By Joshua Farnsworth

In this video I share a historical method for laying out uniform tails on a dovetail joint. Rather than buying a dovetail marker jig, just use a few common woodworking layout hand tools. In the video I mentioned that you don’t need a bunch of expensive tools to layout dovetails. Here are links to the tools that I used in the video:

Dovetail joint before the pins are scribed

I’ve also discovered that you don’t need to worry about specific dovetail angles. On antique furniture I’ve seen narrow dovetail angles and wide dovetail angles, and the dovetail joints are still holding together after all these years. Just find a picture of dovetails that look good to you, and set your sliding bevel square to that angle.

Cutting out the waste of a dovetail joint with a coping saw on a woodworking workbench

Note that this method for laying out dovetails doesn’t apply when cutting the pins first. How do you layout your dovetail joints? Tell me in the comment box below: