George Vondriska

Make Dovetail Sockets on Your Table Saw

George Vondriska
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Duration:   7  mins

Understanding the Dovetail Joint

The dovetail joint is not only one of the strongest joints due to the mechanical strength that it provides, it is also widely considered to be one of the most beautiful joints that you can create. This combination of strength and beauty make dovetail joinery one of the hallmarks of craftsmanship, so it’s a great joint to have in your arsenal. If you don’t have a commercial dovetail jig, no problem. There are many ways to cut this attractive joint, including on a table saw, as George shows us here.

Dovetail Joinery on Table Saw

To make dovetail joints on the table saw, you’ll need a technique for both the pins and tails, and in this video George is focused on creating the tails and sockets. To form dovetail sockets on your table saw, you can follow these steps:

Create a Simple Dovetail Jig

This operation is best performed using a jig that attaches to your miter gauge and holds the workpiece solidly as the joint is formed.

Setup for Dovetail Cuts

You will set your miter gauge at the correct angle for your dovetails. Make a couple test cuts to ensure that your setup is accurate.

Dovetail Design

Take the time to lay out your dovetails exactly how you want them, with crisp lines and the waste sections clearly marked. One of the many benefits of cutting dovetails this way is that you have full freedom to lay them out with whatever size and spacing you want.

Execution on the Table Saw

The table saw will make precise cuts, so it’s your job to ensure that the dado stack is aligned to your cut path before making your cut. Move carefully though each cut, removing the work piece from the jig each time you slide back over the dado stack.

Further Learning: Dive Deeper into Dovetails

When you’ve finished your project, check out our video on cutting dovetails with a table saw dovetail jig.

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