How to Make DoveTail Joints?

Hi all. I am about to a bunch of drawers and want to dovetail them. There are a bunch of jigs out there and also the Router Table Fence systems (Incra, JointTech). What do you use and why? Would you do anything different now? ANy suggestions would be great. I don't have a great router table but don't want to spend $400 if a $70 jig will work as well. Anyone try the new Jet Jig?
Thanks.
Tom P.
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mortise gauge: $30 bevel gauge: $9 try square: $12 dovetail saw: $17
satisfaction of cutting beautiful dovetails by hand:
priceless
On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 16:20:21 +0000, Tom Prestia wrote:

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Could you fill in the brand/website of these items as you have them or would recommend? For those of us who can't distinguish between the many items that may be called one or the other of the above, such as me, a newbie in most respects.

shameless plug for plastic ... <grin>
--
Best regards
Han
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I buy all my 'snobby woodworker's tools' at Highland Hardware. I'm blessed by having them in town here :) All of the below they carry, at about those prices, and all made by Crown. Crown stuff is fancy and nice, all rosewood and brass. You can get cheaper stuff, and probably wont affect the quality of work you turn out in most cases, but there's definitely something to be said for spending a little extra and getting something pretty.
For laying out dovetails, I use a Crown deluxe mortise gauge to scribe shoulder lines, a 4" sliding bevel gauge, 4" try square, and marking knife to lay out the pin board, an 8" dovetail saw to cut along the layout lines, a set of Narex chisels to remove waste, and then I use the pin board and the marking knife to layout the tail board, cut the pins, chisel out the waste, and fit the joint. With a little practice, you can make dovetails quickly that fit tight. I recently built a small bedstand with 4 drawers, and dovetailed all the drawers. It was a lot of work, but worth it.
Here's a pic of my dovetail tools. I started with a 9" try square and a 7" bevel, but the tiny counterparts are much better for small work.
http://www.usedforcomparison.com/tools.jpg
On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 18:41:58 +0000, Han wrote:

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You can get all of the above at Lee Valley Tools: www. leevalley.com
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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tmbg wrote:

And when you get those tools (though I'm not sure about the $17 dovetail saw) here's a set of instructions, based mainly on Frank Klausz's dovetail video, with a little Ian Kirby along with some suggestions by users (thanks folks). Download, print at your leisure, take a page or two to the shop, do what you see and so on.
www.wood-workers.com/users/charlieb/DovetailDrawer0.html
If you've got more than five or six drawers to do and they're in ply do the lock miter joint discussed in an earlier thread. That'll require a router table and some fence/bit height tweeking but once set up you can cut the four joints for each drawer in under two minutes.
charlie b
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I was at the Hamilton, Canada woodworking show last year and watched a dovetail demo by Rob Cosman of Lie Nielsen. When he was finished with the demo he had people from the audience try to cut a dovetail with various saws he had. Some of the saws he had were fairly expensive but not one person could cut a straight line with the other saws. When they tried the Lie Nielsen saw they had perfectly straight cuts the first try. How good are your dovetails with he $17 saw?
Rob gave me the sample he created and I can assure you that there isn't a machine in the world that could create a better fitting dovetail

There
(Incra,
now?
don't
Jet Jig?

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I'm sure it's not the most fantastic saw ever conceived, but it gets the job done. And, I might have paid $25 for it, I can't remember.
It cuts straight lines just fine! I took the lacquer off the blade and took a tiny bit of the set off the teeth, and it cuts just as nice as can be. Woodworking doesn't HAVE to cost a fortune :P
On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 18:03:00 -0500, Dave wrote:

