Yeah, but how do you cut dovetails?


There are so many tutorials out there on cutting dovetails that I really have nothing new to add. I go tails first. The arguments for pins first is out there, if you want to find it. I’ve never tried it, and that is ok. Many people suggest learning both ways and picking your favorite – I don’t. Pick the way that makes the most sense to you. Practice it until you “master” it. Done. I see no need to learn both ways. I welcome all opinions in the comments section!


Here are the tools I use. There are not a lot of tools required. In fact, most of these are luxuries, not necessities.

highly suggest Rob Cosman’s video on dovetails and the Joiner and Cabinet Maker for instruction. I use a combination of those methods. Remember to practice on scrap and then move on to full scale work. Dovetailing an 18 inch wide case is the same process as 4 inch wide scrap, you just need a bigger vise.


You have to love a Roubo bench with a Moxon vise. You can clamp the world with this pair.

Bob Jones

2 thoughts on “Yeah, but how do you cut dovetails?

  1. Alaska Woodworker

    Those are some fine looking DT’s Bob. I’m a tails first guy too, I tried pins first once and didn’t like it. Of course that might have been because they looked like heck. The only convincing argument I have heard for pins first is if you want to cut full blind DT’s. I’ve not tried them, but I understand they must be cut pins first. Hmm, maybe that a good reason not to use em!

  2. Pingback: I got it one piece at a time | The Christian Tool Cabinet

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