More Than 10 Ways to Cut Dovetails w/ Bob Van Dyke


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Step up for joinery in my live online Dovetail Blitz class.

The great thing about running a national woodworking school is that Bob Van Dyke gets to see the techniques of every different instructor who teaches at his school- and there have been a lot of them over the last 25 years!




10 Ways to Dovetail

In woodworking- like a lot of things- there is no one “right” way- there are bunches of different ways to accomplish the same thing and that is what this class is all about. Bob will not be telling you what he thinks is the “best” way- that is for you to decide- and you will have the opportunity to learn a number of different methods.

Cutting dovetails entirely by hand can be intimidating to a lot of people.  When cutting dovetails Bob sees students typically making the same mistakes and hitting the same stumbling blocks each time- so that is what he addresses to start; using a cutting gauge, paring to (and not beyond!) a line, cutting straight lines with a handsaw- and using a sharp chisel! These are all skills that you will practice (and hopefully master) in this class.

But this class is much more than just cutting dovetails by hand. This class will show you a number of ways to make “handcut” dovetails that will only require a little bit of paring with a chisel to make them fit perfectly. We will be trying out techniques that use the tablesaw, a trim router, bandsaw, scroll saw, and coping saw along with the traditional handsaw and chisels. The goal is to get you cutting great-looking dovetails using a combination of machines and hand tools until you are comfortable enough with the process that you realize doing it all by hand is not that big a deal!

This class is a combination of demonstrations and hands-on practice. There is no project for the class- you will be working on a series of practice boards. It is great to see the difference between the first dovetail you make on the first day and the last dovetail you make the afternoon of the second day!

Router dovetail jigs like the Porter Cable or Leigh jig will NOT be a part of this class- Bob has no idea how to use those tools…

Sign up today and lose your fear of cutting dovetails once and for all.


Some of the skills covered in this class are:

  • Through dovetails
  • Half-blind dovetails
  • Improved sawing technique
  • Improved waste removal techniques


For this class you’ll need:

Each student must supply his, or her, own: safety glasses and hearing protection; combination or machinist square; bevel gauge; bench chisels; carvers mallet; dovetail saw; marking gauge; smooth plane or jack plane; block plane; and tape measure or folding rule.

This course is limited in size to a maximum of 6 students.

Course Dates:

  • October 05 – 06, 2024


If this course sells out, please call or email to be placed on the waiting list.


About the Instructor:

After 18 years as an award-winning chef in French restaurants, Bob left the business to begin a career in woodworking and teaching. Furniture making had provided an outlet to the pressures of the restaurant business until 1993 when he started the Harris Enterprise School of Fine Woodworking. In seven years of operation, the school gained national exposure and recognition.

In 2000 he formed a business partnership to open the Manchester, CT Woodcraft store and the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. He continually strives to expand his skills and knowledge by working on a variety of commissioned furniture pieces and new projects for upcoming classes. Bob is a featured author in Fine Woodworking Magazine and Woodshop News.

Bob’s approach to teaching centers on the belief that people learn “by doing rather than by watching.” Successful contemporary furniture-making also depends on utilizing a sensible combination of machine woodworking and handwork.


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