Usse a dovetail saw, table saw, bandsaw, or use any of a large number of router
jigs designed for the purpose, with the simplest to set up and use being the
Keller and possibly the most versatile being the Leigh, with a nod towards the
Butt joints work in light use. Dado joints work in slightly heavier use. Box
joints work in almost all uses. Biscuit joints work, with or without miters.
Mitered spline joints work. There is a router bit designed specifically to
produce corner joints that are strong, but some people find it as complicated
to use as a dovetail saw, or so it sometimes sounds.
Dado joints are probably the simplest strong corner joint. They can make for a
slightly funny looking box, but work well in drawers.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character,
give him power." Abraham Lincoln
If you've got a router table fence that can be moved in thousandths
and has replaceable zero clearance fence inserts, a lock miter router
bit is pretty easy to use - especially if you get a set up block for
it or make your own once you get it set up to your liking for the
stock thickness you use.
Unlike the drawer lock joint, the length of the parts doesn't have
to be adjusted to compensate for the joint. Cut the parts to the
finished length, route the lock miters and assemble. Here's
a little about using a lock miter bit.
Use a dovetail saw. These saws are just right for making dovetails,
and good for many other applications other than making dovetails.
Through dovetails are very easy to make by hand with a little practice
and patience. Other than dovetail, there are many ways to make a
simple corner joint. What are you making?
I can't imagine trying to saw an accurate straight line with a coping
saw. Although I know some people use a coping saw to cut the bottom
section out, it's not a good idea to use it for cutting the sides.
That said though, there's a famous picture (on-line somewhere) of an
old issue of FWW (Fine Woodworking magazine) where Tage Frid (?) had a
dovetail cutting bow-saw. This had a blade with a twist in it, so one
part cut downwards, the other half cut sideways.
I use my best (most accurate) straight cutting dovetail saw, and
practice. You just need to cut a lot of these before they start to fit
neatly. In the meantime, don't worry about it - make a toolbox, use
them in places where they're not really needed, but you can use for
practice. Some people cut a single dovetail every morning, as a "warm
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