They're really not that hard to do
Synopsis: Dovetails can be cut much faster by machine, writes Alphonse Mattia, but there are certain disadvantages to doing them this way. With hand-cut dovetails, the craftsman has no limitations. You can tailor the shape, size, and pattern of your dovetails to suit the piece you’re building. Mattia details the steps for cutting through and half-blind dovetails, advising that practice and patience will be your best virtues as you proceed. He suggests using a marking gauge and how to lay out the pins on the end grain. Photos illustrate various steps he discusses, and he offers time-saving tips, too.
Dovetailing is one of the strongest and most attractive methods of joining the ends of boards together. Traditionally, handcut dovetails consist of a series of alternating pins and tails beginning and ending with a half-pin, with the tails usually about twice as large as the pins.
Nowadays, dovetails can be…