Hand-cut dovetails remain the mark of the skilled cabinetmaker and a feature that buyers look for in high-end furniture. Veritas has developed a guide and saw system that lets amateurs achieve professional results. The system also allows the seasoned expert to produce dovetail joints more quickly and with less effort.
The Veritas dovetail guides, which clamp in position, hold the saw at the correct place and the correct angle for a perfect cut. 19mm rare-earth magnets embedded in the anodized aluminum guide are covered with a layer of low-friction UHMW plastic keep the saw perfectly aligned as you cut. You still have to chop out waste from the tails and pins, but the detailed instructions give you tips on how to do this quickly and accurately.
Clamping capacity of the guides covers material from 6.4 – 25.4mm thick. They come in the traditional ratios of 1:6 and 1:8, for softwood and hardwood respectively; however, as a result of modern glues, there is nothing stopping you from using either ratio on your choice of wood. You can also create an interesting variation by using both in a single joint.
Also available is the 14° marker which is approximately a 1:4 ratio, for those who prefer this angle when working in thinner stock, as it not only provides stronger material interlock than traditional ratio angles but produces a slightly exaggerated dovetail joint that many find attractive.
The guides can be used with any backless saw that has approximately 0.127mm of tooth set, but work bests with the Veritas dovetail saw that has been designed specifically for them.