Changing dovetail width with a fixed jig

I use a Keller dovetail jig for the majority of my dovetailing on projects. It’s easy to set up and makes cutting very quick.  However, the one knock on a fixed spacing jig like that is that it gives only one look to a project.

Not so.

There is a very easy way to change the spacing that doesn’t take much in the way of fiddling and gives very good results.

First, you have to make sure you have the piece clamped appropriately in a vise.  Determine which pieces will get the tails and which will get the pins.  In this case, you are looking at the outside of the tail board oriented face out  with the top facing left.

Here I am marking in 1/2″ from the edge of the board as a starting point for the guide.

With the jig in place, I use the dovetail bit to cut in every slot, creating an entire run of pins.

From there, I mark out the tails I want to remove. This is where I can set up my spacing and get a good idea of what the joint will look like.

Next, I place the comb of the jig over the tails I want to remove and clamp it in place.  I then use the dovetail bit to remove the xed out tails to open the pattern.

The results are pretty sweet… nice, crisp tails ready to scribe onto the pin board.

By carefully marking out which pins need to be routed, you can have them lined up accurately and just cut the pin sockets you need.  Here’s the pin board ready to go.

Now, what project is all of this stuff for?  Sorry… you’ll have to wait a little bit longer to see!

4 thoughts on “Changing dovetail width with a fixed jig”

  1. That was a crisp, clear explanation of how you use your dovetail jig, Tom.

    Always a real pleasure to read whayt you’re doing. Thanks for the eforts.


    Don Henley

  2. It’s Don again, Tom…

    I’m going to have aguess at what your project is…

    I reckon it’ll become a Blanket Box or something similar.


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