Share it with your friends Like

Dovetails are sometimes seen as the head of hand device woodworking and the signal of craftsman, normally intimidating learners from making an attempt them. However are they actually that troublesome?

This can be a complete video breaking down each step of the method together with varied choices you may have, totally different strategies you need to use, and excessive shut ups so you’ll be able to see precisely what my eyes are seeing.

These strategies come from quite a lot of sources and tutors all through my years of woodworking and is the mix that I discover works finest for me.

Any questions, let me know within the feedback!


Assist what I do by turning into a Patron! I wish to enhance the manufacturing high quality of my movies and thus must finance some new gear. Observe the hyperlink beneath to assist me out! Thanks prematurely!

– UK:
– US:
– CA:

Snapchat: mattestlea

See what instruments I take advantage of right here:
My Web site:

My identify is Matt Estlea, I am a 22 yr outdated Woodworker from Basingstoke in England and my purpose is to make your woodworking much less s***.
I come from 5 years tuition at Rycotewood Furnishings Centre and four years expertise working at Axminster Instruments and Equipment the place I nonetheless at present work on weekends. Through the week, I movie woodworking tasks, tutorials, critiques and a viewer favorite ‘Instrument Duel’ the place I evaluate two cometitive producers instruments in opposition to each other to seek out out which is finest.
I wish to have amusing and my movies are fairly quick paced BUT you’ll be taught quite a bit, I guarantee you.

Lets go make a large number.




B Souza says:

Excellent job ! Well Done 👍

revel arroway says:

Hey Matt, nice video, cool.

David Sox says:

Maybe I missed it, but when you set the piece of wood into the vice, you need to make sure it is level, right?

Bob Dole says:

Best Video ever on how to cut hand Dovetails!

INVICTUS9100 says:

Super tutorial, really inspiring! Thanks for sharing your skills!

Neil Tatlow says:

Awesome video

Ralf Jr. says:

This guy is a dovetail making machine:

deemdoubleu says:

Great stuff. I think it's good to tap these together with a piece of softwood rather than directly with the mallet just to spread the force across all of the tongues; if using a brittle hardwood, they can fracture.

Nick B. says:


derryck carpenter says:

Look to japan. Their guys making us look like amateurs fr. Hidden dovetail way sexier. Look it up

andrea a says:

Where does one acquire the jesus pen

Allan Winks says:

Superb instruction Matt! I lectured in joinery myself for 25 years and really appreciate the vast amount of tips you gave in this video. You are clearly a cabinet maker with highly refined skills and I learned a lot from this video. I liked particularly the small cut on the back of the tails, used for location when marking the pins, never seen that before.
Thank you so much.

Gerry Doyon says:

As a up-and-coming woodworker, I have watched so many videos on how to cut dovetails. But, none have come close to explaining the process–especially the measuring!!!–with as much detail as you. Thank you!!

DaChrisstar says:

I know, not up to date, but I just love the music at 37:59, can you tell me the name by any chance?

Suzanne Nester says:

Favorite part of this whole video……fluffy bits

Andy P says:

How long does it take before it doesn't look like a one armed blind man with a machete, directed by a goat, attempted it?

Le PicBois says:

Love your video production! Pretty good explanation as well! 🙂

zenku41 says:

I love your videos man, thank you for spreading your teachings 🙂

Morgan Olfursson says:

I am always in awe of westerners for their self confidence and self congratulatory spirit.
I have seen designated national treasures in fine marquetry in Japan creating a masterpiece of joinery that took months , looking at the final result and saying "I have placed all my soul, energy and knowledge in it and i beg for your indulgence in your appreciation, i will keep on practicing and studying and hope that in 20 years i i get closer to the level of the true masters of the past" ( though these men are usually in their late 60s and have worked and studied their craft for the past 50 years ).
And then you have a twenty something years old guy here , making something in a few hrs looking at the end result and saying "To me that looks pretty good" .
Don't get fooled by the picture on the account, that's my husband, i'm Japanese born and raised. And my very western husband wouldn't agree more with what i wrote .
I am not saying that the job here is bad or good , for me it is neither , but rather something in between . But the self confidence , the self righteousness , the self indulgence and the self congratulatory here is very real .
My mother is a traditional artist , she started training when she was 6 years old and is now in her early 70s , she is recognized nationwide in japan as one of the best in her craft and yet, never have i ever seen her satisfied with her work.
There is a saying amount craftspeople in in japan that says, 完璧は当然,,完璧以上は目的,完璧以外は容認できない。Which means Perfection is the strict minimum , more than perfect is the goal, less than perfect is unacceptable. But because according to Shinto and Buddhist beliefs perfection is unattainable by human hands unless one lives ten thousands years , showing satisfaction for your own work is childish and disgraceful . Actually in Japan we even teach our kids never to show or express too much self-satisfaction or brag about anything they accomplished. I think it is a wise way to raise kids. If a japanese 20 years old was making a video about dovetails expressing his satisfaction in the end , he would be ridiculed , and i can hear the real masters of marquetry saying something like "well then, what a fool was I to spend the past 50 years trying to perfect my craft".
Young man , now that you are so good at making dovetails, you might want to learn some humility .

marino deželak
6 hours ago (edited)
ah the Japanese, so proficient at preaching humility while simultaneously vigorously patting themselves on the back… now that's an art perfected in Japan… hmmm what was the word… ah Pretenciousness. Little do you know Dovetails aren't even a Japanese craft, peoples in egypt, all over Europe and China made them before the Japanese even managed to advance beyond huts. I'll admit you one thing however, nowhere else did dovetailing go beyond functionality quite in the way it did in japan… making them both increasingly more intricate and with it increasingly more useless and weak.

PS: you seem to be quite the humble-brag yourself.

Morgan Olfursson
4 hours ago
When do we pat ourselves on the back ? Is pointing out the inportance of humility , being self congratulatory or pretentious ?
Where have i ever written that Japanese invented dovetails ? And by the look of your name you are neither Egyptian nor Chinese yourself are you ?
Now if i wanted to be self congratulatory, pretentious, and show no humility whatsoever i would say this,…
Well , we have been using those very same intricate dovetails to build the Todai-Ji temple nearly 1000 years ago , including the great south gate, the Nigatsu-Do, the Hokke-Do, the Kaidan-In and the Kondo and it remains the largest wooden structure in world and resisted, typhoon, and earthquake , so let's say that when your country does the same , you can give the Japanese a lesson regarding the weakness of our dovetailing craftsmanship , until then ,…
I'll show you and your country humility when you and your country build the largest wooden structure in the world and make it last a 1000 years .
Feel free to answer me in Japanese if you can .

Fenizrael says:

I just wanted to say that I entered into this video knowing very little about woodworking, and I was rapt the whole time. Your framing and lifting is great, your editing is great, and your explanations are wonderful. I watched this whole thing and left feeling like I had learned so much.

Write a comment


five × two =