Dovetails by machine and by hand
In this master class episode, Tom McLaughlin demonstrates how he uses a custom ground dovetail blade to cut the tails before heading to the bench and using hand tools to finish the case dovetails.
Sponsored by Lee Valley/Veritas
A dovetail blade makes cutting dovetails on the tablesaw almost a no-brainer. Almost any blade can be reground by a good saw-sharpening service so that all the teeth are at a consistent angle, usually 7° to 12°. The tails are cut on the tablesaw with the blade tilted to match the slope of the dovetail and angled teeth. The pins are cut by hand. Because you are just cutting to a line, you can use any spacing, including asymmetrical. While you can use any blade to cut dovetails, this specially ground blade gives better results because the angled blade cuts right up to the baseline and leaves a flat, clean surface all the way into the corner with little to no cleanup required. To use it, I set the angle of the blade to 10° and raise the blade until it just touches the baseline. If I have set the blade correctly, the top of each cut is smooth and exactly parallel to the baseline and there’s very little paring to do. The real advantage of this system, aside from speed, is that each of the tails will come out dead straight and exactly square to the face of the board, which is critical before you can transfer the tails to the pin board.
Writeup from Bob Van Dyke’s article Tablesaw Blades For Joinery in issue #253
DECEMBER 24, 2019
More episodes from this Master Class series: