1. Lovely demonstration, really enjoyed how effortless Paul made this seem. thank you.

    My take away from the video is that the width of the tails and pins can be achieved straight off the saw. The importance of knowing if you cut on the line or just inside the line is key to this and depends upon whether it is a pin or tail.

    However, I am still not quite sure which; could this be captured in a later video with a close up to show how close to the line to be, or maybe even added to the drawing as an illustration or photo?

    This would really help with nailing dovetails off the saw.

    Many thanks again


    1. Hi Andy,

      Paul says:
      Actually, we don’t nail the dovetails, we rely on the intrinsic strength of a mechanical joint.. 🙂

      Great to mention that, actually I micro adjust this distance between the actual line and the saw kerf depending on the wood I use. Some woods absorb pressure whereas others just don’t. Knowing which one takes experience because this varies within the species.

      Kind Regards,

  2. @foz68 when you cut the tails first, it really doesn’t matter whether you followed the tail layout lines as long as the cuts are square to the face. You will layout the pins based on those, so the tail layout is really just a guide so the tails end up as even as possible.

    The pins, though, you need to follow the lines precisely. Remember that the pencil traces the tail on the outside. You must leave the whole pencil line when sawing. And make sure to trace with a sharp pencil. Pine compresses a bunch so you can even leave a bit extra.

  3. I didn’t quite understood why Paul marks the dovetails with the pencil instead of directly with the knife. He mentions that’s because there’s more compression with pine than most of the hard woods. Can someone elaborate more on this, please?


    1. Hi Antonio,

      Paul says:
      The knife in almost all cases tends to make the dovetail just too tight and therefore even if it is the exact size the dovetail often will not go together.

      Kind Regards,

  4. A knife line will be exactly the side of the dovetail whereas a pencil line has a little thickness about it (very small because your pencil is sharp 🙂 that small amount of line thickness will give a tight fit because of the compression in pine. Marking with a knife may leave the joint feeling loose. My thoughts on it anyway.

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