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Dovetail spacing template

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johnwc812

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DOVETAIL SPACING TEMPLATE
This very simple template will accurately space hand cut dovetails.
Note: This is not a template to determine the angles of a dovetail.
One template will work for the tiniest trinket box to a large piece of furniture.
A very simple geometric concept, and can be made in under an hour.
Materials required: A rectangle of ply or other board and a strip of wood to glue to one edge. Sizes are not important.
A decision has to be made as to the ratio of the pins to tails. I favour the tails being 5 times the width of the pins. This reduces the amount of cutting without compromising strength. Trial some templates on paper if you are unsure.
All along the top edge of the board, mark out your chosen ratio units (these can be any convenient size) e.g. 1cm, 5cm, 1cm, 5cm, 1cm etc.
At the bottom of the board, close to the guide strip, mark a point and draw lines to the ratio marks. Ideally with a sharp pencil, a fine point pen or a knife, and a straight edge.
You may wish to stop the lines short of the congested area. Don’t be put off that the lines do not look equally spaced and get closer together. I guarantee it will work.
HOW TO USE
Prepare the timber and square the ends in the time honoured way. Rest the timber against the guide strip, slide the timber down until the preferred number of tails and pins are reached. Transfer the spacing on to the end grain with a sharp pencil. Continue marking out the dovetails in the usual way.
 

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Jacob

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Pair of dividers would do it faster and easier.
 

doorframe

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I can see how that jig would be useful. Looks like a good idea.

Hello Johnwwc. Why not introduce yourself and tell us what you get up to.

Roy
 

adidat

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great idea John, thanks for taking the time to post.

I wouldn't worry too much about Jacob he likes to troll!

adidat
 

Jacob

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There you go - Rob agrees with me so I must be right!
 

RogerBoyle

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LOL god help me but I find this is a second post in which I have to agree with Jacob
:oops: :twisted:
Still i can see the merits in the gadget for those that need one LOL

And Welcome to the forum

Roger
 

woodbloke

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Jacob":3uof3all said:
There you go - Rob agrees with me so I must be right!
As I've mentioned before Jacob, sometimes thee and me gets it right...but only sometimes! :lol: - Rob
 

johnwc812

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Hi All,
Thank you for your posts. I can only ask you to spend 5 minutes drawing out a template on a sheet of paper and give it a try.
The template may have its limitations but once drawn out - ease and speed of use cannot be beaten.
Having invented the template 50 years ago, and had it published in the Woodworker magazine in 1960 (is it still going?).
I have used this method ever since.
Cheers, John
 
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