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I recently undertook to make some small wooden boxes utilizing dovetail joints. I had not made any of these joints using hand tools for several years. I couldn't have used power tools if I had wanted to for we live in a town home community where the units are very close to each other and loud noises of any kind are much frowned upon. A few practice joints brought home to me just how difficult it has become for me to precisely follow joinery layout lines on wood. At the age of eighty four I can no longer comfortably crouch or bend down to eyeball the way the saw blade is following the lines and my eyesight is poor even when wearing glasses.

I made up a simple jig/fixture by modifying a Veritas® Dovetail Saw Guide (from Lee Valley) and incorporating a clamping/alignment device for the base line. I discarded the clamp that is a separate part of the Veritas® Dovetail Saw Guide as it won't work with the way I am using the guide. I also wanted to use my back (bead) saw -- I prefer the European style of saw operation -- and that is not possible using the guide in its original configuration. Another reason for using the Veritas® Guide was that I already possessed one that I couldn't use anyway and the magnetized guide surfaces are wonderful assists for my less than steady hands. I have now cut a number of dovetail joints using this jig fixture with satisfactory results.

Tools and jig/fixture

Finished joint​

Complete details are at: http://jp29.org/wwdt.htm
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