Router Cutting Dovetails Without a Jig

Router Cutting Dovetails Without a Jig

Is there a way to cut dovetails with a router without buying a jig?

Rob Johnstone: Sure, you can make a jig of your own or simply lay out the dovetail pattern and use a straightedge to help you cut it accurately. You will need something to guide the router. As Ian is fond of saying, ‘a router is just a sharp knife spinning around.’ How creative you are in applying the cutting edge is the key.

Ian Kirby: Yes, make a jig just like the kind you can buy. If you’re wondering if you can cut them freehand – with a router or with a dovetail saw – yes (check out my book The Complete Dovetail).

Rick White: You could try to cut them freehand, but you’ll need to go back and finish the cuts with a chisel. At that point, you might as well have cut them by hand with a back saw and then finished with the chisels. So I wouldn’t recommend cutting freehand dovetails with a router.

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