Using Dividers to Layout Dovetail Joints: A Step-by-Step Guide

## **Engineer’s Square – Woodworking Tutorial**

In this woodworking tutorial by JaysCustomCreations, Jay Bates demonstrates a simple and easy woodworking project using his engineer’s square. Follow along as he shares his process for hand-cutting dovetail joints, providing step-by-step instructions for achieving precise and symmetrical measurements.

To start, Jay uses dividers as a replacement for a drafting compass to set equal spacing on each side of the wood. By striking a clear line, he marks out the tails and pins for the dovetail joints, ensuring the measurements are symmetrical. He also explains the importance of maintaining proper distance to achieve full or half pins.

By utilizing this efficient marking technique, Jay demonstrates how to quickly and accurately mark all of the joints. With evenly-spaced tails and properly-sized pins, he achieves a perfectly symmetrical dovetail joint.

Be sure to check out the full project video on Jay’s YouTube channel: [Full Project Video](

To get the Engineer’s Square and layout dividers used in this video, visit the following links:
– [Engineer’s Square](
– [Layout Dividers](

Follow Jay Bates on YouTube for more easy woodworking projects and tips to improve your woodworking skills.

**Tags**: #jayscustomcreations #easywoodworkingproject #woodworking #woodshop #woodworkingprojects #make #build #dovetails #handcutdovetails #dovetaillayout #dovetaildividers

*Note: The transcript above has been edited for clarity and readability. Source: [Jay’s Custom Creations – Woodworking Tutorial](*

Engineer’s Square:
Layout dividers:
Full project video: Bates

What do you think?

Written by Jay Bates


Leave a Reply
  1. Jay,

    I know this is over a year old and I have watched twice now. I am wanting to practice some dovetails but don't know how to get started. How do you determine the distance of the half pin in the beginning?


  2. Your choice to have 'halfpins' that are 1/2 the width of the others,however, the reason they are called 'halfpins' is because they are only sloped on one side.Just sayin'. The use of dividers is great.Thanks for doing this.

  3. I'm addicted to your videos and really like your style when making videos. I will be getting me some of those guides. I've never done hand cut dovetails. You make it look not only doable, but easy. I have a Porter cable dovetail jig, but find it difficult to use, which means I don't use it. You make it look easy, I'm not sure if there were out takes or not, but you make it look like something can do.

  4. when setting up your divider you should start from the edge of the board instead of starting from the line. that way you would end up at the other edge of the board and you wouldn't have to eyeball the distance away from the edge.

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