Hand Cut Dovetails

with Phillip Lowe

Please call us to register: 800-327-2520.
For more information email us

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Hand Cut Dovetails

with Philip Lowe

August 2-3, 2014 (9am-4pm)


Dovetails are one of the most attractive, strong, and useful woodwork joints. Hand cut dovetails are also recognized as one of the hallmarks of the hand-made craft world.

In this class you will enhance your skills by learning how to successfully lay out and cut the full range of dovetail joints: half-blind, through, and slot dovetails. Regardless of skill level there is always something to learn. Over the course of two days you will be exposed to time tested techniques and have the opportunity to practice those techniques under the eye of a master craftsman. This is a great class for those who have never cut dovetails or those that are looking to find out how to make them fit without gaps.

The topics covered will be: sharpening (both plane irons and chisels); stock preparation, layout of the joint, sawing techniques, chopping and paring, marking out, fitting the joint; and troubleshooting. This is a hands-on class with the emphasis on improving your skill set through doing.

About the Instructor

Philip Lowe is a professional woodworker, teacher, and author from Beverly, Massachusetts. He taught at the North Bennet Street School in Boston for ten years and headed their furniture-making department from 1980-1985.

Phil owns and operates a furniture making and restoration shop as well as a school, the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts. He is also a long-time contributing editor for Fine Woodworking Magazine.

Tool List

These are the tools we'll learn about in the class. You are not required to bring all of them; we will provide demonstration tools for you to use. However, it is helpful for you to practice with your own tools, so bring as many of these as you'd like. You may also make purchases in our showroom on site. Please do not bring tools in need of repair or major fettling – there will not be time to fully tune them for use during the workshop.

Note: The hyperlinks below are for LN tools, though you are welcome to bring tools of other brands.

  • #4 Smoothing Plane (Lie-Nielsen or old Stanley
  • Waterstones (1000, 4000, 8000 grits or the equivalent)
  • Leather Strop
  • 12” Starrett Combination Square
  • Sliding Bevel or Dovetail Marker
  • Marking gauge (Tite-Mark Marking or Wooden Beam Gauge)
  • Layout Knife (Murphy Knife can be purchased from Phil at class)
  • Pencil-3H or 4H
  • Dovetail Saw (Lie-Nielsen Rip-Pistol Grip preferred
  • Bench Chisels -3/4”,1/2”,1/4”,1/8” (Lie-Nielsen Preferred)
  • Mallet
  • Safety Glasses
  • Registration Information

    Cost is $250, lunch included. Limited to 15 people.

    Located at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks: Route 1, Warren, Maine 04864.

    Please call to register: 800-327-2520, $100 nonrefundable deposit required at registration, full payment required 30 days before the workshop. For more information email us.