Welcome to February's tool of the month blog post, this month I take a quick look at dovetail marking guides!
Dovetail guides are very simple laying out tools that are used to mark the correct angles needed for strong dovetail joints.
The most common angles used are 1:6 (approximately 10°) for softwoods, supposedly to compensate for the generally softer more squash able grain, and 1:8 (approximately 7°) for hardwoods.
Other angle ratios commonly used include 1:4 1:5 and 1:7.
In reality it doesn't really matter which angle you use, it's mostly down to which one looks most aesthetically pleasing.
There are lots of different dovetail marking guides on the market, ranging from simple and economical up to beautifully made but very expensive versions. You could use a sliding bevel gauge (see last months blog) or make your own guide using wood, plastic or metal!
The two different guides shown in the above photograph are made from aluminium by Canadian company Veritas, they cost around £8-£11 each.
Here you can see the Veritas saddle guide being used to mark the tails of the dovetail joints.
With the angles of the tails marked the guides square saddle allows the top lines to be marked simultaneously, this is pretty handy and speeds up the marking out process. Now the tails are ready to be sawn!
Thats all for February, look out for next months blog.
Enjoy those pancakes 🥞
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Here you can see what I have been up to in the workshop, gain an insight into my work and some of the many tools I use to make each piece of bespoke furniture.