Ensure Secure Craftsmanship With This Awesome Tool
Dovetail joints are the epitome of woodworking joinery, but it isn’t exactly easy to create a dovetail joint. It requires significant skill, and if you’re unable to properly mark out and cut the joint, the joinery won’t be secure. It is here that a dovetail joint comes in to save the day. While the dovetail […]
Dovetail joints are the epitome of woodworking joinery, but it isn’t exactly easy to create a dovetail joint. It requires significant skill, and if you’re unable to properly mark out and cut the joint, the joinery won’t be secure.
It is here that a dovetail joint comes in to save the day. While the dovetail part denotes this tool’s ability to make dovetail joints, the jig in this name refers to any open frame or a box that helps you hold your piece of work while you’re guiding a tool towards it. It is commonly used for locating and spacing drilled holes.
HOW TO MAKE A DOVETAIL JOINT
Before starting, you must understand that there are two parts to a dovetail joint, a pin, and a tail end. This end looks like a dove’s tail. These two shapes fit together to interlock. The lock’s tensile strength ensures the joint can’t easily be pulled apart.
There are a number of ways to make a dovetail joint and you can choose whichever one you consider to be the best fit for you. The first method is rather tricky and requires exceptional woodworking skills and great precision. You will mark the pin and tail end by hand on your wooden board and cut out all the negative spaces using a coping saw. You can also opt for using a band saw or table saw. While this method is labor-intensive, it may not be able to give precise results.
We recommend using a template method, which is usually the easier option and provides the most accurate cut. For this method, you will need to use a box-making jig connected to a template on a table-mounted router which will make precise cuts on your piece of wood.
BENEFITS OF USING A DOVETAIL JOINT
The dovetail joint is the strongest of all joints due to its effective interlocking and the large gluing area, which resists being pulled apart, ensuring the long life of your product. Hand-cut dovetail joints require exceptional woodworking skills and precision. You will lose the amazing strength of this joint if it isn’t cut properly.
A dovetail joint not only adds durability to your pieces but also accentuates their looks. You can add a contemporary touch to your woodwork by opting for contrasting woods to highlight the joint further. By using a jig, you’ll guarantee a perfect fit due to the template and the cutters in place.
TIPS FOR USING A DOVETAIL JIG
Use a lubricant
To operate a dovetail jig effectively, your sense of feel is pivotal. So, ensure the router can glide easily without any unnecessary fiction. You can achieve this by using some paraffin wax to provide the necessary moisture needed.
Secure the bit
When you’re handling equipment with an exposed bit, you’re constantly at risk of it accidentally catching something. So, it is best to place the router on a safe platform to avoid such an accident. You can do this in many different ways, but the main idea behind it is to be a place where the bit can’t catch anything and cause you damage.
Keep a few backup boards
A dovetail joint should look neat and precise to give your product a modern and sophisticated look. But achieving that is a complex task. During your first attempt to route a board, it is very likely that you will end up with some tear outs or extra negative spaces. It is always recommended to practice with a different board or two to ensure that you have an excellent finished product.
THE BOTTOM LINE
This was our take on providing you with a comprehensive guide on dovetail jigs. By following the instructions we have mentioned above, you will be able to polish your woodworking skills further and create immaculate pieces. Be sure to take all the necessary precautions before you get started with dovetail joints.