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Dovetail Joint Template Generator - Lay-out and Practice Hand Cut Dovetails

Width Pitch
Tail Thickness    
Socket Thickness Tails


Uncheck and re-calculate to remove color before printing


Print, fold over wood and cut through template to practice
your first Hand Cut Dovetails.

Print at 100% Printer Scale Print at 100% Printer Scale. Print to Scale Help



A dovetail joint is a woodworking joinery technique. A series of pins cut to extend from the end of one board interlock with a series of tails cut into the end of another board. These pins and tails have a triangular shape. When glued, the joint is permanent, requiring no mechanical fasteners.

Dovetail joints can be cut by hand or by machine, often with an electric router, using one of a range of available jigs or templates. Although it is technically a straight forward process, hand cutting dovetails requires a high degree of accuracy to ensure a snug fit and can be difficult to master. The pins and tails must fit together with no gap between them so that the joint interlocks tightly without movement. Thus the cutting of dovetails by hand is regarded as a mark of skill on the part of the craftsperson.

The angle of slope varies according to the type of wood used. Typically the slope is 1:6 for softwoods and 1:8 slope for hardwoods. Often a slope of 1:7 is used as a compromise. When cut by hand, there are two schools of thought as to whether the pins or the tails should be cut first. For tails first, the tails are marked out and cut and then the outline is transferred to the end grain of the pin board.

For pins first, the pins are marked out and cut, then the outline of the pins is transferred to the face of the tail board.

Hand cut dovetails can often be distinguished from machine cut dovetails by the width of the pins. It is possible to have pins that are almost triangular when cut by hand that are not possible when cut with a router.

Use this dovetail template designer to get a visual idea of possible combinations of tail and pin layouts. Print templates, fold over end of wood and either mark or cut through the paper to form tails and pins






Print large images over multiple pages How to Print Large Template Images over Multiple Pages . . . Printing to Scale Help and Plan Printing.

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