1. Now if Paul has similar tip/trick for perfect pins, then I would be set. The jig is a great for even tails and makes cutting all the tails for a carcass surprisingly fast. Even with making the time required to make the jig, the simplicity in cutting the actual joints more than makes up for any extra time.

  2. Thank you! Finally, someone agrees with me that the cutting/marking gauge leaves an ugly line. I have never figured how that line was acceptable in fine woodworking. The only thing good I suppose it says to others woodworkers it was hand cut. The average joe public has no idea and just sees an ugly line and wonders why such a fine piece has a nasty scratch across the board.

  3. Thanks for another great video Paul! I noticed in this one, you sometimes use just a pencil mark and other times you use the knife-wall technique. For example, when laying out for the template piece, you used the knife-wall on the sacrificial piece but just pencil marks on the end grain of the template. How do you decide between the two methods?

    1. Hello Paul,
      Usually, we use a knife mark for across the grain, for either sawing to or cutting to with a chisel. We usually use a pencil when marking with the grain, although this depends on the wood. So, when marking around the pins onto end grain of a more dense wood, like sapele, we would tend to use a knife, particularly as pencil doesn’t show up. There are also exceptions when it makes more sense to use a marking, mortice or cutting gauge.
      Hope that helps.

    1. Hello Kermit,
      The dovetails are laid out at the point that you line up with the top of the piece to be dovetailed, then the lines are extended upwards. So there is no change of width. Does that make sense?

  4. Hello Paul
    Very inspirational indeed.
    When I tried this I struggle each time I have to clamp the template to board.
    So I glued a thin strip of wood 1/8 thick and 1′ wide on each side of the template parallel to the short edge.
    The I just slide up the board to the template and clamp both together in my wise.

    Thanks again for this video !

    1. Hello Christopher,
      For fine work, we would use a chisel. Using a coping saw is not that much faster, and there is a risk of tear-out.

      Paul said that he might use a coping saw for rougher carpentry, but the cuts are consistently finer when done with the chisel.

  5. Hi Paul, I enjoyed the video, it is a technique I have never seen before, great Idea, looks uncomplicated to do, thanks for explaining the setting out method of the dovetails, What super glue and acellerator do you use,? Once again many thanks. Larry.

  6. I’m new to cutting dovetails and this method is going to be a great help in doing so. Along with all the other videos of yours I have been watching and studying. Also I just received your new book and DVD and they will be a great help also.

  7. Thanks for the video — I cut my first dove tails this week before this video; even if you aren’t doing a production run of 20 drawers, it is a great boon to the process. I have 3 – 5 drawers to make this summer, so I look forward to the pins video as well.

  8. We are SO lucky to have these outstanding videos. Thank you Paul a thousand times for so generously passing your hard won experience on to the next generation of us. You are single-handedly responsible for my current passion for handtool woodwork – I could watch you all day… and sometimes do!

  9. I have been studying various techniques on Internet ,this looks the best for those of use who find there eyesight is letting them down as we age . When is the next part, you are producing some fantastic legacy content that will last for years and will be watched and enjoyed by students and apprentices.you are a star thanks james

  10. Very helpful video, thanks. Do you have any system while marking up to avoid making basic mistakes like making pins at one end and tails at the other end or finding the inside surface of the prepared boards lies on the outside? The latter may not be important if the surfaces of the boards are the same inside and outside but it could be a problem, especially if the upper border is fashioned. This system means that the board can fit either way up.
    Pencil marks can be sanded out later but do you have a system to ensure errors like these are avoided?

  11. Another great and very helpful video, thank you everyone on the team fantastic job as always. I have learned so much from watching these video’s. And I want to put in another plug for the new book and video’s, well worth the price and wait.


  12. Great video. I’ve just discovered the use of super glue for woodworking and here I see more techniques for it’s use! Thanks Paul.

    What rake angle is Paul’s dovetail marking jig? Is it 7 to 1 or so? If so, does he use the same angle for all his dovetails?

    Ken Thompson

  13. Thanks so much for this technique. Can you use a long-grain board (length equal to the width of the workpiece) for the the sacrificial piece? The grain would be in the opposite direction from the workpiece, but as it is just a guide, would that matter?

  14. @BOYLANJ I take it you’re asking about the guide, since the sacrificial piece -used only for making the guide- Paul already uses a long-grain board. There’s no reason why it wouldn’t work making it as you describe, but it wouldn’t make a very ‘permanent’ template. It’s preferable to edge-joint a couple of scraps if you don’t have the width, or even go with the width you have and move it along to cut the remaining tails.

    1. You’ve hit the nail on the head……

      As far as I’m concerned it is initially a question of joint strength. Dovetail joints are a dynamic affair, used where the joint is under repeated stresses as in drawer frames.
      We don’t want the thing to fall apart when we yank it open!

      Then, if it’s visible (and it’s worth looking at), aesthetics come into play.

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