1. Here I was just today researching how to do a sliding dovetail and along comes this video! Very interesting and it does not seem as intimidating now. Having said that, I have learned through the many projects of yours I have done, that you make the difficult look easy. I cant wait to tackle this one. My grandson has spent the summer with us and yesterday he made a dovetail box with the sliding top with no help from grandpa. He called it his “final exam” for the summer. A determined 9 year old, he didn’t even want advice but I at least got him to listen. He did well and we’re very proud of him. Thank you Paul for all your videos and the time you invest in all of us, and through us… all of our grandchildren.

  2. Sure love my Wednesdays. Just when I was asking myself how anyone could hand make a sliding dovetail. My wife’s dresser will be so much better now.

  3. Another excellent video. Your examples of hand work are so very valuable to those of us who have not had formal training. Once again, I’m impressed at the accuracy which you demonstrate with your methods of work. I happen to have some cherry and will now start to prepare this wood to follow along.

  4. Looking forward to making my proto type first out of Pine. I have never made a sliding Dove Tail before so Pine or Poplar first than the good Cherry.

    Thanks for another great little project !


  5. Great lesson.

    I’ve seen videos of making a tapered sliding dt before and decided it wasn’t for me. Now that I have seen the methodical means by which you make it, I going to try a small one tonight and then go full size after.

  6. Paul or Joseph:

    I have been waiting for a long time for a project that shows how to make a sliding dovetail by hand. Nonetheless, I am puzzled by that jig used to guide the chisel, which I have also seen in japanese joinery videos. I can see that it woud be very easy to cut it at a perfect angle, leaving a perfect flat surface, by using a table saw. How would you suggest that we make a precise angled surface like that with handtools?

  7. Hi Paul where did you manage to source 11″ width cherry at a reasonable price?
    if you glued up to make boards is it a straight glue bond or do you reinforce with biscuits or dowels?

    I have some pine to make my prototype so looking forward to this project
    many thanks

  8. Hello Paul,
    this is a great project and for me it’s coming just in time. So to say.

    I’m actually investigating in traditional furnitures to sit on. During my holiday trip through England I’ve visited many interesting places (Chatsworth House for example) and every time I had a detailed look at the furniture.
    Simple stools, chairs and benches grabbed my attention and now I’m planning to build a somehow traditional but contemporary chair.
    That said, the chair I’ve got in mind should dovetailed battens. But from what I could find out so far these battens always have got a dovetail on both sides.
    Which special reason do you have to make one straight and one angled side?
    I hope my question is clear and I would appreciate it very much if you could give me your explanation about it.

    Thanks in advance.


      1. I plan to make a simple shelf with a sliding dovetail join. Wouldn’t it be better to use a two-sided dovetail in this particular case? Otherwise, with a single-sided one, only the fixation to the wall would constraint the two stud boards from caving in. On the other hand it might be enough even for transport, if the join is glued.

  9. I love this stool!

    I decided to make two benches using this plan, I have stretched it out to 52″. As I was paring the dovetail on the underside of the seats, my first three joints went great without any issue. However, on my 4th dovetail, the guide block slipped without me realizing it before it was too late. Now I am going to have to adjust the dovetail on that leg for the joint to work.

    I decided to put a strip of pressure sensitive sanding paper on the bottom of the guide block to help keep it from slipping in the future. That will come in handy when I use it for the legs.

  10. Great lesson. I did some sliding dovetails a while back and worked out methods somewhat similar to this. But, as usual, there are so many details explained here that I wish I had back then. I look forward to diving in on this project.

  11. From what I understand, Paul mentions it’s important for the guide piece to be parallel, but isn’t always the narrower face registered against the piece of wood, both for the recess and the tailpiece? I’d just like to make sure I understand the reasoning.

  12. Be careful when you are using the tapered stick to mark the dato. I had watched this video three times to make sure I was doing it right and the issue I ran into wasn’t made clear in this video. If the 1:7 slope goes outside the width of the leg board (like it did on mine), it will go into the joint way too far, coming out the other side a bit. I only had a 12″ piece of wood handy to make the taper and I did make this mistake. I cut a small filler piece to fill the gap, but now this “filer is showing up on the end of my joint.
    I wish this would have been made more clear, but then again I might be the only sap that didn’t figure this out.

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