The Dovetail joint is one of the joints I personally like the most, not only does it look beautiful. Its super strong and makes whatever your making instantly cool showing it off! Most people think dovetails are very hard to make, and although it requires some skill (for if you never used a chisel before its like driving the bike for the first time) The principle is very simple and anybody can do it with some patience and practice.
there are different types of Dovetails, the most commonly used dovetails are
So lets start with the tools needed to make a Dovetail joint, Of course there are different ways to make a dovetail joint so lets just go for the most common.
Once you have all your tools gathered and your wood ready. you can start with some Dovetailing! once again I would like to note that it can be done in different ways depending on the person making them, its just a matter of opinion. So when I make Dovetails I start with the Tails first.
the angle of the tails is usually 1:6, after marking your tails Use your marking gauge to make a little cut on the waste parts (this so you can put you chisel in after sawing) afterwards you can make the first cuts with your saw, when you cut all the sides of the tails you can place a board along the shoulders to remove the waste material with your chisel and make sure you will go straight down. then just clean the tails with the chisel so they will be all smooth and ready to go into their “not yet made” sockets.
the next step will be to mark the sockets, the best way to do this is to place your tailboard on the pinboard, and use the already made tails as a template for your sockets, marking the angle and width on the end grain of the wood. Once you have your Sockets perfectly copied you should mark the depth of the socket which is the same as the thickness of your Tailboard. Again use your marking gauge to cut the waste parts for easy chiseling. Once done you can make the cuts with your saw, remove the waste material and smooth out the sockets. Be careful this time!! cuz everything you remove to much you cannot put back!! Rather remove less and a bit more afterwards then to much the first time. Try to make the sockets a perfect fit for your tails, Not to tight but Definitely no gaps either!
If you are doing everything right, your tail and pin part will not fit at first, keep removing little slices of wood from your sockets untill eventually they will fit without huge gaps or to much sounds pushing them together. they can be tight, just not to tight for you will also have to add some glue when clamping them.
Some other nice Examples of Just Right Dovetails to inspire your on your future journey to Dovetail making!