After requests from several readers, here is a short video showing how I teach beginning sawyers how to cut pins.
Some things to understand before watching this video.
1. We gang-cut the tails first and then transferred the shape of the tails onto the pin boards.
2. The joint shown is a single tail and pin, which is used to join an upper skirt at the top of a tool chest.
3. If you think a single tail/pin is easy, I would argue the opposite. I’d rather cut a row of 10 dovetails than a joint with just one.
4. This joint was cut the first thing in the morning after drinking five beers at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, Md. In other words, my head hurts, I’m not warmed up and the joint still came out perfect.
I did not develop this sawing technique, obviously. It’s pretty similar to how you saw a tenon. First you focus on the end grain. Then you focus on the face grain, dropping the saw handle. Then you use the established kerf to guide the rest of the cut.
I think this technique works. It’s slower than some methods, but it builds good sawing habits and doesn’t involve any extra jigs or doo-dads. It just makes the sawing a little more deliberate.
— Christopher Schwarz