Home > Techniques, Tools and Schools > Box Making – Marking up Dovetails

Box Making – Marking up Dovetails

Looking through the posts on my site it’s been a while since I made a dovetail joint. The last appears to be the Roubo End Cap that I completed in 2019 and even longer ago since I made a box. Needless to say, I am rusty in my layout skills. Taking a few minutes to brush up on the use of dividers and dig out various tools I remembered the article that Mike Pekovich wrote about using blue tape and decided that this would be great time to give it a try.

Planing everthing smooth and square, I dug through the Fine WoodWorking articles until I found one that described the use of Blue tape. There are many articles, dig around and find the one that works for you.

After grabbing the essential layout tools, I marked out the tails on one board and then placed blue tape on the board that will have the matching pins. After cutting out the tails I laid the tails board on top of the board to be marked out for the pins and using a sharp marking knife cut the tape. Then peelsd out the areas that need to be removed. Please read the article. I don’t intend this to be a blog on how to use the blue tape but the effectiveness of the method.

I then followed my method for sawing the doovetails and removing the waste. We have all seen the articles and comments about the blue tape method and indeed it work and extremely well. In fact I only had to adjust one pin which I actually over trimmed. Everything else fit right off the saw! The tape is easy to see and provides just enough edge to provide a guide for the saw. Definately an excellent technique.

  1. John Sayles
    August 18, 2021 at 9:40 am

    Just by way of setting the record straight …
    Derek Cohen, Perth, Australia is widely regarded as the father of the blue-tape method, having published it on his site and in forums years before Mr. Pekovich.

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