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Steps 5-8

Tip #117
Cutting Dovetails on a Bandsaw

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Close-fitting and durable, the dovetail joint is the mark of the craftsman. Shaped so it can be pulled apart from one direction only, the dovetail joint remains solid under stress form all other directions. When used in in cabinet carcase or drawer construction, the dovetail joint not adds beauty and authority to your work, it's easy to make, as well!

Planning and fitting hand-cut dovetails with small hand saws and chisels can be exasperating. But, believe ito or can actually cut both dovetail elements - the pin and the slot - totally on your Bandsaw.

Bill Hoff, Instructor at the Shopsmith Woodworking Academy gives a step-by-step plan here. For this example, Bill used 1" x 4 x 10" stock.

Step 1: Layout begins on the wide side of the pin. Mark the base line 1/32" more than the thickness of the stock. (You'll sand it flush later.) Mark a 3/8" half pin on both edges and a full 3/4" pin in the center.

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Fig. 1 Click image for larger view.

Step 2: Complete the layout for your pins by marking an "X" on all scrap areas of your stock to avoid confusion later. The Bandsaw table and Miter Gauge will control all other lines, but you must leave the line as you cut!

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Fig. 2 Click image for larger view.

Step 3: Now remove the 90-degree Positive Stop Bolt from under the Shopsmith Bandsaw worktable. Tilt the table 5-degrees to the left.

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Fig. 3 Click image for larger view.

Step 4: Set the miter gauge at 90-degrees and make the first cut on the right-hand side of the pins, using the 1/4" Combination Blade.

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Fig. 4 Click image for larger view.

Continue to Steps 5-8

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