How to Make a Dovetail

A dovetail is one of the three main joints commonly used in woodworking. In this guide we will show you how to make one using an easy to follow, step by step format.

The tools you will need to make this joint are:

Paul uses wood which is ¾” x 1 ½” x 5” long in this course but you can use other sizes.


  1. David Thorpe on 15 October 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Thank you so much Paul and your team for producing these lessons. I attended woodwork lessons in school nearly 60 years ago, sadly I was left with the impression that I would never successfully be able make anything out of wood. Over the years i have tried many times to make something of use around the home, but never fully achieving personal satisfaction. About two years ago I discovered your YouTube videos, and your DVDs and books. I have learned so much from you over the last couple of years; I have made some small items of polished furniture that even I can be pleased with.

    From school I was left unable to saw a straight line, use a chisel properly, or plane a surface flat. Now I can achieve a level of success that satisfies myself. I’ve also discovered the sheer joy of working real wood.

    My latest project is a small chest of drawers.

    Thank you all so much.

    Best regards,
    David Thorpe

    • Izzy Berger on 16 October 2018 at 7:15 am

      Hi David,

      Thank you very much for your kind words.

      I am so pleased to hear that you have completed some great projects, I hope the chest of drawers goes well!

      Kind Regards,

  2. swhip on 23 December 2018 at 3:47 am


    I started watching Paul while I was working at the US Embassy in Kabul. Not much to do besides work so I decided to learn something. His teaching method is fantastic.

    I’ve come across some nice maple boards and I thought I would make a chisel box. The problem is they are just under 1/2″ thick. Is this going to be and issue when cutting the dovetails and making them fit?

    Thank you,


    • Izzy Berger on 3 January 2019 at 9:53 am

      Hi Steve,

      Paul says no you can use thinner stock, it will be fine.

      Kind Regards,

  3. Julio Machado on 2 March 2019 at 12:12 am

    Não tem explicação a sensação de ver o serviço terminado. Pena que não ficou com um bom acabamento. Acho que vou praticar mais!

  4. Trevor Hosken on 4 June 2019 at 9:11 am

    Hi Paul,
    Brilliant, thank you very much. I am using your techniques to teach lads at a charity organisation for youngsters not coping with the academia of school. A great project for using the single dovetail I’ve found is a simple serving tray. I will put a picture in the gallery. Many thanks for all your work. What a fantastic resource.
    Trevor Hosken

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