How to make a dovetail joint with a saw?
Using the jig it is quite easy to cut the tail and the pins easily. You just need to have a sled or slider on your table saw for this jig and method to work without problems. You can attach the jig to your miter gauge on the table saw and slide the jig along with the board to make cuts on boards with ease.
First, you need to cut using one slope of the angle halfway through the board. To make it easier to recognize where halfway is, use a pencil to mark the waste on the board. Once you reach the halfway point, flip the jig and move it to the other side of the table now using the other slope, cut the other half of the waste and you will get perfect dovetail joints every time.
The jig will have to be flipped depending on what you are going to cut, the tails, or the pins. Once you are done cutting, it is only a matter of cleaning up if there is any tear-out. If there is none, then just try to join the pieces together to see if they fit. As always gently tap with a mallet if necessary and you are done.
Cutting a dovetail with a scroll saw
Modern scroll saw tables even give you the ability to turn to an angle to make a cut as well, so cutting dovetails on it is not that difficult. If you are new, doing some practice using the scroll saw is a good idea. To start off, take measurements and mark the boards properly. Taking proper measurements and marking them with a pencil will be the key to cutting dovetails on the scroll saw.
Once you are done marking them, it is all up to your scroll saw skills to make the cuts. First start off by cutting the tails, which will be cut at 90-degrees, so you don’t need to change the angle of the saw yet. Cut the tails slowly, making sure you are undercutting and not overcutting where the markings are. If you undercut a bit you can use a chisel later to clean up and make the tails square. Guide the scroll saw and make all the cuts, making sure you follow the markings and cut inside the lines even if it means leaving some waste for you to clean on the chisel.
Now it is time to cut the pins, which will require you to change the angle of the scroll saw slightly. Check the marking and adjust the angle of the blade accordingly to make the cuts clean for the sides. For the shoulders, it gets a bit complicated since the cut is straight but the sides are at an angle. So to ensure that you don’t cut the slopes you have worked so hard to make, first cut with the blade on the angle of the slope halfway. Switch sides then cut again halfway, you will see that the side where the slope is the closest has been cut but where it expands still needs to be cut off. Just straighten the blade and cut the middle and you will get pins that fit perfectly in your tails.