Tablesaw Dovetail Jig

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Achieve the look of hand-cut joinery with a machine-made start

Dovetail joinery is an important feature on many of my projects. I like the look of hand-cut dovetails, but the time required to make them is a luxury I often can’t afford. With the dovetail jig shown here, I can duplicate the proportions of hand-cut dovetails with some time-saving help from my tablesaw. I always cut the tails first, then use my tail board to lay out the pins. This jig gets the joinery off to a good start, enabling me to make perfect tail cuts. I usually remove the waste between tails using my scrollsaw to cut just outside the base line. Then I pare to the line with a chisel. You’ll notice that the jig’s fence includes a T-track with an adjustable stop. If the layout happens to be symmetrical, I set the stop and simply flip the tail board to make my matched cuts. The stop also comes in handy when identical tail boards need to be cut.

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