The dovetail is both a decorative mark of fine woodworking and a strong and long-lasting joint. In a through dovetail, both of the pieces go entirely through one another, leaving the joint visible on the outside.
With both the pins and the tails cut out, it’s time to fit them together. Watch this video!
Dry fit the pins and tails to determine where material needs to be paired
When you first dry fit the pin board and tail board together, the pins will often leave an impression line on the inside of the tails where they don’t quite fit through. This impression line will serve as a guide for where and how much material needs to be paired down from the tails.
Use a chisel to pair down the tail.
Using the impression line as a guide, come down with a chisel to remove the excess material. Note that the bottom part of the tail is tapered slightly. This will ensure that as the pins are inserted, the fit is very tight at the edge, where it will be visible.
That’s it! The pins and tails are cut and should now fit nicely together, forming a through dovetail.