Most woodworkers approach a time in their journey when they say “I’m going to learn how to cut dovetails by hand.” When I came to that conclusion, I began some research. The options? Let’s see: pins first, tails first, chopping waste, coping saw, western saw, Japanese saw, cut to the pencil line, cut next to the pencil line, cut the pencil line in HALF? *#!% THAT! But I did try a lot of different methods, playing to my own strengths and avoiding my weaknesses. Eventually, I arrived at a friendly approach that combines traditional hand-cut techniques with the advantages of the modern machine-based woodshop.