All-In-One Workstation for Dovetails
Mike Pekovich's simple stand holds the work for every step of the dovetailing process.
Synopsis: Mike Pekovich streamlines his dovetail technique by using a router to remove the waste between pins. This simple shopmade stand supports the work vertically and provides a horizontal surface for the router to rest on. It handles a number of other dovetailing tasks as well, such as holding the work for sawing and chopping. You don’t need a workbench and vise to cut dovetails. All you need is a sturdy table, this workstation, and some clamps.
My work tends to require a lot of dovetailing, in white oak no less, which can be a chore. Because of that, one technique I’ve adopted to speed the process and save some wear on my chisels is to rout out the waste between the pins. To help with that, I made a simple stand to support the work vertically and provide a flat horizontal surface for the router to rest on. While this use alone makes it worth building, the stand can handle a number of other dovetailing jobs as well. In fact, if you don’t own a bench with a vise, this stand can assist you through the entire process. If you have a sturdy work table and a couple of clamps, you can be cutting dovetails.
Unexpected benefits of a smaller stand
The router stand in this article is a smaller version of a design I’ve been using for years. When I began traveling frequently to teach, the original stand proved too heavy and bulky to bring along. So I set about making a smaller, lighter version inspired in part by a travel stand of Bob Van Dyke’s, so credit goes to Bob as well. It performs the basic routing tasks just as well as the larger version, but its small size and lighter weight make it easy to reposition on the bench, and that in turn makes it easy to perform a number of additional tasks. If you flip the stand on its back, the stock can be secured parallel to the benchtop. That allows it to serve as a workstation not just for routing, but also for scribing, sawing, and chopping.
The structure is simple
Made from home center materials, and requiring only a couple of rabbets and dadoes, the stand goes together quickly. The joinery is there to help keep the parts aligned during assembly and you can skip it altogether if you wish. I used MDF for most of the stand because of its flatness and stability, but I went with pine for some parts because of its nail- and screw-holding ability. You’ll also need some toggle clamps and T-nuts, which secure the bars the clamps are attached to.
To view the entire article, please click the View PDF button below.
In this episode, Mike Pekovich continues on the case dovetails cleaning up the baseline with a router, and paring the pins to a perfect fit.
with Ben Strano