Cutting Through Dovetails – Pins First

This year, in 2016 I really want to up my hand joinery game so I’ve been working on cutting dovetails.  Until today every set of dovetails I’ve cut have been tails first.  I know, there is a huge debate about which is better or correct, tails first or pins first.  I’m of the mindset that you should use whichever technique that works best for you.  Whichever that is, that’s the best one.

Prior to this most recent set of dovetails, I’ve only cut four sets total.  I’m definitely still a beginner.  I was looking into different methods and it was brought to my attention that some people cut their dovetails pins first, so I decided to give it a try.  Frank Klausz seems to be the most well known pins first guy and his is the technique that I used.

If you’d like to see how it went, check out the video below.

I still have a ways to go in my dovetail journey before I can say that I can cut a decent set, but I get better each time I try!

Shop Update: January 13, 2016

I haven’t posted a whole lot of content recently so I decided to do a shop update and explain what has been going on.  Enjoy!

Links mentioned in the video:

McCauley’s Design Community:

The Dusty Life Podcast:

Sean Rubino:

Kyle Toth:

Matt Cremona Floor Video:

John Heisz Plywood Flooring:

TDL Podcast Ep. 001: Introductions and Expectations

TDL LogoIn this, the first episode of The Dusty Life Podcast we introduce ourselves as the hosts, talk a little bit about how we got started in woodworking and then end the discussion with what we’d like to see happen in each of our shops in 2016.

As things progress we hope to get these episodes on a dedicated website, as well as in to iTunes and other listening platforms like stitcher.  We’ll keep you updated.

If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions be sure to send them to

Thanks for listening.


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You can download this episode to listen more easily on the go here: TDL Podcast 001

Learn more about Sean Rubino at:

Learn more about Kyle Toth at:

Learn more about Brian McCauley at: