If you’ve ever seen me cut dovetails, whether in person, on video or in still photos, you have almost certainly seen my beloved Woodjoy Tools “Precision Dovetail Template.” I bought it in 2006, and have used it on every one of my dovetailed projects. I also recommended it in Popular Woodworking too may times to count, and in every class I’ve taught that involves dovetails…at least until a few years ago, when Woodjoy’s founder, Glenn Livingston, retired, and the tool was no longer available. Then, I lamented to every class I taught that my favorite dovetail template was no longer available (and to keep an eye on eBay and other secondary markets). And I started begging Christopher Schwarz to make a similar one.
Yes of course there are lots other dovetail templates on the market – I’ve used most of them and even own some of them. Or you can use a sliding bevel for layout. You can also simply start cutting – no lines required – a la Frank Klausz.
But I always loved the small size (which makes it easy to use at either edge of the board), light weight (every ounce counts when packing tools for teaching gigs) and relatively low price of the Woodjoy template.
So I kept bugging Chris (it’s my superpower), and finally wore him down. He said if I could get in touch with Glenn and work out a deal with him, we’d do it. So I did.
I am delighted to announce that coming next week, we will have available the Crucible Dovetail Template; it will be $49 (and Glenn gets a royalty on every one sold).
The Crucible Dovetail Template marks out the two most-common dovetail slopes, 1:6 and 1:8 (I use 1:6 on almost everything, simply because it looks nice to my eye), and allows you to easily and accurately lay out the angled and straight parts of the joint.
Ours is milled from solid steel, which helps to ensure a perfect 90° at the corner (all the excess is recycled). The template measures 5/8″ x 1-11/16″ x 3″. The angled sections are long enough to mark out tails in 1-3/8″ stock. The straight section of the tool is long enough to reach fully across two 3/4″-thick boards (for those who gang-cut dovetails). There’s also a handy hang hole, just like on the original.
And now I’ll have to find something else about which to pester Chris. I feel certain it won’t take me long.
Note: Once we are able to keep up with production, we’ll offer these to our retailers (it’s up to them whether to carry it, of course).