Subscribe now and save up to 56%
Woodworker’s Guide to Dovetails by Ernie ConoverFox Chapel Publishing, 2009.$24.95: 168 pp.
I’m sure more tools have been thrown and more tears shed over cutting dovetails than any other aspect of woodworking. Sure, there are quite a few steps involved, and any mistakes are in full view, but the scariest thing is that all your non-woodworking friends instantly judge a piece by the quality of the dovetails — hence the pressure to get them right.
The traditional way is to layout and cut the dovetails by hand whether they are through dovetails, half-blind dovetails, or full-blind dovetails. Conover guides you through the process of cutting and fitting all three types with the aid of his own drawings and photos.
However, even if you’re an expert with a saw and a chisel, the process is fairly slow, and most woodworker’s hand-tool skills are a little shaky. To make the process faster and easier, manufacturers have come up with a bewildering array of jigs to help you cut dovetails with the aid of a router. After giving an overview of machine-cut dovetails, Conover demonstrates the most popular jigs on the market including those from Keller, Leigh, Porter Cable, Woodrat and Akeda.
If you are in the market for dovetail jig, this book will give you a greater in depth comparison of the different makes than you will find in any tool review. Alternatively, if you’ve decided that this is the time to finally master the hand-cut dovetail then you’ll also get plenty of help. The only gap in this book is hybrid methods of cutting dovetails where both power and hand tools are employed. For example you can use a specially ground blade on the tablesaw to cut the pins, while a router can remove the bulk of the waste leaving a chisel to pare to the line.
Get woodworking tips, expert advice and special offers in your inbox
Become a member today
Get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content.
Subscribe to Fine Woodworking
Save up to 56%
This week's prize is a 7-piece router bit set from Whiteside valued at $118!
Grids and cutouts define a practical piece
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
Become a member today and get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content!
Plus tips, advice, and special offers from Fine Woodworking.
In-depth online classes from the experts at Fine Woodworking.
Enter now for your chance to win a Lee Valley block plane valued at $160.
© 2016 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
Become a member and get instant access to thousands of videos, how-tos, tool reviews, and design features.