I made this fixture for routing away the waste between pins in half-blind dovetails, but it also works well for tasks like sawing the tails or routing a dovetail socket in the top of a table leg. It is essentially a portable, twin-screw vise mounted on a right-angle bracket that gets screwed to the edge of a bench. An adjustable stop at the rear of the fixture sets the router’s depth of cut. Use a tough hardwood like oak or maple for the wooden parts. Make the twin screws from 3⁄8-in. threaded rod cut into 7-in. lengths and mount them in a pair of holes that are either tapped or fitted with threaded inserts. A pair of matching but slightly larger holes in the clamp jaw allow for a sliding fit. I counterbored these holes on the backside to accommodate compression springs that make it easier to open the jaw. Finally, I glued a thin vertical fence to the fixture, drilling through the fence to accommodate the left-hand screw, to keep the workpiece perpendicular. Clamp the workpiece in place so the end is flush with the top of the vise. Now set the stop parallel to the work so that it stops the…
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In this video Matt methodically takes you through the pins first approach to dovetails that the North Bennet Street School is known for. Matt demonstrates proper sawing technique and how to efficiently and effectively chisel out the waste.
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