Various craftsmen have posted
photos of their favorite tools which inspired me to pick some of
the tools which are essential in making dovetails.
Without proper gauges the layout
chore is difficult as I learned long ago attempting to lay out
tails with an adjustable miter square.
Over the years I have purchased and
made the gauges in the first four photos.
The second photo shows those I have
made out of scraps. The one on the upper right in the second
photo has an inlay of ebony and deer bone that interlock with
The third photo are old dovetail
gauges made by cabinetmakers in England in the 19th Century.
The fourth photo depicts
commercially produced gauges, mostly of metal.
The last photo shows a strange tool
that I use to rapidly establish dovetail spacing.
I have found that a selection of
gauges is very useful since some work better on thick wood while
others work great for making small boxes out of thinner wood. My
gauges are definitely among my favorite things.
James E. Price