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A Jig for Paring Dovetail Baselines

This jig aids accurate paring of dovetail baselines.

It was published in Popular Woodworking, “Tricks of the Trade”, August 2006.

Picture 1 illustrates the complete jig. This comprises two fences, attached at right angles, and a variable depth stop.


Picture 2: A close up of the double fence.


Picture 3: A breakdown of the fence construction.


Picture 4. The first step in cutting dovetails is mark off the tails to be cut, then cut the angles.

Picture 5. The waste is removed with a Jeweller’s saw.


Picture 6: The board is then placed in the Dovetail Jig, and the baseline lined up with the front fence. The side fence helps maintain the line perpendicular to the side.


Picture 7: The depth stop is moved up and against the end of the board. This will later enable the board to be turned over and retain the settings on the other side of the board.


Picture 8: The front fence enables paring to be vertical as it provides a guide for the back of the chisel.


Picture 9: Once the front has been pared (try not to push the chisel more than half-way through the board), the board can be removed, turned over, and the other side is set up for the remaining paring.


Picture 10: A finished end.

Derek Cohen

Perth, Australia

May 2008