How to Use A Dovetail Marker – (Use Like A Pro)

The dovetail joint is an age-old practice. Since ancient days, this technique has been used as a joinery technique. Though used in many different ways, it was most commonly used for woodworking joinery, which includes furniture, cabinets, buildings, and traditional timber farming. Known for its strength, this technique is mostly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front. After gluing the joints, a wooden dovetail joint requires no mechanical fasteners.

To make this technique work, the wood needs to be cut in a very specific way with very specific measurements. In the old days, it was marked as excellent craftsmanship. But nowadays you can find various dovetail markers that you can buy and try yourself. That’s why down here I’ll walk you through steps on how to use a dovetail marker.

Dovetail Joints

Dovetail Joints

This ancient technique can be seen in ancient civilizations. From Egyptian furniture to the tombs of Chinese emperors, and to stone pillars at the Vazhappally Maha Siva Temple in India, this technique can be seen using. Among other names such as swallowtail joint, culvertail joint, or fantail joint the name dovetail joint is the most used and known one.

This technique is very strong because of the way the tails and pins are shaped. Exactly that’s the reason why it is difficult to pull it apart and impossible when it’s glued together. It required great craftsmanship to execute this technique.

There are different types of dovetails. Such as, through dovetail, half-bind dovetail, secret mitered dovetail, secret double-lapped dovetail, and sliding dovetail. Though dovetail is commonly used for woodwork. there are some significant amounts of dovetail works that are seen used which fall in the non-woodworking dovetail category.

Dovetail Marker

Dovetail Marker

There are many ways to mark dovetails. Some masters can do it in no time from all the experiences they have gained throughout their life. Though it looks inspiring it can be very difficult to nearly impossible if you’re a newbie.

That’s exactly where dovetail markers come in handy. It helps you mark the dovetails with ease so that you don’t put your saw in the wrong place. There are different types of dovetail markers available in the market. Let’s have a quick look at some of them so it becomes easy for you to choose which one can get your work done.

1. Newkiton Dovetail Marker

This handy aluminum woodworking tool can easily hand mark accurate dovetail layout. CNC machined for precision. They offer four kinds of proportions 1:5, 1:6, 1:8, and 1:10 marked for hardwood or softwood. This tool is equally great for beginners and experienced people. The only problem is it doesn’t come with any instructions.

2. Clarke brothers dovetail marker

Cutting a dovetail is a tricky job if you do not have the proper tool with you. With that in mind, Clarke Brothers have brought you this unique marker. It is aluminum-built, which makes it lightweight but durable. This one also has 4 kinds of portions with the same measurements as the previous one.

3. Veritas dovetail marker

This marker is designed to help your dovetail marking fast and precise. These 2”*2” anodized aluminum markers can be flipped to mark both slopes of a dovetail. It can easily fit into a pocket. They are very lightweight, tough, and won’t mark your workpiece. The set includes the traditional 1:6 ratio for softwood and 1:8 ratio for hardwood.

4. Woodriver dovetail marker

The Woodriver dovetail jig makes it simple to align dovetail pins for the center align the tails to the pins and then grab both sides of the half-blind dovetail joint at the same time for precise match every time.

The jig features a ribbed steel body with molded pressing and caps that provide convenient on-board accessory storage, two-wheeled steel clamping bars hold the workpiece in position and the CNC machine steel template guides your radar to make precise dovetail joints.

Also Read: An In-Depth Guide About Woodworking Dovetail Chisels.

How to Use Dovetail Markers

Different dovetail markers work in different ways. But the path is more or less the same when it comes to their usage.

For the very first step, you need to choose which piece of the wood will be the board and which will be the pinboard. After that take up any of the dovetail markers that you like and start marking. Here I will explain to you how to use one of the most popular dovetail markers, which is the veritas dovetail marker. You can read about it down below:

Use Veritas Dovetail Marker

The Veritas saddle marker has two lengths. The longer length goes on the end of your stock and marks it with a pencil or a marker, whichever you want to use. The advantage of using this marker is that the right-angle mark goes across the end of your board as well.

So, after marking the angle you can mark across the end of the board as well. After getting the right angle done, flip it around and you can mark the left angle and across the end of the board. After getting it all measured up properly you can start cutting.


So, now I’ve taught you how to use a dovetail marker. I don’t think you’ll have any further confusion about using it. Make sure to measure properly, double-check if needed, and mark it in one go.

Best of luck with your DIY adventures.

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