"I Love My Dovetail Jig"

Reprinted from, and appeared in the March 2014 issue of Home Handyman Magazine®.

"If you'd love to be able to create dovetail joints but don't have the patience to learn to do it by hand or the money to buy those crazy-expensive dovetail jigs, this Pins & Tails Through Dovetail Template is your answer. I use mine to make storage boxes, and I used it to join the sides of my tool tote, as shown here.

The sturdy cast aluminum template guides your router to make classic "through" dovetails (the traditional type where joints show up on both sides of corners). It's not complicated and requires a one-time-only but somewhat time-consuming setup. But when I got it figured out, I cut pins and tails all day long in 1/2-in to 7/8-in. stock, no matter how wide the workpiece. One side guides the tail cuts; the other, the pins.

Whenever I want to dovetail, I just install the bushing and bit in the router, set the cutting depth and start dovetailing. The template comes with instructions and the bits and guide bushing to fit most router bases. It does take some fussing to set it up, but you can't beat the price... much cheaper than more elaborate jigs.

David Radtke, Contributing Editor