Dovetail joints on a piece of furniture are one of those features that make it say “master carpenter” rather than “IKEA”. Traditional handmade dovetails require precise measurements and even more precise sawing and chiseling, skills that can take years to develop. A slightly less artisanal method is to use a router and a dovetail jig; the router makes perfectly straight cuts while the jig makes sure it only goes where it needs to go.
If you don’t have one of these models yet, check out [Guy Perez]design for an adjustable dovetail model easy to produce with a 3D printer. It consists of ten separate pieces mounted on a T-rail, which allows them to slide laterally and thus generate spindles and tails of varying widths. The T-track is mounted on a wooden body with an integrated clamp to hold the target piece, as well as a stopper to provide a reference for all measurements.
As you can see in the video embedded below, the resulting jig is easy to use and should yield near perfect dovetails every time. [Guy] has made the CAD files available along with detailed instructions on their design, so you can easily adjust them if you need parts with a different tail angle or want to use thicker wood.
Although this jig makes it much easier to cut ordinary dovetail joints, you can still show off your manual skills by making an impossible mallet. Want to join pieces of metal instead? Check out this cute little dovetail cube.