How to Cut Dovetails With a Router

We research in-depth and provide unbiased reviews and recommendations on the best products. We strive to give you the most accurate information. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

How to cut dovetails with a router can be done in a few seconds. It requires a light climb cut along the edge of the tail pieces for a clean shoulder. The router will then feed through the template slots and cut the tails and sockets simultaneously. After cutting the pieces, make sure that they fit together properly before lifting, moving, unclamping, and testing the assembly. Listed below are some steps to follow to cut dovetails with a router.

Fixed-template jigs

A fixed-template jig for cutting dovetails with a router makes slicing these joints easy. The template is made of MDF or Perspex and is held in place by pins on either side of the edge. To cut the dovetail, twist the template until the pins are in contact and turn the router. After the template has been turned, the jig can be used to cut the pins. The template should be made with some extra width and length to make sure it is centered when you start cutting.

This jig comes with a large, user-friendly design, with large adjustment knobs and an intuitive menu that explains every operation. This jig also comes with integrated gauges to set up your router bits. You can also adjust the jig by using the included clamp knob. This jig is available in different sizes and includes a guide and a template guide.

A fixed-template jig for cutting dovetails with a router is an excellent choice for those who prefer to make their own dovetails. These jigs allow you to cut through and pin dovetails with ease, which means less coordination and a quicker turnaround. And if you’re not sure what material to use, you can find them at a specialist router supplier.

Some jigs require you to use a handheld router, but it is still a good idea to invest in a router. Hand-cutting dovetails is hard, time-consuming, and prone to mistakes. Using a dovetail jig ensures a fast, quality result without repositioning the workpiece board every time you want to make a change.

There are a few models of fixed-template jigs for dovetails with a router. The Leigh D4R Pro costs about $600, and the Super 12 is $275. A Porter-Cable 4216 is priced at $180, without box joints. And if you already have straight bits, it is unlikely you’ll need any additional bits.

Router table

Using a router table for cutting dovetails is a common woodworking task. You can adjust its settings to suit your style and preferences, and a router table can even function as an edge jointer. But why should you buy one? What are the benefits of using one? Let’s look at them. What are the benefits of a router table? Here are some examples. Read on to learn more.

First, dovetails must fit their sockets within tight tolerances. While glued up joints might look good, they’re not very durable and are prone to sagging. To ensure that your dovetails fit correctly, you must use a router table with a dovetail jig. These tools hold your project at the proper angle, making the process easier. And once you’ve chosen the router table for cutting dovetails, you’ll be well on your way to creating quality furniture.

A dovetail jig requires a guide bushing on the baseplate. You’ll also need to use straight-cutting router bits for this project. Most dovetail jigs come with these bits. If you don’t use dovetail jigs, standard router bits will work just fine. They’re also very useful for cutting other types of joints, such as finger joints.

Read More:   How to Rehydrate Wood Furniture

The sleds used for cutting dovetails require some custom fitting. To fit them to your router table, make sure that they’re the same length as the top of your table. But make sure to make the rails wider than the table top. This extra width allows them to fit securely, removing play. But make sure to leave enough room for them to move. Once the sleds are fitted properly, you’re ready to start cutting dovetails!

Using a guide bushing

If you use a dovetail jig, you may have heard about template routing. With a router equipped with a guide bushing, you can follow the fingers of the dovetail template to create perfectly spaced, tight-fitting dovetails. The use of templates makes matching inlays possible. However, it requires some knowledge of router bits, the proper way to make pieces, and how to choose the right router bit for the job.

The offset is a critical dimension to consider when using a guide bushing. The offset is the distance between the edge of the guide bushing and the cutting edge of the router bit. You must account for this distance when designing the template. While you can buy commercially-made templates for a variety of tasks and patterns, making your own template is a much better solution. Not only will it save you time and money, but you can also incorporate your own project designs.

Guide bushings are accessories for routers that extend the capabilities of the router. These devices fit into a hole in the baseplate of the router and follow the template. They help transfer the template shape to the wood. But they are not the best choice for every task. Bearing-equipped router bits are better for rabbeting and cutting decorative edges. Furthermore, they do not provide safety during blind work.

Although dovetail jigs are convenient and help you cut dovetails quickly and easily, they are not a panacea. It is important to temper your enthusiasm with some practice and experience. Dovetail jigs and router bits must be fine-tuned to produce the best results. You must also keep in mind that they cannot replace the precision and accuracy of handcut dovetails.

Before you start cutting dovetails, you should place a jig on the workbench. Make sure to align the router jig with the layout lines. Then, align the router base against the fence. After aligning the jig, set the router bit and follow the jig position. Once you’re done, you can start assembling the drawers and boxes.

Aligning the fence to both faces of the workpiece

To begin, make sure that the fence is in alignment with both sides of the workpiece. Wide boards may have an angled guide fence which can be used for this purpose. A standard side fence rod is limited to a certain distance from the workpiece end. Adding a longer rod may reduce accuracy. Align the fence to both faces of the workpiece by adding a spacer.

Next, adjust the fence to align the bit with both faces of the workpiece. The fence is not critical, but it does take some patience. When finished, the resulting smooth seam will be nearly invisible. To do this, measure the bearing edge of the workpiece. Then, raise the fence by about a quarter inch and center the bit on the workpiece. If you want to avoid a sharp edge, you can clamp a featherboard to the table and press the wood against the fence.

Read More:   Choosing a Portable Table Saw

Once the workpiece is positioned correctly, align the fence with both sides. This will help the router maintain a consistent angle. Aligning the fence to both faces of the workpiece will prevent the workpiece from being accidentally bumped into the router and chipped or damaged. Aligning the fence to both faces of the workpiece will ensure that the fence is in perfect alignment.

In general, a router can cut grooves, tongues, and rabbets on both sides of the workpiece. The distance between the cutter and the tubes determines the length of the cut. A narrow board can be cut with one pass, but a wide board will require two cuts on a common centerline. As the length of the cut increases, the length of the fence may have to be adjusted accordingly.

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!

Disclosure: participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.