When cutting Dovetail you will need to use scrap wood until you get all of the adjustments correct. The half blind dovetail is great when assembling draws, and gives that look of quality in your woodworking project.
How to cut a Half blind Dovetail
Setting the depth for dovetails is the first thing I like to do, because once finished setting up the wood I want to start cutting. On the side of the jig you will see a notch, place or router over top adjust the depth of your dovetail bit. You may need to adjust up or down until you get the right height. Once the depth is finished put the router aside ad go to the next step.
Checking for Square
Before you start to adjust the dovetail template, you need to check and make sure the ends of your boards are cut square. Some saws are not very accurate; if the ends are not square it will cause the alignment of the template to be off as well. This will cause one end to cut deeper than the other, or will not line up at all.
To the left and right you will see a black gauge this to align spacing for the cuts, that way you can adjust so you have the same size dovetail at each end of your board.
In this view you can see that the template is not align to center and needs to be adjusted to the right to have the same size dovetails on both ends. To do this just loosen the gauge and move it to the desired position. You can put this any where you want, but on most projects you do having it even on both ends is best.
This aligns the dovetail and sockets for the correct depth and fit. You start by placing the top board flat then bring the template on top this will give you the correct height of the template. Then place the next board vertical so that it touches the guide to the left or right then bring it up until it touches the template and lock it in. Now go back to the board laying flat and push it to the guide on top then bring it flush to the other board and lock it in. You will see a marks on the fingers of the template, adjust to the center of the two boards and your ready to start cutting.
As you can see in the picture, my first pass with the router is to cut the larger part of the board before I start to cut through the fingers. You don’t have to do this it just makes it easier when I start the final pass.
When you start to rout, start from right to left this helps with tearout. This is a problem with soft wood. After your finished routing it should look like the picture
Now that your finished routing you will need to test fit. It should be a snug fit with little or no gaps. If it is too tight you will need to adjust your router to make shallower cuts and if it is to lose then you need to adjust for deeper cuts. Do this until you can achieve no gap, be careful when fitting if you apply to much force you can split the wood.
As you can see in the picture the fit needs a little adjusting but really close and at the top it split a little off one of the dovetail, cedar is hard to work with , it is so soft it does not take much to split out a piece. I think you find that hardwood is easier to work with. Makes for a nice wood joint in drawers