laying out dovetails - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-25-2016, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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laying out dovetails

I am a beginning woodworker struggling with dovetail lay out. What is your preferred method? In particular it's the calculations that make my head spin.

As a very basic example I am practising on some 5 1/2" poplar using 1:8 ratio. 1/4" pins, with 3/8" half pins on the ends. One pin in the center with two evenly spaced pins on each side between the center and half pins.

Thank you! And Merry Christmas!
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-26-2016, 09:07 AM
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-28-2016, 10:58 AM
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I advocate for a simpler solution: don't measure. I generally set a combination square to something that looks reasonable for the edge of the first tail, and mark it from both edges of the board, then slide it in to something that looks good for the width of the tail. I pretty much ignore the numbers on the square, since I'm just looking for something that looks right to me. Do the same thing for as many tails as you need: they won't necessarily all be the same size, but they'll be symmetrical, which to me is what's actually important.
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