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The reason the LN was the only saw to cut straight was because it's one of the few western style dovetail saws that comes from the factory with minimal set. 30 seconds with a hammer and piece of steel knocking the set out and the $17 saw will cut just as straight as the Lie Nielsen. The LN will be sharper so it will cut faster but it won't cut any straighter. If you want to cut fast you can have the $17 saw sharpened or screw up the courage to do it yourself.
The LN will definately look nicer though.
--
Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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Uh Scott, Do you have a LN saw? I'm curious because I have the hammered cheapies, and while they do reasonably well, they just don't measure up to the LN. Maybe my hammer needs to be calibrated so I can do it properly.
My LN is far superior to any saw I've picked up except for the Adria. There is a lot going on with these saws besides set and appearance. It is expensive, but cheap compared to the dovetail jigs on the market and it will be an heirloom after I pass. :-)
It also does a great job of cutting mortise shoulders. If you can afford one, you probably will enjoy having it.
OBTW, I do sharpen my LN myself.
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Actually, I have the Independence from Pete Taran and Patrick Leach from before they sold out to Lie Nielsen. I believe it's stamped serial #12. I've also tried an Adria.
They're both great saws but someone on a budget could do just as well with a cheapie and a bit of work. I knocked the set out of a piece of junk from Woodcraft that I probably paid about $12 for and it cuts just as straight as my good saw. Not as fast, but just as straight. If I was ambitious enough to take a file to it I could have it cutting just as fast also, but it's not worth the work - it's only used for carpentry type jobs.
A cheapie can be made to cut just as well, but will certainly never look as nice.
--
Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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You don't suppose the other saws had their sets off a bit do you? Nah, that just wouldn't be right. A rep from one company trying to impress everyone to buy his saw wouldn't bring all the competitors' saws in unable to cut straight, would he? No, no, no that just wouldn't happen. Sales reps are much more honest and ethical than that. I guess the only saw produced that is able to cut straight must be the one he demo'd that coincidently was the one he wanted you to buy. Hmm, figure the odds of that.
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA

"Dave" <Paul_nospam snipped-for-privacy@excite.com> wrote in message
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I would never expect a sales rep to do anything like that ;-) Also, the vender of one the saws he was comparing top had a HUGE booth at the show. I would think they would have said something if he was lying. He took the name off the competitor's saw but it was no secret whose it was.
I am sure there are many people who read this newsgroup that have been to a Rob Cosman seminar. Has anyone checked the other saws to see if they have been altered?
I didn't buy a saw and I didn't do the demo so I can only go by the volunteer's samples. I was also at the competitors booth where a salesman was doing a little demo on dovetail's and I bet a 10 year old could have produced better dovetails. I can't imagine anyone buying a saw by watching the results he got from using it. Obviously, in the hands of an expert, that saw would have produced amazing dovetails

them.
systems
different
but
new
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Just another example of how tools don't make up for lack of knowledge no matter how expensive they are. To be frank, I don't do any better work with my cabinet saw than I did with my contractor saw, eventually I will, but I suspect the reason will be experience.
Don

was. snip
I was also at the competitors booth where a

could
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Or if you want to take the NORMal approach:
"Mastering Woodworking Machines" by Mark Duginske: $22 Wood and hardware for table saw jig: $5 (and about 1 hour labor)
Being able to quickly cut quality dovetails on your tablesaw:
Priceless
-Chris
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AN invaluable tool is the book "The Compleat Dovetail" by Ian Kirby. I had the fortune (or Misfortune, depending on your take on Ian) of taking a dovetail course from him... one Saturday and I was making really nice through dovetails. A little more practice and half-lap dovetails were astonishingly easy.
Find a course to take, or get a book (not necessarily this one) and practice, practice practice... BEFORE YOU RUIN A PERFECTLY GOOD PIECE OF CHERRY OR MAHOGANY.
Don Sforza

There
(Incra,
now?
don't
Jig?
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I guess I'll go ahead and be the first jig user to chime in here. Not that theres anything wrong with cutting them by hand, I'm just offering another angle here. I recently bought and used the Jet half blind jig and it worked flawlessly throughout the construction of 24 drawer boxes. It took me about 1/2 an hour out of the box to get it tuned in and after that I have not touched a single adjustment. If you are in need of more information I can post pictures of the results for you. I did these in cheapo 1/2" birch ply from the Borg. Tried to explain to the customer the difference in this ply and quality cabinet grade stuff but they wouldnt go for it so I was left using the cheap stuff. Anyway it worked ok with the exception of some tearout once or twice which honestly I think was because I was rushing it a bit near the end of 48 operations! I also experimented with variable spacing and got great results. By shifting the pin board in the jig you can get some cool variations of the dovetail layout.
Jim

Jet
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