Sunday 8 July 2012

Dovetail Guides

I've had a real run on dovetail guides recently and my stock is dangerously low so I'm doing a large batch which I hope will last to the end of the year. I start with 60mm square stock of Goncalo Alves which is put through the table with four separate cuts to achieve the profile shown below. Above is the waste that came off the end of the table saw. I've never found a use for this, so with space tight it gets cut straight up into firewood.

The ten blanks were cut on the table saw using an dead accurate cross-cut sled with a backer board to minimise tear-out, this stuff splinters for fun!
I haven't shown a picture of my set up as it requires the removal of the guards and I don't want to encourage anyone to work unsafely.

Here's a couple of shots of 137 guides produced, this took a days very boring work to get the guides from rough stock to this stage. It was also quite tiring as you cannot afford to loose concentration on the table saw  if you want to keep all your fingers!
There is a lot more work yet to be done.


  1. Looks like business is booming! I love my dovetail guide, I have tried several others, they have gone in the bin since I bought this one - FOOLproof - I am testimony to that!!

    Continued success David!

  2. Thanks Richard, I'm glad the guide is working well for you and yes business is booming!

  3. One more customer coming up soon, I just can't resist anymore.

  4. £3973.00 worth of guides, your business is indeed booming. I know you teach and you obviously make tools but could you make a living from furniture making alone. It appears there are very few makers if any that do.

    1. Hi Mark, making a living from furniture alone would not be easy, however the question for me is what would I be making? Many makers do kitchens, bedrooms and built in furniture which is just not my thing. I enjoy all aspects of what I do and diversification certainly keeps me busy.