Powered-up, Super-thin Dovetail Pins

I have not spent many hours in the shop this past week. Had a photo shoot on Tuesday for a Popular Woodworking Magazine article (more on that upcoming), then spent the balance of the week preparing for my classes at Woodworking in America – West Coast which begins on October 12th. As a result, I am responding to a few email questions. After numerous requests, I am posting this dovetail pin video. (It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.) When I moved sites I dropped the collection of router videos that resided on my homepage. If you are an old friend, you have seen today’s video. If you’re new to Woodworker’s Edge, it is new to you.

Build Something Great!

Glen D. Huey


Filed under Joinery, Power Tools, Routers, Shop Tips, Video

7 responses to “Powered-up, Super-thin Dovetail Pins

  1. Conrad Bennett

    Glen, absolutely genius!! Any chance of posting a pdf on the jig dimensions and assembly details?

    I am going to build me one of those. Thank you for sharing!


  2. Conrad,

    Glad you liked the jig. Dimensions depend on your router setup. As for assembly, I spaced two pieces of 1/2″ plywood a 1/2″ apart (to fit on both sides of the router bit), then screwed down two fences set at my favorite dovetail angle of 12 degrees, one angled right and one left. Once you have the jig assembled, find a way to guide it in a T-track – on my router table the track is front and center. That’s it. It’s too easy.

  3. Hi Glen:
    I had seen your dovetail pin jig quite a while ago, but just put off making one. I’m going to put one together to help me in making your “New England Desk and Bookcase” ala Building Period Furniture. Which brings me to my question. I have some nice walnut, which I harvested from a local tree about 2 1/2 years ago that has cured nicely. However, the generally smaller sizes are going to limit that wood to interior usage. A member of our local woodturning club owns a fine hardwood lumber business. Could you tell me how many board feet will be needed in building this fine piece? I want to get it completed by next summer as a 50th Wedding Anniversary gift for my wonderful wife. Thanks for your information and the inspiration you give to all of us ‘ol woodhackers!
    John R

  4. Hey John,

    What a great anniversary gift. Your spouse is going to be a very happy.

    I get asked often about the number of board feet of lumber used in a project. My answer is that I don’t know without sitting down to figure the amount. I don’t know because that’s not the approach I have to building furniture. I buy a couple hundred board feet of lumber at a time, then just build. I am not a fan of purchasing the amount needed (plus some waste or overage) because I like to have enough material on hand to allow me to pick and choose which lumber is used where. In addition, I would not be happy if I ran short toward the end of my project and, as a result, made poor choices in order to use the material on hand that could effect the overall appearance of my project. Finally, purchasing more lumber, as I figured out that I was short, could result in mismatched pieces that again would effect my project.

    The way to calculate the lumber needed for your project, if you want to do so, is to take each piece (exterior pieces only in your case) from the cut list, multiply the width x the length then divide that number by 144. For 8/4 thick pieces you have to multiply the total by two. I run the numbers on all the pieces then take the total and divide that by 144. To that figure I build in a buffer, as much as 30 percent. As you may guess, this is a lot of work, but I’ll bet you are much more familiar with the project when you finish the calculations.

    • Joh

      Thanks Glen for your prompt reply, though I’m sure you are always busy with one project or another. I had a track on some very select walnut from Kentucky that I had planned to purchase and store what I did not use on this project for future work. However, I learned today that someone stole the entire stack from the owner. So sad for him, and for me as well. I had started to calculate the footage from the cut list, but got bogged down in several tasks that sidetracked me. So just thought you might have a figure. Thanks again for taking the time to answer. I still remember how I enjoyed the personal tour you gave me of the Popular Woodworking shop in the early fall of 2007.

  5. John Richardson

    SORRY! signature — John Richardson

  6. John Richardson

    Looks like my previous reply landed in “never-never land.” Just wanted to thank you for the prompt reply. Thanks again.

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