Hand Cut Dovetails

$150 usd
Sat Oct 19, 2019, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (EDT)
The Artisans Guild, 181 W. Jackson Street, Millersburg, OH, USA  

In this one day class, Charles Murray, walks students through the process of laying out, cutting, and assembling of through, half blind and tapered dovetails by hand. Dovetails are commonly a measure of quality construction, and hand cut dovetails usually stand out above machine dovetails in aesthetics.While the steps involved are basic (squaring stock, layout, sawing, chopping), the woodworker needs to understand the anatomy of the joint in order to coordinate each operation with the next. Charles can help you diagnose problems before they turn into bad habits, helping you lay a strong foundation for learning and improving your dovetails.

Primary Skills Taught in this Class

  • Dovetail anatomy
  • Dovetails sizing and layout
  • Sawing with a dovetail saw
  • Chopping with chisels
  • Troubleshooting

Class Prerequisites

To get the most from this class, these are important skills and abilities to have so the instructor can focus on the curriculum above. You don’t have to be a master, but it’s best to have reasonable confidence in these skills. We can help refine these skills in class if needed, but we likely won’t have time to teach them from scratch. When in doubt - ask!

  • Planing a board square
  • Squaring the end of a board
  • Sharpening chisels
  • Chopping with a chisel
  • Striking knife lines
  • Basic saw handling

Tool List

The following tools are required in order to fully participate in the class:

  • Dovetail saw (or some smaller rip-filed backsaw)
  • Bench chisels (1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”; sharpened at 25 degrees); bevel edged work best
  • Mallet for chopping
  • Combination square
  • Marking knife
  • Marking gauge
  • Smoothing plane and router plane
  • Dividers (set of 2 is best)
  • Two 6” or 12” clamps
  • Pencil
  • Sharpening media
  • Sliding bevel
  • Safety glasses

Your tools should be sharp and ready to work.

The following tools are optional:

  • Dovetail marker


There is an approximate $10 materials fee for practice materials used in this class. Materials fees are paid for at the time of class. Be prepared to pay for materials on the first day (cash or check please).

Other Information

Charles Murray

The Artisans Guild, 181 W. Jackson Street, Millersburg, OH, USA