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Proud dovetails get cut down to size

When cutting through dovetails, I leave the pins and tails a hair proud. But sanding them down afterward can be tedious. To quickly and cleanly trim dovetail joints, use a handheld router with a 1"-long flush-trim bit. To trim the tails, rabbet the end of a scrap board to fit over the proud pins. Clamp the board over the pin side, as shown, to give the router a smooth surface on which to ride.

With the tails flat, trim the pins by clamping pieces of sacrificial scrap to the edges of the sides to prevent tear-out from the cross-grain routing. Finally, a few minutes with a palm sander or sanding block will yield a perfect dovetail joint.

—Steven Gaddis, Winston, Ore.  

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