil line when cutting dovetails

Colin Scowen

The pencil line is a guide to help when laying out the tails, and when cutting the tails. The mating part thickness is then knifed in, and the knife line is put only on the waste areas / inside of the joint where it won’t be seen. Some woodworkers will knife all the way around both pieces, which some say helps to indicate that the joint was cut by hand, but which can also take a bit more cleaning up than a pencil line would

Colin, Czech Rep.