FAQ: best dovetail jig

You don’t, no. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the instructions of the specific jig, just clamp your material firmly down onto the table and you’ll be ready to roll. With templates, you might need to experiment a little. That said, these templates are there to simplify things for you in the long run so with a little trial and error, you’ll soon be firing on all cylinders.

A dovetail joint makes for a striking joinery feature, especially when the joints are highlighted with contrasting timbers. As well as a beautiful appearance, this type of joint is remarkablty strong. With dovetails cut into a drawer, the front face will never pull away. With interlocking dovetail joints, you’ll also enjoy a large gluing area to increase strength further.

If you’re looking to make dovetail joints by hand, you’ll need highly precise skills with a handsaw and chisel beyond the scope of most woodworkers just starting out. A poorly made dovetail joint will be neither strong not durable so it’s a smart move to use a jig.

Absolutely. With sliding dovetailjoints, you’ll get a flat piece that joins an inverted T which simply doesn’t have the same strength as solid dovetail joints. This can work well with sliders and cabinets, though.

If you think about the inside of a drawer, you’ll only ever see the joint from a single side. For this use case, a lapped dovetail joint might look unsightly but it will deliver enormous strength.

The grain on this type of joint is completely hidden on both sides. This makes a great strong joint suitable for display. Full-blind dovetail joints are frequently used for jewelry boxes and smaller cabinets where the joint will feature prominently.

The primary reason for this type of joint when making furniture is strength although these joints are also aesthetically pleasing. With coffee tables, cabinets, bookcases or any other piece of furniture calling for strong and durable joints, a dovetail is the obvious solution. It’s the trapezoidal shape and intelocking nature that means a dovetail joint is highly resistant to being pulled apart. A dovetail joint can also be used for decorative effect.

You need to dress the timber all round and make sure the width and thickness are even all along.

No. You’ll need to buy a wood router separately.

The strongest of woodworking joints, when properly and carefully made, a dovetail joint should last a lifetime.

best dovetail jig: Looking for more information?

Interested to learn more in-depth details about selecting the right tool for your needs? Read our Informational Buyer Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections on this topic for more details.