How to Cut Half-Lap Dovetails with Hand Tools

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I shot the above detailed Video of master joiner Bill Anderson at Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Bill shows how to cut a half-lap dovetail joint that covers the bottom groove in dovetail boxes. This excellent joint not only looks amazing, but it hides your grooves! BTW, he used mahogany wood on this joint.


Yes, this video is longer than my typical videos, but is worth it. It’s an honor to have someone like Bill share such amazing detail. You’d normally have to pay for something like this.


In addition to teaching at the Woodwright’s School, Bill Anderson is also a regular contributor to Popular Woodworking Magazine (read his great bow saw article here) and a repeat visitor on The Woodwright’s Shop tv show.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

Here’s a Woodwright’s Shop episode with Bill:

If you missed the previous post about using a Stanley 45 Combination Plane to cut your grooves, click here to watch the video.


I hope you enjoy Bill’s simple, yet detailed tutorial!

Thanks for checking this out! What other skills would you like to learn?


About the Author:

"I'm wildly passionate about traditional woodworking with hand tools, and want to rekindle this lost art. At WoodAndShop I teach you the skills that I learn, and also share anything fascinating that I discover about traditional woodworking. That includes tours of traditional workshops, beautiful furniture, and my favorite tools and books. I hope you enjoy my videos, photos, and articles. Please feel free to leave constructive comments!"

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