This is a detailed guide for cutting dovetails with a router table. It includes instructions for building the jig and for every aspect of the dovetailing process from layout to the final cuts, even how to fix your mistakes. (The pins are cut at the router table, and the tails are cut with either a band saw or a handheld jig saw.) It’s eight pages of photos, drawings and detailed instructions that you can take to the shop with you!
- Deluxe PDF Plans (Dimensions, cut list, drawings, build photos and step by step instructions)
- Dimensions: Inches with metric conversions
- Tools required: Jig may be made with a table saw. Router table required to use the jig. Bandsaw or handheld jig saw required for cutting the “tails.”
More info in this video:
More about our deluxe plans:
Our deluxe project plans are more than just a set of dimensions. They include a comprehensive set of step-by-step instructions with dozens of photos and illustrations to walk you thorough the build.
You will NOT receive a paper plan. You will be sent a link to download a digital PDF document that is compatible with most computers and digital devices. You may print it yourself or take it to a printing service. We do not provide 3D Sketchup models or CNC G-code.
Below are some examples of what our deluxe project plans look like. This plan will be similar.
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Traditional workbenches are great! The problem is that planning and project assembly tasks are best done at a low bench, but cutting joinery such as dovetails is more comfortable at a higher bench. Most shops don’t have multiple benches for multiple uses, so we bend down for our dovetailing.
This workstation seeks to solve that problem! When placed on a standard bench top it raises your work up so you can stand erect and work more comfortably. It includes work-holding clamps so it may be used on any work-surface, no vice required. And other clever features, such as a drawer to hold all your dovetailing tools and a replaceable chopping surface, make it very versatile.
Shop Vac Cyclone
A mini cyclone designed to keep your filter clean and your vacuum working hard! There are commercial versions on the market, but ours is easy and inexpensive to make, and will mount directly on your vacuum so you don't have to pull a separate bucket around. Vacuum surgery is optional, and we walk you through the whole thing! This project was featured on episodes 51 & 52 of "The Stumpy Nubs Workshop".
This is a great machine for cutting curves and large holes without having to cut from the edge of the work piece like with a band saw. In fact, it can replace a band saw in a budget-minded shop. PLUS, it can cut plastic, metal, even tile! Rockwell calls theirs a Blade-runner, but this one has features that even theirs doesn't have. For one thing, it makes beveled cuts. It has a storage drawer at the bottom, and it can be made from scraps and a cheap saw.
This horizontal router has a few unique twists that make all the difference, like a tilting table, a micro adjustable router lift, a sliding table and much more. The machine is great for making raised panel doors, cutting miters and bevels, making splined miter joints for boxes, locking miter joints, half lap joints, rabbets, tenons... the list goes on and on. Plus it has excellent dust collection, and the tilting table makes it possible to cut unique, one of a kind profiles with ordinary router bits!
Sliding-Top Router Table
It may look like a regular router table, but it has a feature that very few have! The front of the table surface slides in a precision track, and that makes all the difference. It's like having a built in coping sled for safely and accurately routing small parts or routing the end of narrow stock. You clamp your work piece right down to the table, then slide the carriage past the bit. It adds a level of safety and precision that no standard router table can match, and the uses are endless. Add to that the six drawers for bit and accessory storage and you have a router table that will do more things and last longer than any you've ever owned!
Misc Router Jigs
These two jigs are easy to make, and simple to use. One is for the router table, the other is used with a hand-held router. Both will cut through-dovetail pins (the tails are cut with a band saw, scroll saw or jig saw). The hand-held router jig will also enable you to cut half-blind dovetails as well. Both jigs are demonstrated in the videos below, and there's another video about laying out your joints.
Table Saw Workstation
This is the ultimate table saw improvement! Not only does it add a giant work area to your bench top or contractor style saw, it can be combined with some of our other homemade tools to create an entire workshop in a 4X8 foot area! There are also sixteen drawers, several storage shelves, and room for various other small machines. Add a bench top drill press and a mini lathe, you name it! (There's even a built in lumber rack, for goodness sake!)
I designed a dovetail machine that can be made from wood, and has more features than most of the top of the line commercial versions. This machine is designed to be used with your router to make fast, even, beautiful through dovetail joints that look like you made them by hand. It is micro-adjustable so you can set how tight you want the joint to be, and it allows you to easily change the spacing and size of the tails and pins. It will also make sliding dovetail joints and router dadoes!
Bench-Top Biscuit Joiner
This machine was born out of frustration! Stumpy had a cheap hand-held biscuit joiner that he picked up on a whim at Harbor Freight. The problem with cheap units like that is the difficulty that comes with making an accurately placed slot without the tool rocking out of position during the cut! So, like any good woodworker, Stumpy set out to find a solution. And the result is a bench top unit that can make a cheap tool into something easier to use than even the expensive hand-held versions. The Bench-top Biscuit Joiner is fast and accurate, inexpensive to build, and has dozens of uses. It's great for edge gluing boards, strengthening any butt joint, cutting slots for raised panels and picture frames... you name it!
Homemade Router Lift
This lift features an improved tracking mechanism, adjustments are made from above the table using a 1 1/8" socket or wrench, it attaches to a homemade router plate, and will go into almost any router table that has a removable plate. Or you can use it by itself as a stand-alone mini router table! The plans are designed for a standard 3 1/2 - 3 3/4" round, removable router motor.